The biblical book of Jonah is a story of grace. God shows His graciousness in so many ways:
1. calling Jonah to be His prophet even though He knew Jonah would run from His assignment
2. saving the sailors in the boat where Jonah slept even though the sailors worshiped other gods
3. turning from His promise to destroy the Ninevites because they repented
4. giving Jonah the gift of some shade through a plant even though his attitude was horrible.
In Tullian Tchividjian’s book, Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels, he talks about three specific ways God reveals His grace after Jonah runs away and proves himself an unfaithful prophet.
1. God doesn’t hold grudges. Even though Jonah doesn’t confess to any wrongdoing, “God doesn’t remind Jonah of his past failings. His words carry no rebuke.” (pg 86).
2. God “doesn’t lighten the load for Jonah this second time around….God’s grace isn’t seen in the lessening of his demands toward us; he always has and always will demand perfect obedience. His grace is experienced when we come to realize that his perfect demands for each of us have already been met by Jesus.” (pg. 88).
3. God doesn’t give up. “God is more interested in the worker than he is in the work the worker does. He’s more interested in you than in what you can accomplish. If accomplishing Project Ninevah was all God cared about, he could have discarded Jonah and found a more reliable prophet. He knew Jonah would run; so why did he ask Jonah to go in the first place? It was because Jonah was God’s project.” (pg. 89).
Have you read the book of Jonah lately? Try reading it again with the theme of grace. You’ll find a lot to encourage you in knowing God’s grace.