Topic: A New Identity [January 29th, 2018]
Text: Jonah 3:1-10 (KJV)
1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 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.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Key Verse: “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.” (Jonah 3:5)
Unlike some nations who became stiff-necked even after repeated warnings from God, the people of Nineveh were contrite in spirit. They knew they had offended God and needed His mercy. They also did not take God for granted; hence, their prompt response to Jonah’s simple message. The people of Nineveh did not wait to see any sign; they did not want to behold God’s angry frown. Jonah had been sent to the city of Nineveh to warn them of an impending doom as a result of their sin. In the preceding chapters, Jonah had initially thought he could hide from the presence of God as he was reluctant to carry out the simple assignment until he suffered some strange punishments from Him. When he was rescued from the belly of a fish, he decided to preach to Nineveh.
The people received the message and repented in ashes and sackcloth. The king declared a national mourning for their collective sins and fasting to show their level of sorrow for sin. As in all cases of genuine repentance, the omnipotent and omniscient God decided to show them mercy.
It’s glorious to read how a whole city moved from condemnation to justification. Nineveh got a new identity; they changed their status (2 Corinthians 5:17). It was now a new day for Nineveh. As they repented of their sins and turned to God in faith, they were spared.
Today, the same grace Nineveh appropriated is available to whosoever will humble him/herself. The Almighty is willing and able to forgive and forget. Today will be a day of grace for you if you, like the Ninevites, truly repent, forsake your sins and receive Christ as Saviour. God never despises a broken and a contrite heart.
Thought For The Day: God is more interested in forgiving sinners than in destroying them.
Bible Reading in a Year: Genesis 48-50.
Flatimes’ Notice Board: Please do not prolong your salvation if you have not repented. Many are going home daily and tomorrow maybe too late.
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.