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Cry Mightily to God

By Watchman | July 7, 2009

   Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Neneveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”  So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.  Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent.  And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk.  Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”  So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.  Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes.  And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying:  Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water.  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.  Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.  (Jonah 3)

     It is really quite easy to overlook the point of the story of Jonah.  Nearly everyone, believer and unbeliever alike, can tell you that Jonah refused to go to the city of Ninevah and preach against their wickedness; that God caused the ship he was on to flounder in a storm so that Jonah was thrown overboard, that he was swallowed by a big fish in whose belly he lived for three days and nights until he repented of his rebellion; and that God caused him to be vomited out onto dry land.  What is less widely discussed is the story of Jonah as an example of the greatness of God’s mercy to a sinning nation.   

     Nineveh was a city of some hundred and twenty thousand people (Jonah 4:11).  It was the capital of ancient Assyria, built on the eastern bank of the Tigris River,  across  from what is now Mosul, Iraq.  It was, until its destruction by the Babylonians in 612 BC, a city of great influence and prosperity.  It was also, according to Scripture, a city of such great wickedness that God sent the prophet Jonah to declare its coming destruction. 

     However, when Jonah delivered God’s warning to the people of Nineveh, the king declared a time of crying “mightily to God” and fasting; and decreed that all should turn away from evil.  God acknowledged these repentent people by not bringing upon them the disaster that their evil had deserved.  As He had promised in earlier Scripture passages to His people,  God showed mercy to this nation when they repented of sin and returned back to His statutes.  Today we live in a nation that refuses to honor God in public life.  We have an administration that has announced that we are not a Christian nation, we no longer allow the worship of Christ in governmental offices or amongst our public school children, and we have declared many of the laws of God to be so politically incorrect that adhering to them constitutes an offense (sometimes a legally-actionable one) against our newly-proclaimed right to sinful behavior.  Will God show the same kind of mercy to us as a nation that He showed to the city of Nineveh?  The answer is two-fold:  1) He would, were we to show the same level of repentence that Nineveh did, but  2) it would have to be entire cities and states returning to Him.  As I suggested in an earlier post, a remnant of believers is probably no longer enough to keep the country from the judgment that is coming upon it soon.  In the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18 and 19) we learn that wickedness can be so profuse and grievous that it can be easier for God to remove the few righteous than to spare a city or nation for the sake of the few.  God has revealed to many of His people that judgment will soon be coming upon our land.  America (and much of the rest of the world) is, by and large, refusing to heed this warning.  The birth pangs of the end times are upon us; the judgments that have begun already are not yet fully unleashed upon the world.  There is still time.  Can we, as whole nations, cry out mightily to God for mercy?  Can we fast,  pray and repent as an entire people and so turn some of the wrath of God away from our country?  I believe that we can.  Whether or not we will is far more doubtful.  Understand what is happening in America, brothers and sisters in Christ:  there is not just a conservative vs liberal or democratic republic vs socialist financial struggle occuring.  We are in a battle for the spiritual heart and soul of mankind.  We were allowed the inestimable privilege of being formed as a Christian nation designed on Judeo-Christian principles so that we could be a blessing to the world and a glory to God.  The spreading of the Gospel world-wide is more attributable to the United States than to any other nation on earth.  But we are now turning our backs on the One who gave us the commission to live as a Godly people, and so the privilege of world leadership and prosperity is in great danger.  We are truly in a struggle between good and evil. Until and unless this is understood we will plunge further into financial ruin; our country will be at great risk of both terrorism and natural disasters and our destruction will be assured. 

     Now, here’s the Good News, children of God:  Jesus loves you so very, very much, and He is not willing that any should perish.  He has promised to be with those of us who love Him through whatever comes upon us even unto the end of the world.  If you are God’s, join with me in crying out mightily to God–that repentence will come to the earth and that our nation will turn back to the Lord Who has given us life and breath, health and prosperity.  If you are not a part of God’s kingdom, don’t put off your decision to turn away from sin and accept Jesus’ sacrifice for you any longer.  Though more people are better-educated and more technologically advanced than ever before, fewer and fewer are wise or discerning enough to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Pray though we may for the souls of our fellow men and women, time is growing short.  Be part of the family of God.  He is waiting for you to come to Him and is ready to welcome you to His side.  Cry mightily to the Lord, and He will show you mercy.

 

Maranatha.

Topics: According to Scripture, Kingdom Living, Salvation | No Comments »

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