What’s you’re knee-jerk reaction? Jonah, the prophet of God, is given a message directly from God. His knee-jerk reaction is to get up and run away. Only after spending three days in the belly of a fish does he repent and do what God says. But Jonah’s obedience doesn’t feel sincere. Maybe the message really was that simple. Maybe it didn’t all get written down. Either way, the message Jonah preached may be the shortest sermon in history. “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!”
There’s no instruction here. No hope. No invitation. No thought that God would give the people of Nineveh the opportunity to repent, but that’s exactly what they do. It’s their knee-jerk reaction. They hear from a prophet of God that destruction is coming and they repent. Jonah didn’t react that way. His obedience was delayed. He reluctantly obeyed only after being severely corrected. Jonah may have delivered the message, but he didn’t want to. When we read chapter four we’ll find out why.
The people of Nineveh were open to the Word of God. They listened. They repented. God relented. In spite of Jonah’s reluctance the people of Nineveh whole-heartedly responded to God. Their obedience was immediate. Proof of what took place in their heart was clearly evident.
Their choices changed God’s mind.
Jonah, 3:10, “When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.”
That’s powerful statement. You can influence God.
What will your knee-jerk reaction be today? Will you run, repent, obey or delay? Will you reluctantly give in out of fear or willingly go where God sends? How will your choices influence God?
Thank you for second chances. Thank you for speaking to me. Thank you for giving me everything I need for life and godliness. I want to obey you quickly without need of correction. When I hear your voice I want my knee-jerk reaction to be ‘yes’. Help me to hear, to listen, and to follow wherever you lead. Thank you for the forgiveness you give when I repent and for your correction when I miss the mark. May I make choices that influence you to forgive, to bless and to show your favor to me, my family, friends, church and community.
I love you, in Jesus name –