Lessons from Jonah
by Pastor Daryl Murata
The murder of George Floyd has evoked a myriad of emotions around the US. I personally find myself moving from one emotion to the next, ranging from apathy to despair, to loss of hope and utter sorrow. Amongst these emotions, one that I feel more frequent than I’m comfortable with is anger.
Earlier this week, we saw looters ransacking businesses with no regard for the hard-working owners. We saw men and women vandalizing buildings, tagging walls and setting fires. Shameless thieves, cruel murderers, proud lawbreakers and outright ungodly. Do you ever feel that there are people who do not deserve the blessing of a good life? Perhaps some of the people just mentioned? Do you ever feel that there are people who don’t deserve forgiveness, mercy and blessing from you or from God?
A few months ago, we preached a sermon series through the book of Jonah. Jonah was called by God to share the message of repentance and salvation to the people of Nineveh. But Jonah didn’t want to go because he felt that they didn’t deserve God’s blessing. The people of Nineveh were shameless thieves, cruel murderers, proud lawbreakers and ungodly. They brought anger to Jonah’s heart because he felt they were undeserving of his time and undeserving of God’s mercy. Jonah wanted the people of Nineveh to suffer the just consequences of sin and to be rightfully judged. But God showed kindness and was ready to forgive their repentant hearts. The people of Nineveh mattered to God.
Derek Chauvin and his partners need God’s mercy. The looters need God’s mercy. Whoever shot and killed on duty and off duty police officers need God’s mercy. Yes, they need to brought to justice, but they also need God’s mercy of repentance. God desires for all to come to repentance and faith. All lives matter to Him. God has loved all lives so deeply that He sent His only Son to enter into the fallenness and brokenness of this sinful world, to suffer and endure the worst form of injustice on the cross. He did this to make a way for all who would trust in Him to be right with God. If all lives matter to God, so should our attitude be as well. Let’s pray for the lawbreakers and thieves and murderers, that they might have a life-changing encounter with God and find hope in Him.