Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jonah: Repentance

Jonah 3:5-9 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news 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. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."

Well, the results of Jonah's jaunt are clear here. The Ninevites truly believed what Jonah was saying and knew that God would do what He said He would do. The king hears this and puts a plan into action. Tells everyone to repent and stop acting so bad - can you imagine if the president of the United States would do that? The king laid down some specific decrees and in hopes that God would forgive them and not destroy them.

Two things here: One, the importance of a leader who does the right thing and follows through. So often today - even in the church - there are people who are not willing to admit they are wrong. All it does is make things worse for those that are under them (can you imagine what would have happened to the Ninevites had the king not humbled himself and made a change). As someone in authority - it is important that we realize that we are never the final say in anything we do. No matter how high up the chain you go - you are still under the final authority of God. If what you're doing does not coincide with God's Word - you have an obligation to get it right with God before you can continue to be effective as a leader.

Two: As was mentioned in yesterday's blog - the expected time to get word to all the Ninevites was three days. It only took One. Before Jonah gets to day two, the city is in a state of repentance.

If you need to get something right with God, it shouldn't take a length of time. The moment you realize you're out of line with God, you should be working to get back in line. The king knew how serious the situation was and got word to everyone as fast as he could. Maybe we can follow his example. . .

1 wonderful insights:

Kay Martin said...

The repentance of the entire city is amazing. As I read your words I imagine my city...what would it be like if all of us were simultaneously repentant. Yes, Jonah finally did the right time. But, when I think about it; I have to believe he was doing the main thing: submitting to God. The Holy spirit was not blocked by him any longer. The glory is God's. I ask daily for God to use me, but first I ask not to be in His way. I fear much of church work could be hindering the true heart of God. I have a heart for pastors and leaders. I don't know how anyone can address all they face; but I know God has a perfect way through all of it.