God: A Father Who Loves His Children
by: Doug VanBronkhorst
Lord, the people of Nineveh are responding to Jonah’s message.
Much more than Jonah’s voice is at work. I don’t desire that any should perish, including Nineveh. I have no pleasure in anyone’s death. My warnings of judgment always come with a call to repentance and life.
Jonah didn’t say that.
No, but I did, to their hearts, and they’ve responded. Their repentance isn’t just an emotional show; they will really change their ways. This will change their city, history, and individual lives, starting with a change in my announced judgment. Jonah hates the same people I love. I know their guilt more than he does, but they bear my image and they can be redeemed. Anything they’ve done can be covered by my grace.
Jonah demands justice, punishment for those who have broken your law.
He doesn’t do that when he looks in the mirror, but even so, he’s right. My justice must be served. What Jonah refuses to consider is the possibility of another way to satisfy justice, a way centered on love. We have a plan. My grace toward the Ninevites is a preview of the way of salvation to be revealed to all people, in the fullness of time. The people of Nineveh have repented. I will spare them. Jonah should join the rejoicing in heaven.