Summary: These verses tell us of the results of Jonah’s preaching. It seems everyone decided from the King all the way down to the youngest to repent. God always honors His word!
God must honor his word, repent, or perish, Luke 13:5
I. The Common People
1. The people of Nineveh did not rebel against the message, they repented. 3: 5
a. Proverbs 28:13, only two things we can do with sin: confess or cover.
b. John 6:60-61; 66-69
2. Their repentance was not delayed it was prompt.
a. Promptness is the only way to react to God's message. Acts 2:37-38
1) Delay is disastrous. It invites doom. 2 Corinthians 6:2
2) We never know how much time we have left. Proverbs 29:1
3. Their repentance was preceded by faith.
a. Faith is the foundation of repentance.
b. Their repentance was not for show, it was not hypocritical.
1) Sackcloth and fasting
c. What did they believe?
1) Sin and Salvation
2) Heaven and Hell
3) Right and Wrong
4) Good and Evil
d. Never had greatly displeased God by their sin.
1) To avoid judgment, they needed to change their ways.
2) Hebrews 11: 6
4. It seems that all responded in repentance. Verse 5
a. Never in history has so many decisions taken place, in such a short time, from one man preaching, in one place.
b. That is the miracle in the book of Jonah.
c. The results are not a proper way to judge Jonah.
d. Jonah’s praise is determined by his faithfulness and preaching God's word.
1) What about Noah, 120 years Preaching, only seven saved and himself.
2) What about the parable of the seed and the sower? The soil was the secret.
5. The fruits that follow true repentance.
a. It was a common practice in the Old Testament to show realness to God by fasting and wearing sackcloth.
b. Fasting meant to abstain from legitimate pursuits. To permit more earnest pursuit of spiritual matters. Verse 5, today we are more willing to give up spiritual for the carnal. 2 Timothy 3: 4
c. Sackcloth, a dark cloth made from long dark hair of goat or camel. Verse 5 it was coarse, and the texture was itchy.
1) Being dark, expressed sorrow
2) Course and itchy, warn to show humility and shame
3) True repentance does not treat sin lightly.
II. The Commander
1. The King arose from his throne. Verse 6
a. Later the King will tell all to repent.
b. First the King makes himself right with God.
c. It shows priorities, before we preach to others we must first obey.
2. Two things this King did:
a. He changed where he sat.
b. He changed what he wore.
3. Where he sat when the word came to him, he was sitting on his throne.
a. From the throne, to sackcloth and Ashes. It was a way to express sorrow or shame or even both.
b. It could be him saying their condition was his fault.
4. What he wore, sackcloth and ashes, another sign of acceptance of Jonah’s message.
a. The King was setting the example.
b. He was urging the people to confess their sins and turn from their evil ways. Verse 8
c. he was saying that God was right.
d. More than just confession, the King called for a change in behavior.
III. The Creator
1. Will God repent? Does God repent?
2. God saw their works, verse 10
3. Was God sinful? Did He need to repent of sin? NO!!
a. A repentance is simply changing one’s attitude and actions.
b. It is turning another direction.
1) They turned; God turned.
2) They repented; God repented.
3) They changed; God changed.
4. God planned judgment, Nineveh repented, God withheld judgment.
IV. What is the Bottom Line?
1. What are the lessons we need to learn?
2. When God speaks, do it.
3. Preaching from the Word causes change.
4. Living godly will keep you in good graces.