Hosea 4-5; 2 Kings 14:24-29, 15:8-12,13-16; Jonah
The book of Jonah is really two stories in one. The first is about our God who loves the world. It’s about a God who does not want anyone dying without Him, who wants all people everywhere to be saved, even those we might think are unworthy or beyond hope. It’s a story about our amazing God who goes to great lengths to draw all of us to Him, a story about God who forgives the sin of anyone who repents.
The second story is about our God who loves me. You. Jonah. Every one of His children. It’s about a God who doesn’t ignore our sins, who doesn’t throw a blanket of forgiveness over us once we come to Him. It’s about our loving God who patiently reveals our sins to us, so that we can repent and have fellowship with Him restored. We might try to run from God, to try to do something “Christian” even though we know He’s asking us to do something else. We might sleep while we should be praying. We might pout, or complain. But God is there, whispering truth in our ears, patiently waiting for each of us to swallow our pride, and run into His open arms.
The book of Jonah is about God who loves the world, and who loves individuals like you and me. Every time I think of John 3:16 I know I can substitute my name in there. Yes, it’s true that God so loved the world. But it is also true that God so loved Connie that He gave His Son Jesus to die in my place.
God so loved the world… and we are the world!