Summary: God is merciful. He works with His repentant and obedient servants to bring others into the worship of God.
JONAH 3 (about 755-760) BC
Repentance-What is repentance? Many people have a different definition than the Bible definition.
Illus: Man felt guilt for cheating on his taxes. He sent a check into the IRS and said “I cheated on my taxes so I am sending this in, if it makes me feel better, I will send in the rest of the money I owe”.
Isaiah 58; Israel had a fast and God did not respect it. Israel asked why. God answered you put on sackcloth and slept in ashes but remained contentious and violent. “I require a fast that includes helping the oppressed, clothing the naked, bringing the stranger into your home, this is the fast I require”.
2 Cor. 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (sorry I got caught).
1. V1-3 God’s grace to Jonah
a. V1 God did not give up on Jonah
b. V2 God restored Jonah to his office
c. V3 This was based on Jonah’s obedience
1) In 3:3 Jonah obeyed/ in 1:3 Jonah went out from presence of The Lord (POTL)
Gen 3:8 Adam and Eve went from POTL
Gen 4:16 Cain went out from POTL
Job 1:12 Satan went out from POTL
Jonah 1:3 Jonah went out from POTL
John 13:28-30 Satan entered Judas and he went out literally from POTL
2. V4 God’s warning to Nineveh
a. Yet 40 days Nineveh overthrown (Hebrew-these 5 words)
b. Interesting June 16, 763 BC a total eclipse over Nineveh/ 749 A plague (Holy Spirit working)
3. V5-8 Assyrian Repentance (Nineveh capital city of Assyria)
a. Jonah hated the Assyrians and hoped this was a prophecy
b. But God is merciful, it was not a prophecy but a warning. (God does not have to give warning)
c. Jer. 18:7-10 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
d. King traded robe for sackcloth and throne for ashes.
e. Nineveh’s astounding response (response came because of a servant of God being obedient)
1) 1:4-5 Disobedience (3 verbs) became afraid, cried out in fear, threw off cargo
2) 3:5 Obedience (3 verbs) believed God, called a fast, put on sackcloth
4. Great revival- Ashur-dan III. Next king, Ashur-narari IV reign had much internal division. Next king went back to old ways and war. They eventually returned to polytheism, but some remained faithful.
Matt. 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
5. V9 True repentance understands God does not have to forgive. It relies on God’s grace.
a. Micah 6: 8 He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
b. God requires justice and He loves mercy.
6. V10 When God saw their DEEDS (not their “belief”, but their deeds) He relented
a. 1 Thess. 1:5 “our gospel did not come in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Spirit and with FULL conviction. (vs PARTIAL conviction-spiritual conviction/not worldly conviction)