When God saw that they did and how they turned from their evil, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
-- Jonah 3:10
There are a lot of different directions to go with Jonah chapter three. There is plenty here to get me started thinking about sermons. But as I think about what word God has for me in this, it’s important not to lose sight of the big picture.
The people repent, and God forgives.
My mind wants to start running down rabbit holes: Jonah finally responds to God’s call. Wow, Jonah’s sermon is only five words in Hebrew! The Ninevites are hearing God’s Word (“the people believed God,” v5), not just responding to Jonah.
But I need to come back to this: the people repent, and God forgives.
That’s the Word I need. As a sinner, I need to remember that as God forgave this violent people their sins, He forgives me when I repent. Whatever else the Bible teaches me about God, His saving grace and love for His people shines through. No sin is too great if I accept that my salvation is through Him.
Gracious Father, I thank You for Your Son. Through Him let me better know this bedrock truth: You love Your people and want to forgive us. Lord, settle my racing mind and calm me with this truth. Let me know this truth at a bone-deep level, and let me share it with Your people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.