Jonah 3:9-10 (NIV) “Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.”
Judah and Israel were a nation of wickedness. They had invented ways of doing evil. They were masters at torture and brutal treatment of others. If there was a nation that should have been destroyed, it was theirs. No concern for the things of God, no delight for righteousness or holiness. God sent a prophet to them to give them his final word.
“Forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown!”
There was no word of grace or hope mixed with the news of impending judgment. The only thing that the Ninevites had to look forward to was an absolute judgment that was justly due to them. This news was delivered by a prophet of God, and prophets of God are never wrong.
With no hope and no promise from God but absolute judgment, the king did what no one else even thought was possible. He called for a time of repentance with prayer and fasting. His command called for the fasting of not just man but beasts as well.
There was never a time like this when an evil city had repented with no guarantee of forgiveness. No one knew the outcome, but the king commanded repentance anyway.
Consider what happened as a result of the king’s command. A city of more than half a million repented and was spared judgment. Take a good look at our nation. Politicians are liars and immoral. They steal money from others through immoral taxation, and they misrepresent the truth so they can do their own thing. Even those two lead the churches are often bankrupt morally and spiritually.
Families are in crisis, crime is rising, unemployment is going through the roof. Anarchy is about to explode in our land. We murder innocent babies to the tune of 1.5 million a year. We set criminals free, and we arrest law-abiding citizens. Images to Satan are filling our capital buildings, and truth has fallen into the streets. Is there hope for America again?
If God spared the city of Nineveh when she repented in sackcloth and asked and prayer and fasting, then yes, there is hope for our nation. If God’s people will humble themselves and pray and seek his face through prayer and fasting and repentance, perhaps He will turn our country around once more.
Let us heed the call to repentance and fasting for the sake of God’s glory in our nation and in our churches.