October 15, 2023

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you. (Psalm 139:7–12)

Surely the prophet Jonah knew this Psalm and the truth that you can’t escape God. But it didn’t stop him from trying. He hated the wicked Assyrians in Nineveh and as far as it depended upon him, he would never play a part in God showing mercy to pagans.

But God had other plans and purposes… for Jonah, for Nineveh, and for a shipload of pagan Phoenician sailors who get caught in the middle of Jonah’s attempt to flee the presence of the LORD. And He will accomplish all His purposes (Isaiah 46:10).

It’s a dramatic chapter of Jonah’s story with lessons for us about the foolishness and futility of rebelling against God. We’ll see the incredible patience and amazing sovereign grace of God who pursues sinners. And by contrast with Jonah, it magnifies the glory of Jesus our Savior who, when the Father said, “Arise, go” went joyfully.

This Sunday Kenny Clark will be preaching Jonah 1:4-17a and Walt Harrah will be leading our sung worship. Please pray for each as they prepare. And to prepare your own heart for Sunday, would you make time to read this exciting story and pray.

Pray that God would call any who are presently running from Him (is that you?) to repent and draw near to him.

Pray that God would comfort and encourage those whose hearts are grieved over loved ones who are presently running from Him, that he is patient and mighty to save.

Pray that God would expose any double standards in our hearts that might love his grace toward us but resent that He extends it to others. (Who is your Nineveh?)

Pray that God would make us willing and eager to “arise and go” with the good news of great joy to those to whom He wants to send us.

See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!

Song Link of the Week

Come Unto Jesus by Keith and Kristyn Getty, with Laura Story and Jordan Kauflin

Come now and follow Him, this life forsaking
All that was gain, count as nothing but loss
Trade all this world for His kingdom unfading
Come unto Jesus, take up your cross
Come unto Jesus, take up your cross
Life everlasting He offers to us