Not the Whole Story
Rejoice that God describes you as his precious child whom he has known since before birth (Psa. 139:13-16). Then, praise him!
Read JONAH 3:1-10
 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:  “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”  Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city-a visit required three days.  On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”  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.”  When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did the Ninevites react to Jonah's message?
This chapter is the perfect story of Nineveh’s warning and repentance, and God’s response. It is a beautiful picture framed by the rest of this book. Did the people of Nineveh think Jonah was a stainless spiritual superhero? We know that the wider story and God’s powerful work through Jonah is often forgotten in the story of his failure. God uses whatever acts of obedience and faith we can manage in order to bring his power and glory to the world, whether others see it or not.
God’s concern for Nineveh, and his powerful rescue and restoration of Jonah, reveal his deep love for his creation, including us. But the good news for us when we have failed God is in v. 1. God is a God of gracious second chances. No matter how many times we have rebelled or failed him in the past, he knows our whole story and has plans to use us if we are willing. Sometimes we need sharp warnings from God to wake us up to what we are doing wrong, just as Jesus warned the Scribes and Pharisees. But these are words of discipline to draw us even closer to him (Heb. 12:5-7).
Ask God to go through your whole life and help you be obedient in every part.
I thank You, Gracious Lord, that You are a God of second chances. Still, I want to get it right with You the first time!
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