Call Urgently on God
“’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.”
When God first called Jonah to go to Nineveh with a warning of soon coming judgment, Jonah ran the opposite direction. I identify with Jonah’s story because I ran from God for years. Have you?
There are always ramifications of refusing to serve God, but Jonah’s were especially extreme and quick (Jonah 1). It didn’t take too long for God to get Jonah’s attention, and he called out to God in true repentance (Jonah 2). I think we make things a lot worse on ourselves the longer we wait to repent and obey.
God told Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and this time he went. As Jonah entered the very large city which reportedly took three days to cross through, he sounded the warning God gave him, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” The Ninevites believed God and the King sent out an urgent message of national mourning and fasting as we see in today’s passage.
God relented, withdrew His Hand of Judgment and Nineveh was spared at that time. The mercy and compassion of God in response to the urgent call on Him by truly repentant people leaves me with a measure of hope for our country and world. Will we repent in time?
Cry urgently out to God on behalf of yourself, your family and our world. Repent. Time is short.
Dive Deeper: Study Jonah 1:1 – 4:11.