#DailyDevotion The LORD Relents His Wrath In Jesus
Jonah 3 The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh and preach to it what I will tell you.” 3Jonah got up and went to Nineveh as the LORD told him. Nineveh was a great city before God, a three-days’ walk. 4Jonah started to go into the city a day’s walk, and preached and said: “Forty days yet, and Nineveh will be destroyed.” 5Then the men of Nineveh believed God and announced a fast and dressed in sackcloth from the greatest to the least. When the news came to the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes…10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their wicked ways, God relented from the disaster He threatened to bring on them, and He didn’t do it.
We’re all familiar with the story of Jonah, or at least we should. People often think Jonah was alive in the belly of the big fish. This causes a lot of angst for people who don’t believe in miracles. Well I personally believe in a bigger miracle. Jonah, like Jesus in the grave, wasn’t alive, but was resurrected when thrown up by the fish, just like Jesus was resurrected from the grave. But enough of that.
Jonah is finally getting around to the task to which he had been called, preaching to Ninevah. He was to go to Ninevah, the capital city of they Assyrians, Israel’s enemy, and preach what the LORD gives him to preach. So Jonah relents and does what the LORD commands him to do. And what is that message from the LORD? “Forty days yet, and Nineveh will be destroyed.” Shortest sermon in the bible. No real gospel for these people. They have forty days to prepare to be destroyed. I guess they could have gotten out of town if they believed Jonah. It’s a pretty severe message. It wouldn’t be the first time the LORD does this. There was Sodom and Gomorrah and they didn’t get any warning.
Well what happened? The men of Ninevah believed, announced a fast, and dressed in sackcloth and ashes. Even the king believed and he proclaimed, “This is a decree of the king and his noblemen: Men and animals, cattle and sheep should eat nothing, get no food and drink no water. But every man and animal should put on sackcloth and cry mightily to God; people should turn from their wicked ways and the crimes they’re doing. Who knows, God may relent and be sorry and turn from His fury so that we’ll not perish.” I don’t know why they would have done this. They did not believe in the LORD (at least not before this). Yet we can note this, the people and the king believed Jonah’s message. Unlike Eli last week who just accepts his punishment from the LORD, the Ninevites repent. They acknowledge their sins, they turn from them and they cry out to the LORD for mercy. They have a hope the LORD won’t do this.
What does the LORD do? He relents from the disaster. You see, the LORD’s primary will towards mankind is love, mercy and kindness. If that is rejected then his secondary will kicks in and your get his wrath and punishment. Jesus is the image of God’s primary will towards you today. He was sent to die for your sins so you could repent, believe in Jesus and be saved.
Heavenly Father, grant us true repentance and faith so that we can escape your righteous wrath because of our sins and receive instead you grace, mercy, love, forgiveness and kindness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.