God’s Love and Ours

Jonah was called to go to Nineveh to preach, and after a lot of detours, he did. When he got there and began to preach, we’re told that Nineveh, by and large, the populace turned from its violence and its evil ways. Now this is a marvelous thing and we would expect great joy in Jonah’s heart. But surprise, in 4:1, we read, “But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.” Why is that? The bottom line is Jonah can’t figure out God’s love.

Jonah, like everybody, believes in love in general, but when it comes right down to it has a fatally inadequate understanding of how love actually operates, and in particular, how God’s love actually operates. In the same way, many, maybe most, of our own struggles and collapses (just like Jonah here) are due to our own inadequate understanding of how God’s love really, really operates.

Let’s look at two things that God is trying to get across to Jonah. First, God’s love is refining fire. It is life-purifying. Secondly, God’s love is a seeking fire, a seeking power, a seeking love.

This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on September 16, 1990. Series “Jonah”. Scripture: Jonah 4:1-10.

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