Monday, February 28, 2011
"Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."
I love Jonah for many reasons: Because it reveals God's heart for the city, because Jonah was a terrible prophet whom God still used (gives me hope), and because of this verse 3:9. It gives me much hope as one who barely knows God. If the Assyrians, wicked and detestable as they were, could be spared (if only for a while), then there is hope of repentance for every man. However Jonah's anger is revealing. He wanted punitive justice. He wanted to watch the Assyrians burn. He had condemned them already. But aren't we also quick to condemn, dealing out our own justice to our own destruction (Rom 2:1)?
Does not the right to judge belong to God and God alone? Should we not let God be God and not have to deal with "who is saved" and "who isn't"?
And what does it matter to us who is saved? Do we not love everyone equally so as to preach Christ to both saved and unsaved? A person's salvation is between them and the Lord, to be worked out fearfully with trembling. It should be a relief that such a burdensome decision to condemn a man does not fall on our shoulders. God makes the hard decisions while ours is the lighter yoke: to tell the world of God's love in word and deed. Amen!