Big Fish…Big Attitude – An Answered Prayer

10 God saw what they were doing—that they had ceased their evil behavior. So God stopped planning to destroy them, and he didn’t do it (Jonah 3:10, Common English Bible).

Yesterday, when we left off with our story, the giant fish had beached Jonah. He went around Nineveh proclaiming that divine destruction was on the horizon.

Jonah got their attention. The people started listening and started changing. What was most important, however, was the king was listening. This lowly prophet that went around town smelling like fish and proclaiming that God was angry and about to enter a period of divine destruction. The great city of Nineveh would be completely destroyed. Nothing would be left.

I am not certain why God would want them to know what was coming. Think about it, when Jesus came, one of his favorite things to do after a miracle was, “Now don’t tell anyone how this happened.”

Really, I do know why God would give the people a warning. He wanted them to do exactly what they did. God loved the people enough to warn them in hopes they would turn around. Remember, in Genesis, God was willing to relent on Sodom and Gomorrah if there was at least one righteous person there. There was not. Destruction followed.  Here, again, God is saying to a group of people who were far from the intent and will of God, and once again, God threatened destruction. Maybe this time would be different. Maybe this time the people would change. That is exactly what happened.

My guess is, repentance came because the king pressed the issue with the people. “Go home. Put on sac cloth and sit in the ashes and pray. Then maybe God will relent and not destroy us.” The king himself did what he was telling the people to do. Everyone was praying.

And, our very short lesson for today, tells us, God did notice and decided not to destroy the city. For Nineveh, God didn’t follow through on threats of destruction.

This part of the story reminds me of another verse of Scripture “…if my people who belong to me will humbly pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive them of their sin, and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, Common English Bible).

While God did not say the words of 2 Chronicles to the people of Nineveh, to me it is clearly the God’s intent to push them, if possible, toward repentance. God did forgive them and their was a healing to their land.

It seems to me that our land could use a touch of divine healing as well. I doubt anyone would argue, we have problems. The biggest problem we have is, at least some of the time, it would seem we have forgotten how to love. It is our biggest fault because Jesus tells us it is part of the most important commandment.

God lived out the promise made at Nineveh. God will do the same for us and our society. What is necessary? To humble ourselves before God and pray God will see and treat us as God treated the people of Nineveh.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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