“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:1–2, ESV)
Yesterday, I shared how we would be taking a look at the book of Jonah this week. Jonah was called by the “word of the Lord” to go to Nineveh. Nineveh was described as a great city. But it was filled with great evil.
There are some parallels to the modern day United States. No one can argue that the United States is a great nation. It’s a superpower like Nineveh was. But at the same time, there are great evils that go unchecked.
America has a serious drug problem. There are millions of people who live in bondage to addiction. There is heroin, alcohol, and more.
Consider the violence that we see. Gun violence is in both urban and rural places. We wonder when (not if) the next mass shooting would take place.
There is the disparity of riches and poverty. Recently, Barbara and I attended an auto show in Philadelphia. There were cars that were more than $275,000 on display. We walked out of the auto show, and there were people sitting along the sidewalk in blankets asking for money and food. It is sad that such disparity exists.
Then there is the common respect for others. Listen closely to the language that is used in public. God’s name is taken in vain. It is not uncommon to hear people spoken about disparagingly. We all have stories where we have been yelled at, insulted, and derided.
But all this shows is how much people need Jesus. We live in a hurting world. The evil, the hurt, the suffering is a result of a separation from God. People are looking for hope. They are looking for answers. They are looking for deliverance.
Jesus says the fields are ripe harvest (see John 4:35). We don’t need to change people. God is already preparing their hearts. They have heard enough of the fake news and the bad news. They are ready for the good news – that is the good news of Jesus Christ. We are invited to share that good news. Will we answer the call? Or will we respond in a way similar to Jonah? More on that tomorrow.
- Why do you think there is so much evil in the world?
- How do you recognize when people are ready for the good news?
Lord, there are so many hurting people in this world. There are so many who live without the hope that you give. They live in despair and sorrow. I ask that you would open doors of opportunity that I might share your good news with others. Amen.