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Jonah 1:1-16

On Sunday we started a new series in the book of Jonah, and Jonah 1:2 quickly set the theme for the book: God is the great evangelist, who cares even for Nineveh – that great and evil city in the powerful and menacing Assyrian empire – and wants them to repent.

Jonah, on receiving his command from God to preach to the Ninevites, flees in the opposite direction to Tarshish, “away from the presence of the LORD” (v3). But his god is the LORD – Yahweh – “the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (v9). He is the maker and master of everything and everyone, working them for the salvation of many. In God’s sovereignty, even as Jonah flees in the opposite direction, his flight from Nineveh is halted and pagan sailors come to fear the LORD (v16).

God is seen to be the great evangelist, who cares even for pagan sailors and even for his enemies the Ninevites, and works all things for their salvation.

Do we trust in God’s concern for the lost, and his power to act on it? Do we share his concern?

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