Repent, Change Course!

“So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”

Jonah 3:3-5

We once went on a hike around Deems Hill with our pastor and his wife and the weather was just about perfect. The sun was setting and we were able to get a beautiful view of it as we neared the top of a hill. We decided we had better get a move on as we did not have much light left and we were about 35 minutes out from where we were parked. As we worked our way down the hill, we ran into several people who were on the same journey trying to make it down before it got dark. As we neared the end of our path, we heard loud rattling sounds coming from a bush nearby. We knew the sound well, and we saw the noisy rattlesnake warning us not to get too close to his domain. The others backed off the trail a little bit to make room, but I went completely to the other side of the trail as I was quite fearful.

We continued walking when we heard some more rattlers on the other side, so we thought it best to pick up the pace and get to the car as fast as we could. As we approached the end of the trail, we saw a man who was biking uphill on the far side of the trail where we had heard and seen the rattlesnakes. We tried to stop him and warn him of the rattlesnakes, but he waved us off and peddled on, ignoring our warnings. He was struggling going up the hill, and I believe he just did not want to be bothered as he was laboring pretty hard. I am not sure what happened to the guy on the bike, but I presume he was okay as I did not hear any loud noises or cries for help. If he knew the danger that was in front of him, he might not have been so careless in ignoring our warning.

In contrast to this biker, the people of Ninevah listened to one of the shortest messages ever given and took it to heart. Jonah did not have an elaborate outline or engaging stories, but he simply stated, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The message was not complicated, but it was to the point and warned the people of Nineveh the danger that they were going to face in a short period of time. the Bible does not mention that the people of Nineveh asked a lot of questions, but they simply took God at His word and repented of their sin. The youngest to the oldest Ninevite took heed to God’s Word as they fasted and mourned over their sin. They did not take the warning lightly and they certainly did not wave away Jonah as he proclaimed the judgement of God. The warning was heard and heeded to, and not a second was wasted mulling over whether or not they would obey the Word of God.

Where are you today friend? Do you question God, or do you obey and take Him at His word? Have you heeded the warnings He has given you, or do you wave Him off because you are too busy with life? Judgement will come in our lives if we do not heed the warnings against sin, and we must follow the people of Nineveh’s example and be sorrowful over our sin, and not just sorry because we got caught. Will you take care of business with God today? Will you take His Word to heart and make the changes that He has commanded you to make? May we have a repentant heart like the people of Nineveh, and may today be the day we change course.

Stay in the Fight!

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