Listen to the faith of Nineveh

Listen to the faith of Nineveh

Jonah 3

5 ) 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.

6) For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

7) And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

8) But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

9) Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10) And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Now the first thing to notice is that the city of Ninevehdid not just jump straight to works but the scripture says they believed first, meaning that because they feared the message of Jonah warning them that “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”, that is what persuaded them to have faith in God. But it was not accompanied by faith only for as it is written “faith without works is dead”. No as a matter of fact they acted on their newly found faith in God by fasting and an extreme fast with no water or food, from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, nor did the king just sit on his throne, but he also humbled himself before the Almighty God. And by faith, because of their faith everyone was inclined to “turned from their evil way”.

Now think about it, if Jonah had came preaching that same message to Nineveh and they believed in God, BUT they did not turn from their evil ways and did not humble themselves to the Lord, would Nineveh still have been standing, No, but as a matter of fact the declaration Jonah made would have been fulfilled because God would have seen their works and would have seen no change, and if they had no change, then why would God have repented of the evil that He proclaimed by the mouth of Jonah, even though they had faith and believed that he was?

My friends, faith without works is dead just like if Nineveh would have been dead and left to destruction if they had not shown works by their faith. True faith always produces works. It is that slothful, I think I can please God my own way and still stay in my evil ways and not have true repentance type of attitude that leads people to destruction and coasting on the broad path to death spiritually.

Did you notice that after seeing the destruction approaching fast, within days, that Nineveh repented of its evil ways, not thinking that it could stay in them any longer, lest they displeased God and is wrath were to come upon them? Did you notice that Nineveh did not stay in the same spiritual condition as it was prior to belief, but rather shifted into a new direction, one where the old works of evil and iniquity were put away? That all of this transformation was caused because Nineveh feared God and had faith, but not only had faith but acted on it? One can have faith in God all they want, believing that He is and that He lives but unless there is a change of direction in one’s life, a shift toward a life better pleasing to God, A life where one seeks God continually in their daily life, then that are in the same boat as Nineveh was in before they heard Jonah speak saying “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”, unrepented and dead spiritually toward God.
Excellent post Cooper25!

Often the redemption of Nineveh is lost in the Big fish story of Jonah. This story also refutes the claim that there was no means of salvation to gentiles, prior to the death of Christ. Jesus also stated that gentiles would rise in judgement of many:

Matthew 12
41. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
42. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

:israel:This country needs a bailout plan simular to that provided to Nineveh.

Good Day and God Bless
The really important message of Jonah is "are our values distorted as Jonah's were". He had been marvellously rescued by God from the great fish. He had preached and a whole city was saved (although in 612 BC it was destroyed). But he had such a high opinion of himself that he was cross with God for saving the people of Ninevah. He had proclaimed its destruction, but his prophecy had not been fulfilled.

We must ask ourselves about our own view on God's grace.

How would we feel if we had prophecied what God had truly said to us and then God overruled and we felt foolish because our prophecy hadn't been fulfilled.

Do we ever resent God's goodness to those who hold different views (even religious ones) to us.

Jonah goes off out of the city, expecting fire and brimstone to rain down from heaven, but it doesn't happen. God does, however, provide him with a plant to give him some shade, but it withers and Jonah goes into a mega sulk that he even wished to die. Real overkill!!

So God teaches him that if he could have such deep feeling about a plant, should God not care for a whole city and its animals (I noted that particularly).

Our Lord Jesus taught us to Love even our enemies (Luke 6:27-36). And not only to love them but to do positive good to them and pray for them "because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (v.36)

You are so right Illinijag. There are great lessons to be learned from the book of Jonah, but they are often lost in the story of the great fish.

God bless us all as we learn together.