Jonah 3:9 “Who knows? God my turn and relent and turn away from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”
The king of Nineveh and Jonah the prophet had visions of the same results with different hopes in the outcome. The king foresaw the benefit of repentance and godly sorry while Jonah viewed such an outcome as disastrous. Either way they show that the possibility of God’s changing course of action is great when accompanied with a change in behavior. It is definitely something to keep in mind if you are a sinner.
Nineveh was definitely a city of sinners, from the top to the bottom. There were, however, a large number of people in Nineveh who were unaware of their rightness and wrongness. There were also animals who were innocent. God cares about the innocent, man and beast. Would God change His mind and save a large city like Houston or Los Angeles? Nineveh proves He would. Would we rejoice if those cities and others around the world repented and turned to righteousness? I would hope so.
Why was Jonah so angry when God relented at the city’s repentance? Did Jonah forget his own repentance just a few days earlier? What is our attitude when a vile person is saved? How do we feel when the rapist or murderer is repentant and God forgives them. Do we want them back on our streets? Do we become angry like Jonah? Jonah knew God was gracious and merciful and he was angry when it was turned to someone besides him.
Task for Today: Do you seek forgiveness for your sins? Are you confident that God will forgive you if you truly repent? How do you feel about Him forgiving others whose sins are “worse” than yours? How do you know they are worse in God’s sight? Think about that today. Is there such a thing as a “little” sin?