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The Book of Jonah

Bible Study-JOA-Chapter 3

Chapter 3__Consequences

     Well, Jonah is out of the whales belly and back on dry land and is about to receive a second set of instructions from our Father:

     Jonah 3:1 And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

     Stand up, brush the sand off your clothes, tell all those people standing around gawking at you to go home and get yourself into the city.

     Jonah 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

     I think that our Father is a bit tired of fooling around with this guy so He simply tells him to go to that city and speak what He tells him to speak.

     Jonah 3:3 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.

     Now, this could get a little confusing if we let it and, of course, I’m not going to let it. In verse 3 it says city of three days' journey while in verse 4 it says enter into the city a day's journey.

     According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, to encircle the city or to walk around its outer limits would take three days but it only took Jonah one day to walk to the city from where he was on the banks of the Tigris River. It’s population is estimated at about 600,000 to 1 million at the time of Jonah.

     Jonah 3:4 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.

     The number forty, in Scripture, always means probation or a probationary period and that’s what it means to the residents of Nineveh.

     “Y’all got forty days to get it together and then I’m going to destroy it all, right down to the ground level.”

     Jonah 3:5 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.

     Once word of Jonah being spewed out on the beach of the river reached the people in the city, the word probably spread like wildfire and when Jonah walked into town it was probably some kind of an event.

     They may have worshiped a fish god, Dagon, but here, standing before them, was God’s man and whatever it is that he has to say, they are certainly going to listen. And it didn’t take long before they all turned their hearts to our Father.

     Jonah 3:6 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.

     From the greatest to the least, they all began to worship our Father. I mean, this is King Solomon II, the King of Assyria, sitting in ashes and worshiping our Father!

     Jonah 3:7 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:

     After the Crucifixion salvation was open to the Gentile as well but here we have a fast that even included the animal world. This is some kind of belief.

     Jonah 3:8 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.

     Destroy those idols and turn from your wicked ways. Can you imagine, just for a moment, what this world would be like if that happened world-wide today? Wow.

     Jonah 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

     What they’re hoping for now is that our Father will turn off His anger and repent and not destroy the whole lot of them.

     This whole city was a center of commerce and depravity and for the entire population to turn 180 degrees and walk away from those sins and embrace the love and saving grace of our Father, what will the Father do?

     Jonah 3:10 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. KJV

     Using one nation to correct another nation was not unusual for our Father to do but in this case He did repent and did not destroy them. What was it that probably made Him decide not to destroy them? He saw their works. He saw their faith through their works.

     Obviously they didn’t just give Him a lot of lip-service, they actually DID WHAT THEY SAID THEY WOULD DO. And Father can see your faith through your works and what is it that you can take with you to the Judgment Day? Your works, of course. That’s the only thing that you can take with you.

     Good intentions won’t cut it and it looks like these people instinctively knew that.

     Show me your works and I’ll see your faith because what? Faith without works is dead!

     Ref: James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? KJV

     Ref: James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. KJV

 

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___14 December 2015___

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