So Jonah ‘s prayer is answered and he is released from the great fish’s mouth. But what was so important about the city and the people of Nineveh? Important enough to have their own personalized prophet come to them and warns them..??
1Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”
3This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.
6When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. 7Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city:
“No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. 8People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. 9Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.”
10When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.
Well you see, the city of Nineveh was a mighty big city. Mrs. White gives us a better description of what this city was like when she states “In the time of its temporal prosperity Nineveh was a center of crime and wickedness. Inspiration has characterized it as “the bloody city, … full of lies and robbery.”* (White 265)
WOW! So this is the city God wants to warn? It was so corrupt and full of sin! But in God’s great mercy and love, he sends them a warning. They sure did need a warning or else God would have destroyed them. Notice that all Jonah had to say where 8 words! With eight words, Jonah converted the entire city! The people of Nineveh were “were reaching out after something better and higher, and who, if granted opportunity to learn of the living God, would put away their evil deeds and worship Him. And so in His wisdom God revealed Himself to them in an unmistakable manner, to lead them, if possible, to repentance. “* (White 265) Jonah’s message from God was the second chance they were looking for. So when they heard those eight warning words, they knew right away it was their chance to live in harmony with the Living God.
The experience Jonah and the people of Nineveh had with God that day serves as an example of the Mercy and Love God has for His children. He cares, He loves us and is willing to give us a second chance every time we mess up. Even when we sometimes don’t follow God’s will for us, we can pray to Him and ask for forgiveness for doing things our way. With our personal relationship and experience with God we can change the lives of those around us just like what we read about Jonah. We can reaffirm that it doesn’t matter how bad your condition is, or how dark your sins are, if we come to Jesus and repent we will be forgiven and given a second chance to a new way of life. I heard many people thought 12-21-2012 was the day the world would end. But as we can see it didn’t so take this day and accept the second chance God has given you to do things right and harmonize with God. There are people out there today, waiting for a second chance and they don’t know about Jesus! Let them know that Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6). I need direction in life, I want the truth, and I want to live, do you? So why not go to Jesus…He is the one who offers all the second chances (they are free)!
May blessings from heaven come to you. Happy Sabbath to all and may the Lord be with you!
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
*Ellen G. White is a prolific writer. Texts taken from Prophets and Kings pg. 265