Good morning, DearHeart.
I’ve been watching the heartbreaking atrocities unfolding in Venezuela. I wonder how a ruler can become so filled with hatred and desire to oppress, harm, kill others … to kill their own. Opening fire, running over them with tanks. How can we overlook that these are actual persons, someone’s sons and daughters? And how can we then turn on one another?
I am having a hard struggle with it all…I turn to the only place I can, the place where God shows up … in His Word, and speaks to my heart – deeply ….
I have been reading from the book of Jonah, a story so familiar to us all. We know about the great fish and how it swallows Jonah then vomits Jonah up on the shore.
Yet … hidden in this short book this morning is a revelation of Who He is and how He truly feels towards each one of us drawing breath this very minute.
Jonah had finally obeyed God and gone to Ninevah with the message God had given him to deliver. The result was repentance of a people for whom Jonah did not want spared.
Jonah was mad as all get out at God. Seriously. And he complains and rants to God …
“Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord?” (Jonah 4:2, NLT)
Umm, that would be an affirmative, Jonah, for God always does exactly as He says.
“That is why I ran away to Tarshish!” (vs 2)
Did Jonah really think his running away was going to stop God from bringing His Word and salvation to Ninevah?
And then Jonah states what he knew all along (and please don’t miss it!) …
“I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.” (the rest of verse 2)
Jonah knew his God. He knew God was about saving people. He knew God would do whatever it takes and go to whatever lengths are necessary to bring people to Himself. Jonah knew people are of the utmost importance to our God.
Today my prayer is for us, God’s people, to be more like Him. Towards all people.
Towards those in foreign countries. And those within our borders.
To those outside of Christ, and inside of Christ.
To those we agree with. And to those we disagree with.
Let’s be like Him.
Eager to turn from destroying people.
Filled with love.
Turn our hearts to You, Father.