Dear Presby: Intervention In Repentance

“Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” Jonah 3:9

As we left off last Sunday, after three days in the sour belly of a fish, Jonah is vomited onto dry land. God gave him a second chance. Then God calls Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh about a second chance. This time, however, Jonah obeys and he begins to preach.

But did you ever stop to think that this seems like an odd sermon? “Judgment!” We don’t find words of hope, no offer of forgiveness, no call for repentance. Isn’t it odd that the same Jonah who has tasted God’s grace now has no grace to offer Nineveh?

Still, in spite of Jonah’s lack of effort, God was moving and the entire city repents! Everyone, from the children playing in the streets to the king in the palace, repents of their sin and pleads for God’s mercy. And just as God relented with Jonah, God relented with the people of Nineveh. The Word of God and His compassion shone through.

As we will see together this week, our God is a God of second chances! God intervened for us through Jesus Christ! And when we ask for forgiveness, repent and, put our trust in Jesus, and turn to God, God withholds the judgment that is rightfully ours. That is unmerited grace; and that good news should both bring us joy as well as change our attitude towards others.

I look forward to seeing you in person or online as we unpack and reflect on these beautiful truths.

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Aaron

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