Updated: Apr 15, 2020
4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The 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. 10 When 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. (Jonah 3:4-5, 10)
I grew up on the book of Jonah, as many of you have. The story about Jonah and the whale was, and still is, a Sunday School favorite! You know the story: God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to warn the people of His destruction because of their sin. Jonah was like "nah Imma head out" because he knew how crazy Nineveh was, so he tried to run away from God. Jonah must have forgotten that God was omnipresent because God still found him on the boat going to Tarshish. Jonah was thrown from the boat and was swallowed by a big fish.
We all know the story!
But what I find is that we focus so much on Jonah & the fish, that we miss what this is saying about God and how we should respond to His pursuit of us. Not just His pursuit Jonah, because God chased him down! But, also the people of Nineveh.
Nineveh was a sinful nation. A nation that cared nothing about God, yet He had them on His mind. He loved the people of Nineveh so much! He didn't want to destroy them, so He gave them the opportunity to get it right by sending a warning through Jonah. Though many things tried to get in the way, including Jonah's feelings, God would not let that stop his pursuit of this nation. And you know what, the people gave God a response. How did they respond?
Repentance. That dreaded "R" word that people hate lol. But there was so much power in their response! I mean their response caught God's attention! The people chose to turn from their sins to embrace a God who loved them so much. Verse 6 tells us that even the king repented! The most powerful being in the nation striped himself of his robe and joined the people. He lowered his pride and turned to the One greater than himself. Could you imagine that happening within our nation?!
With all that is going on in our world with COVID-19, I can't help but see us as Nineveh. I truly believe that God wants our attention. He's giving messages through His prophets to give warning. Perhaps our deliverance is in our response. Not just a verbal response, but the true act of repentance. Just like the people of Nineveh, I believe we will get through these times if we turn & seek His face!
God loves us, y'all. We are His creation and He wants to be with us. He is giving us this opportunity now & may we take advantage of it. No matter where you are in your relationship with Him, He's calling all of us to a deeper place of consecration. Let us pray for our nation & for our world. That revival would take place & the Lord would come heal our land. May we seek Him with urgency like never before. May we respond to His pursuit while it is still day.
If you have read this & you would like to receive the Lord as your Savior, pray this prayer with me:
God, I thank you for who You are and all that You are. I humbly submit my life to you. I confess that You are Lord and salvation is in Your name, Jesus. Clean my heart and make Your home within me. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I confess that I need You. I thank you that I am a new creature in You. I thank You that the old has passed away and all things are new. I thank You that I am Your child and Your Spirit is with me always. Thank You Father for healing, wholeness and restoration in every area of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen. If you prayed this prayer of faith and believe in your heart, you are saved! Welcome home! If you made the decision to follow Christ for the first time, or if you re-dedicated your life to Him, I want to know! Please send an email or DM on Instagram & we will rejoice with the angels together!