In Jonah chapter 3 we hear of Godâ€™s call to Jonah â€“ take two. He is graciously given a second opportunity to obey Godâ€™s call to preach to Nineveh resulting in the remarkable conversion of this corrupt and violent city. In Jonah 4:1 we discover deflation instead of elation: rather than being overjoyed at the remarkable conversion of a godless city we find Jonah angry and depressed. He cannot stomach mercy being shown to a repentant Nineveh. This recipient of Godâ€™s unexpected grace complains bitterly when others are shown similar kindness. This is what happens when prior loyalties and hidden fears hold sway in our hearts rather than the compassion that God feels for those who deserve His judgement, no matter who they or what threat they may represent to our own peace and comfort! It is good to be reminded that we do not have a monopoly on Godâ€™s universal love. How easy is it to be scandalised by God's grace when our scruples and prejudices are offended!
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.