Jonah Running With God
Introduction: Christianity is a noun, but ALSO a verb.
It's a DOING word. It's a DOING EXPERIENCE.
Someone in Africa said "If you are finding your Christianity easy it's because.....You aren't doing it right!" Jonah got another chance to do what God called him to do.
A. What Jonah did with his Recommissioning
Our God is the God of the second chance. Abraham, Jacob, Moses....they all have second chance stories. That is what GRACE is all about. Note: The point of the second chance is to go back and do what God called you to in the first place...to do His will for your life.
The God of the second chance may ask of you to be going the second mile.
"3. Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it." That means three days to walk from one side to the other. Jonah came proclaiming God's judgment...a doom and gloom message.
B. What Sinners did with Jonah's Reproach
The extent of your remorse marks the extent of your repentance. No matter how bad the news is concerning your sins - remorse makes an impression of the heart of God. At least for now, there was a change of heart.
Humility is the right response to a reproach from God. Not excuse making.
"6. When Jonah's warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust." You know you have the makings of real national repentance when the rulers humble themselves as well.
2012: President Museveni celebrated Uganda's 5j0th anniversary of independence from Britain by publicly repenting of his personal sin and the sins of the nation.
If you cannot trust God NOT to be merciful then there is power in the next verse:
"9. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from His fierce anger so that we will not perish." You don't have to know all about Him to trust in His mercy.
C. What God Did In Response To Nineveh's Repentance
He sees the repentant heart. He sees the desire to leave sins behind. You cannot trust God NOT to be merciful - and so we read two blessed words: He relented....and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
The story is long since over. Prophets still warn of judgment. God still forgives.
You cannot trust God NOT to be merciful!