“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—for word came unto the king of Nineveh and he arose from his throne and he laid his robe from him and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes.”
When we walk by sight, we fear and despair; but, when we walk by faith and obedience, He defies the imagination by doing things only He could do (I Cor. 2:9).
Nineveh would not have been on any church’s “Most Likely to Repent” list. They were one of the most ancient cities in the world and quite notorious for the great power and pagan ways.
First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, Nineveh was built by Nimrod, the evil great-grandson of Noah, who also built the city of Babylon and the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-4). And, by Jonah’s day they also were a major center of worship for the pagan goddess, Ishtar. Likewise, as the capital of the ancient Assyrian empire, which ruled over that part of the world for 600 years with an iron hand, Nineveh was a proud, sinful stronghold of the evil one—truly, a city that seemed invincible in every way.
But, again, “Nothing is impossible with God” (Gen. 18:14; Lk. 1:37). Hallelujah!!
In a city, that was “an exceedingly great city of three days’ journey across” (3:3b)—or, estimated to have been around 60 miles in circumference—a solitary prophet, smelling like whale vomit and covered with seaweed, was pretty insignificant. . .at least in the Ninevites’ estimation.
But, not to God.
And, without the aid of a marketing campaign. . .billboards or mass-mailings. . .a portable p.a. system or television coverage. . .Jonah walked through the streets, crying “In yet 40 days, Nineveh will be overthrown.”
No hype. No fanfare. No fireworks’ display.
Nothing but simple, straightforward “Thus saith the Lord,” warning them of coming judgment, unless they repented.
And, repent they did—“from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”
Simply because “they believed God.”
And, dear Pilgrim, it can still happen today if we, too, like them, will take God at His Word (Jn. 14:11-14).
So, the question is, “Do we believe God?”
If He’s placed us in our own version of “The Valley of Dry Bones” and has asked us “Can these bones live again?” will we, like Ezekiel say, “Lord, only You know” and then do what He’s telling us to do (Ez. 37:1-14)?
If our answer is “Yes,” then stand back and watch Him work—for, as someone said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet” (I Cor. 2:9). Hallelujah!! Regardless of our situation or circumstances, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Amen and amen.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 14, 2010