Message Received

Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
Jonah 3:4–10
Message Received
The King believed. The people believed. By decree of the king, there was a fast. The city of Nineveh turned from their sin and fixed their eyes to God. They prayed that God would relent from the disaster that was about to befall them. They deserved to be destroyed. We deserve to be destroyed for our sin and disobedience. However, God wants everyone to live. He delights not in the eternal death and damnation of anyone. Instead, he wants everyone to repent and believe and live with him forever. Therefore, he attaches his Word to us. He sends it into our ears and down into our heart that we would repent and believe. The Lord God saw what Nineveh did and how they turned from their evil way, and he relented from the disaster he was about to send upon them. He sees your faith, too and delights in you. He wraps you in the righteousness of Jesus and credits to you Jesus’ death and Jesus’ resurrection. He takes your sin and your death and your grave and he gives them, instead, to Jesus and nails them to the cross. The Lord God delights in you and prepares a place to have you in his presence forever.
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