The LORD… should He not?

November 25, 2008

…”And should not I pity Ninevah, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know there right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

The book of Jonah ends with this rhetorical question. God asks Jonah, and He also asks the reader. The open-endedness forces us to answer the question. Are we too, like Jonah, going to be so consumed in God’s goodness to us that we are oblivious or indifferent to the fact that God’s goodness is to be tasted by those from all the nations? From all peoples?

The question that God asks is not to be filed under the “Foreign Missions” section in our brains. God asks this question about people we encounter everyday… the coworker that is hard to work with, the person you commonly pass by on the street that looks a little different than you, the kid who you just don’t feel like talking to right now.

Should He not pity? Should He not show mercy?


2 Responses to “The LORD… should He not?”

  1. Steven said

    Amen. I lose sight of that when I’m frustrated with bad drivers, hear of the horrible things being done on the news, and am reminded of the general depravity of man. But God is THAT good that he wants to and does show mercy and pity mankind. In common grace, which is no small thing, and saving grace, an incredible miracle.

  2. Jonathan P said

    “In common grace, which is no small thing, and saving grace, an incredible miracle.”

    You are exactly right, and I think the writer of this story has both in mine. Saving grace because the people repented and trusted in the Lord, common grace because God mentions they had a lot of cows. So even the livestock benefits from the Lord’s miraculous grace towards this sinful people. There is an overlap of saving and common grace… saving grace has ramifications that positively affect the non-elect. Does the saving/common understanding have something to say about the universal scope of the atonement?

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