Summary: God is watching and willing to heal and forgive
THERE IS STILL HOPE
* We live in a day of volatility. There is volatility in almost every segment of society. Wall Street has lost its mind, the Federal Reserve is unpredictable, the housing market is spiraling, and GM reported 11% decrease in sales. Add to that, THE most surprising and critical Presidential election in history and the case is easily built for hopelessness. Could it be that God is tired of the treatment He is receiving from the very country He has so abundantly blessed? Could it be that if the things which He has allowed to impact this country has not served as a spiritual wakeup call that maybe He is about really turn up the heat?
* As we return for just a moment to Jonah we look at one verse, Jonah 3:10. In Chapter 1 we see Jonah running, in Chapter 2 we see Jonah repenting, and in the first 9 verses Chapter 3 we see Jonah responding. Verse 10 shifts the focus from Jonah and the people of Nineveh to God in heaven. God had said, “You guys straighten up, or I’ll take you down.” All things considered, that’s a pretty “frightening” thought.
* As we get to verse 10 or Chapter 3, we have seen all the right things happen. Jonah was obedient, went to Nineveh, and preached God’s message. The people of Nineveh heard the word, repented of their sin, and turned from their wickedness. How does God respond? Let’s read.
* One of the wonderful qualities about Jehovah God is this; He is so sovereign that to change His mind doesn’t impact His character at all. During my lifetime I have heard that God never changes “His mind” and the verses used are many, “God never changes” or “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Never forget this; God’s character is what never changes, God’s desire for you to know Him never changes, and His desire for you to know His Son never changes. God is excited to change His mind---if, He given a reason to do so. I offer 2 brief thoughts from this text.
1. God is Watching – The verse say, “God saw their actions.” Every translation and paraphrase paints the same word picture; God saw what they did, what they’d done, and their works. It doesn’t matter how you say it, it still means the same; God is watching. We are approaching Thanksgiving and then around the corner is “Christmas”. You remember the song, “Santa Claus is coming to town.” Truth is, Santa might miss something, but God misses nothing.
* Does that at least get your attention? As I prepared these thoughts, I wrote this;
He sees us at our worst and He sees us at our best.
He hears us when we curse and He hears us when we bless.
He sees us when we do well, He sees us when we fall.
We might think that He doesn’t see, but my friends, God sees it all.
* In verse 10, God saw them turn from their evil ways and was thrilled. What does He see in us? When we turn where do we turn? God sees.
2. God is Willing – This is the most phenomenal and encouraging word that we can find in the Bible. God had said, “Jonah, go and preach against Nineveh because they have great wickedness in their midst. You tell them that if they keep doing like their doing, I will destroy them in 40 days.”
* First, just know that God is willing to follow through on His promise. Had Nineveh not repented, God would have destroyed the city and all the corruption.
* Next, notice that God is willing to relent or change His mind when His conditions are met. The Bible shows us that God, on several occasions, changed His mind. Moses saved the Jewish refugees on several occasions; Abraham negotiated with God about Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward Nineveh God changed His mind.
* Finally, God is willing that no one should perish. God does not will anyone into eternal punishment; it goes against His unchangeable nature. In His sovereignty He allows people to cast a human decision to go there, but He is not willing that any should perish.
* The final analysis? As long as we are alive God is Watching and is willing. He watching us and our actions and, He is willing to relent, IF we respond to His call. Today, there is hope for each of us.