Most days Jerry leisurely munched on grass in the pasture doing what he pleased. But occasionally I would go into the pasture to catch him, bring him to the barn, and saddle him for a ride. But as I would approach him with a rope and bucket of grain, he often would wheel around and run the other way.
A cowboy wants the heart of his horse, not nag or a stubborn mule. A parent wants the heart of his or her child, not a rebellious renegade. God wants your heart and my heart, but we often run the opposite direction.
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh.
“But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.”
Jonah 1:3 ESV
Nineveh was about 550 miles to the northeast. But Jonah got a ship to Tarshish, 2500 miles to the west! He went to a lot of trouble and paid a lot of money to run from God.
God’s relentless grace pursues you and me. God pursued the hearts of the people of Nineveh. God wanted Jonah’s heart so he would tell the Ninevites that God was pursuing them. But Jonah wheeled around and ran the other way.
Really? Can anyone actually run from God? God is all knowing, all seeing, and present everywhere. Doesn’t it sound silly that someone would think they could escape from God’s presence? But I have tried. I am guessing you have too.
I can understand why Jonah went the other way! The people of Nineveh, which is today Mosul, Iraq, were the ISIS of their day. They were cruel people who tortured their enemies for sport. They were totally undeserving of God’s relentless grace, but God wanted to gift them with His grace anyway. So God sent Jonah to tell them.
Maybe you believe in God yet are refusing to go for Him. Or perhaps you have done so much bad that you think you are out of God’s reach. Whether you are like a Jonah or a Ninevite, God is still relentlessly pursuing you with His grace!
God has gone to great lengths to send His Son Jesus to die for you so you can know His relentless grace. God is pursing you. Please come to know Him through Jesus Christ.
Go to BalboaBaptist.Church, click “Media” for recorded messages. Please worship with us this Sunday at 9am and the beginning of a series of messages on “Jonah: God’s Relentless Grace.”