26/6/11 Jonah 1-4; 2 Timothy 2
S: Jonah 3:4b “In forty days, Nineveh shall be destroyed!” Jonah 3:9 “Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?” Jonah 4:2 “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.”
O: God did not say that “Unless they repent, Nineveh shall be destroyed.” Yet, even the Ninevites, let alone Jonah, knew that it was implicit that repentance was possible.
That's why Jonah ran the opposite direction when God told him to proclaim that message of doom in Nineveh. He hated the Ninevites and wanted them to be destroyed rather than saved. Yet God is “One who relents from doing harm.”
A: What is our attitude towards our godless enemies? The natural thing is to want God to judge them and destroy them.
I feel that a lot when I consider the people in power who do evil things. Yet, while we were still enemies of God, God loved us and sent His Son to die for us.
He calls us to that same kind of love. Yes, we are to defend the defenseless and should oppose dictators and other people in authority who do evil.
However, God would prefer not to destroy them but to see them repent and turn to Him.
P: Father, even as I fight for democracy, truth, righteousness and good governance, help me to keep Your perspective on these corrupt government authorities – they are not our enemy, but rather victims of our Enemy, and You desire their salvation rather than destruction.