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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Pelichowski

September 2023 (Jonah - Stubborn Prophet, Patient God)

FBC Gallatin,

In a fallen world, we often look outside of ourselves at everything else that is blowing up metaphorically and creating all kinds of problems. However, in a fallen world, we are included in the problem. And as we will be continuing to see in our Jonah series, the problem isn’t just the outside enemies of God represented by Nineveh, but the problem is also believers failing to get on the same page as their God!

Yes, Nineveh was a wicked city, but Jonah said no and quit on God. Yes, Nineveh didn’t deserve the mercy of God, but neither did Jonah, and neither do we! That is why we call is mercy and grace! It’s undeserved given by our gracious God for our good! When we forget God’s kind mercy and our great need, we start to act like Jonah and tell God no. We act like Jonah and harden our hearts towards our enemies who also need God’s mercy.

Are you hardening your heart towards God? Have you failed to listen and obey his calling on your life in a variety of areas? Are there areas of the Bible that you simply ignore and disregard? Have you grown cold to the lost around you? If so, there’s good news we will be seeing in the book of Jonah! If you are God’s child, though you may flee him during times and seasons of your life, he will not flee you! He will pursue you and redirect you and continue to reveal his mercy and grace to you if you are his child!

How do I know that? The account of Jonah himself reveals exactly this great reality. As we will be seeing, we have a stubborn prophet, but thankfully he is met with a patient God who pursues him, who teaches him, and who even uses this stubborn prophet to fulfill his plan! Dear Christian, don’t run from God, but if you do, and you are genuine, he will pursue you and your fleeing won’t last forever because by God’s grace he tracks down his sheep and even redirects and uses them to fulfill his purposes.

Now this doesn’t mean that we should take advantage of God’s kindness to us and simply conclude that we will just go the other way to our version of “Tarshish” because after all, he will pursue us right? Well, if you have that heart, you may be revealing that maybe you are not God’s child because we will not use the grace of God as a license for immorality. And if we are ever drawn to that the answer for us is to repent, not use it as an excuse. But the reality is, God will use you according to his purposes whether you are always fully aligned with what he is doing or not.

So in conclusion, we all better just seek to learn the lesson of Jonah and trust God and his plan instead of trying to fight it like Jonah did time and time again. But most of all, I think we need to praise the God of Unexpected Mercy as our series title goes and realize that if it weren’t for his undeserved and unexpected mercy in our lives, we would still be lost and on our way to Hell. Praise God for his mercy and Grace! And in all things: Soli Deo Gloria!


Pastor Daniel Pelichowski

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