In our sermon series this Fall, we’re journeying through The 12 Minor Prophets. And we invite you to read along with us as we wrestle with what it means for us to be God’s people today! Find the Reading Plan here.
What has God been teaching you through the readings so far?
Hannah Unger: Jonah
Throughout the book of Jonah, we see so clearly God’s desire to pursue us. His desire to use us as part of His greater redemptive plan.
The very first thing Jonah does when God calls him to do something he doesn’t want to do is get on a ship that would take him as far away from Nineveh as possible.
“‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.’ But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” – Jonah 1:3
I don’t know about you, but if I was trying to include someone in my plans and they ran away from me, I would just move on to the next person who was actually willing to participate.
But God doesn’t do that.
Instead, He chases after Jonah. The prophet tried to “flee from the presence of the Lord” even though it’s impossible to outrun God. No matter how hard Jonah tries, he cannot escape God’s presence.
Thankfully, our God is a God of second chances. And third chances, and fourth chances… There have been times in my life where God has called me into something that’s scary or that I don’t necessarily want to do. It can be tempting to want to run in the complete opposite direction. And tempting to just ignore His voice in those moments – to go take a nap like Jonah did after he got on the boat.
But in my stubbornness and reluctance, God never gives up on me. He continues to pursue me – and every so often, He has to get my attention with a violent storm like He did with Jonah.
How amazing is it that God loves me so much that He doesn’t move on to the next person when I ignore Him? He’s still interested in making me a part of His plan. His patience never runs out!
“‘… for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.'” – Jonah 4:2
Not only does His patience never run out, but our God is a compassionate God who is rich in mercy and abounding in love. That same God who rescues Jonah and shows compassion towards the Ninevites later on in the story is pursuing my heart too. And He is pursuing yours.
Despite Jonah trying to run away from Him, and no matter how sinful Nineveh was as a nation, God was still interested in rescuing them.
And God is still interested in rescuing me. He is still interested in making me a part of His greater plan. And He will never give up on the redemptive work He has begun in me!