Bottles from the Springs 7/7/19 A Word reluctantly spoken?... 3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When Jonah’s warning 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. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Our story so far... Ryan Recapped: Jonah fled from proclaiming God's message to the Ninevite Nazis, on the way down to Tarshish, Sailors were converted and even from down below in the belly of the beast, in his lowest place, Jonah offered up confession and praise. Now thrown up on shore, Jonah begins again in the right direction and still has 400 miles to walk! 21 days by foot or 11 days by camel-who knows! By the time Jonah arrives to follow God's directives maybe he has lost heart, lost focus, he goes up into Nineveh with just 5 words in the original message. Compare and contrast the message by Nahum against Nineveh! Much more doom and gloom! Yet this is the message that worked! Nineveh is one of the book's great things-”that great city”-it took Jonah 3 days to walk all the way through and he only walked a third of the way in before he unloaded God's message. But the Assyrians did nothing by halves, so “Great” was the repentance! They all repented even put on funeral clothes, even on the animals! As Ryan said, even the Goats were wearing Goat skins! So what does it mean then that God repents and brings about a different future? It means that if humans change, if humans choose differently, choose God's way, then God will also “mirror” their change of heart and bring Grace instead of destruction! Mercy in the place of judgment! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son....For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but so that the world might be saved!” Don't miss God's Great Spirit, His great heart!
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