“…for I know that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing… Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4:2-4)
The message of Jonah is that God loves people. God loves all people!
The Book of Jonah has little to do with whales swallowing people. If you come to the book of Jonah looking for truth, you will find at the heart of this book a loving God Who values all people.
As a prophet, one of Jonah’s functions was to remove obstacles that were blocking the work of God in the world. Do you see the obstacle in Jonah’s story? Jonah’s prejudice.
As we reflect upon the prejudice of Jonah, we should ask ourselves if we have prejudice in our hearts that is blocking the love God wants to express through us to the hurting people of our world.
The love of God is a bottom line truth you find in the inspired Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. The message of Jonah is that God earnestly desires to express unconditional love and grace through God’s faithful servants.
The people of God, like you and me, are designed to be the vehicles of God’s love, grace and salvation.
When the people of God are prejudiced, the very people God designed to be channels of God’s salvation become obstacles that block the love of God in this world. If God loves Ninevites, and the people of God hate Ninevites, how can God express love and salvation for all people if God’s own people are hung up on their prejudices?
Dick Woodward, Jonah Coming & Going: True Confessions of a Prophet