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Bill Stockham |


[Our Abba Father taught Jonah that the one He was looking for was one who was of a broken and contrite (repentant) spirit, and who trembled at His word. He said to Jonah:] “And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left–and also many animals?” (Jonah 4:11) [God had given the following instructions to Jonah:] “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2) [Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, and one of the most ancient cities of the world, and one of the largest, as it was three days’ journey from border to border. God’s concern was the wickedness of the people and how they were raising their children in such an ungodly manner, so God sent Jonah to warn the people of the coming wrath to be poured out upon them. Jonah refused to go and wound up in the belly of a “great fish”.] “Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17) [It’s always best to obey the Lord because nothing is impossible for Him to do to get our attention. Jonah cried out to the Lord from the belly of the great fish and said:] “But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. WHAT I HAVE VOWED I WILL MAKE GOOD. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD…Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” THE NINEVITES BELIEVED GOD. A fast was proclaimed, and ALL OF THEM, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.” (Jonah 2:9, 3:3-5) [Imagine; A WHOLE CITY (people and their animals) fasted to spare their lives!] “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented [changed His mind] and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened…But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home…I KNEW THAT YOU ARE A GRACIOUS AND COMPASSIONATE GOD, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 3:10, 4:1-3) [Jonah did not want to be embarrassed knowing how compassionate God was so he had a lesson to learn as well. The bottom line: obey God; keep his commandments, HE ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT’S BEST!]
Be blessed as you praise The Lord, knowing that HE IS A GRACIOUS AND COMPASSIONATE GOD TODAY!
-Bill Stockham

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