You never know, it could happen

In verse 3 it says that the Ninevites believed God…but Jonah didn’t. We see this later on but it shows that even when you’re obedient you can still be found in disobedience.
BUT when you are obedient there is an anointing that goes with that and accomplishes that which God anted – the redemption of Ninevah. SO even if YOU don’t completely believe God to do what He says but you’re obedient anyway, the task is going to be anointed and completed with results that you didn’t even think of!
v. 5-6 “The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Ninevah, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.”
If we just look at these two verses the results are HUGE! It says all of them – revival swept through the entire city of Ninevah. The poor, the middle class, the higher tax bracket, the rich until it reached the president and his cabinet (to put into modern terms).
[I think sometimes we don’t get the full picture because we can’t relate to the time period’s caste system so I try and put it into terms people can relate to.]
So they all believed God and started fasting – everyone went on a serious diet whether they needed to or not because they were so sick over the news.
This past week a dear friend of mine went through a emotional and relational trauma and got so sick over it she couldn’t eat – that’s what was going on with everyone. Now me, I’m the opposite. When I get emotionally ill, I eat. Last week I allowed the enemy to overwhelm me at work – I’ve since stopped that – but I was stressed and frantic. One of my co-workers had brought in a pie she made and I promptly got a piece…and then another piece later on during the day. The doctor I work for came in and said “Mary is stressed out.” And I said “I’M STRESSED OUT! But I have pie…maybe Mary could use some pie.”
So they were so sick over their death sentence that they couldn’t eat but not only that! (Isn’t God good in that there is always more when He comes in and changes your life? It isn’t just one area that is affected – it’s the whole thing!) They went out and put on sackcloth! The rich and the poor dressed alike in that they humbled themselves completely! The rich gave up their fine clothes and jewelry and poise and become like everyone else. The poor and middle class humbled themselves even more that they already were.
God radically changed their lives, all their lives, and all parts of their lives – they listened to God and let God come in and change their lives.
Let God come in and radically change your life – change the way you view yourself (meaning get rid of your pride), the way you present yourself to other people, the way you live your life down to what you eat. Don’t fight God about the change He so emphatically wants to bring about in your life!
So this transformation went all the way up to Ninevah’s president who did just as everyone else in his city – tore his nice, expensive Italian suit, covered himself in sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
He knew it was futile to try and fight God or act like God wouldn’t make good on His word – like we said before, the sailors knew who God was. People know the true God! Not the imperfect presentation we give, but the holy and awe-inspiring reality of God that we cannot wrap our finite and human minds around.
But his transformation had a little more impact that the others in that he was able to issue a proclamation – stay obedient to the Lord and you never know who will be changed and what they have the power to do with their transformation!
v.7-9 “By the decree of the king and his nobles (notice not just the KING, but his princes/cabinet as well): Do not let the people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 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. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
He was so transformed he wanted everyone to know about it and to change everything in their lives! He didn’t even want to leave the animals with repentance. He wanted to make sure every area – every area! – was covered by repentance. Are we as serious about a transformation that comes from God?
Are you desperate for a change from God? I am – I don’t want to continue to be the same, do you?
Do you want to get rid of all the evil ways and violence in your life? Do you want to make sure every part of your life is covered by the change from God?
Stay desperate for God, for his holy presence to come in and get rid of the sin in your life. Continue to call urgently on the Lord for his presence, his compassion, and seek His face.

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