“Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?/ 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.(vv.9-10)
The Book of Jonah serves us a valuable lesson and it is to know Him as He is. He is the God of Mercy. “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust(Ps.103:14)”. A city is made by man and surely fame of it is vanity as the jumble of human strengths and weakness would make when thrown together without much cohesion. Do inner cities match their prime upmarket sections?
Here is a piece of news I came across today:” There are no surviving members of an ancient and mysterious group of people who lived in North America for millennia. Until now, scientists thought they had vanished without a trace./ But new research shows that this paleo group’s genes live on today in several indigenous cultures.” (Ack: Live Science)
Cities vanish without trace like Atlantis; living cities change shape so inalterably so putting them back as one is impossible. We are actually existing in an unreal world when we give our perceptions or dreams the lead. In relying on our own resources and heritage we are heading for disappointment. Where lies the true heritage of America? It has gone underground even before the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock. It is scattered through several indigenous cultures and lives on absorbing from other stocks so modern man is a patchwork of cultures. Building a white America is like building a house on sand. Winds of change beat on it and surely its fall shall be great. “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.(Matt.7:26-27-NIV)” Spirit of God is like wind and no one shall say where it is heading to but only when grand visions of politicians come crashing down the nations shall know they were relying on foolish builders instead. When God is the maker of heaven and the earth these politicians who vaunt their heritage and not on Truth build in vain. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain(Ps.127:1)”.
In the same context to think of a great city as impregnable monolithic fort is a lie. Even a Sin city like Sodom had a few who did not subscribe to the prevailing trends. At a time of bad kings like Ahab there were exceptions. God has fashioned the hearts of men alike but everyone has a free will to choose and the Lord God alone knows who are his so He would assure Elijah, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.(1 Ki.19:18).” God knew what Prophet Jonah was against and only difficulty was in the mind of his prophet. Merely because he had fled from his presence would not mean the plan B. With God nothing is impossible. God would not let him off the task so easily. God had prepared Moses as a forerunner of his Son. When God visited Moses by Mount Horeb He commanded him to drop his staff on the ground. It turned into a snake. He fled from before it (Ex.4:3) . God was more concerned for him that He insisted Moses dare to take the snake by the tail and it became once again his rod. God cares for His servants and in the fellowship of God with man He knows his weakness and whatsoever he does is to make him overcome his flesh. So indwelling Spirit is to make the Body of Christ a perfect fit. Only faith to obey His will was what needed. It was thus with Jonah who was given a second chance.
And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
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.