God’s Instruction renewed
Now when God’s servant Jonah (our
runaway), repented from his unwillingness, after literally facing death, face to face. He barely escapes from Hades, from a watery grave. When he chose to heed the Lord’s original instructions, he is restored. Then the Lord recommissions him.
This time he decides to act on the Lord’s word. He walks through the city, proclaiming God’s judgement, o’er their sin. Then he still sits on the outside of the city, to see their destruction.
Unknown to him, the word reaches the king’s ears. Who decides to call a day of fasting and repentance. Talk of revival, restoration, healing, deliverance. Repentant he leads them to turn. All the people believed, that somehow the Lord, may still show grace, mercy and salvation.
Here in we find the difference between Abraham, interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah; whom refused to repent (see Gen 19) at Abraham’s prayer. Although there was a witness. Sodom and Gomorrah, refused to repent. Instead their hearts had been hardened, because they preferred their wickedness, over running to God. Rather they ran to do wickedly against the angelic visitors of Lot.
When Lot tried to keep them from doing evil, they meant to do him and the angels harm. The Lord then blinded their eyes. Thus the Lord protected Lot and his house from this great evil, commanding him to take his whole house out of harms way. When Lot and his family was safe. Fire and brimstone fell from heaven, upon these two, twin, evil, wicked, cities, bringing destruction upon them.
Yet when Nineveh; heard of the coming destruction, judgement upon them and their wickedness.
- They readily repented,
- Called out to God for grace and mercy,
- Believing there remained a possibility, no matter how slight, of God showing mercy.
- Believed God, may relent, of the coming judgement
- God saw their turning
- Showed them His mercy
- Had been gracious & forgiving
- Stayed His judgement
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet 3:9 NKJ)
Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish. (Jonah 3:9 NKJ)
_ _ _ when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (Ezek 18:27-28 NKJ)
_ _ _ “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die. o house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, ” says the Lord God; “Therefore turn and live.” (Ezek 18: 30b – 32 NKJ)
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days, and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give them.” (Deut 30: 19 – 20 NKJ)
“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth., and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh 24 :14 -15 NKJ)
“Return, you backsliding children,” says the Lord; “For I am to you._ _ _ ” (Jer 3:14 NKJ)
“Return, you backsliding children. And I will heal your backslidings”
“Indeed we do come to You, for You are the Lord our God. Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, And from the multitudes of mountains; Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.” (Jer 3: 22 -23 NKJ)
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you. (Hos 10:12 NKJ)
- A Meditation on Sin’s Effects and God’s Mercy in the Story of Jonah (adw.org)
- Notes on Jonah 4:1-11 (stjoeofoblog.wordpress.com)