We’ve all heard the story of Jonah and the big fish or the whale and how he was to warn the town of Nineveh of their impending doom. But have you ever really focused on the town and its people? Your community, city, household or your family?
The story of Jonah is far more than that of a big fish or whale and a warning given by God. It deeper into the hearts of our families and our communities.
When we picture most biblical towns we think of smaller, maybe walled areas that people traveled to from distant farms and ranches for goods or to pay taxes. However, Nineveh was huge. Scripture says that it was a three-day trip from one end to the other; that’s a lot of people!
Jonah 3 says that as Jonah passed through, the people quickly began to respond to his warning. When the king heard, he proclaimed a fast for the entire city’s people; they were even told to put their animals on a fast. The king also said they should “cry mightily to God.” He told them to turn from their evil ways and their violence. In Jonah 3:9 it states, “Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His ﬁerce anger?” The king was not fooling around; he was moved to action.
Christians must make sure to always hold strong to the truth, so as not to end up overthrown by Satan or anything else that might draw us back into our sinful lives. We are not going backwards but forward. We are at the point of ridding our lives with anyhing that will hinder our growth and God will help us to move forward.
Ultimately God relented from the disaster He had planned for the city, due to their great response. But I have often thought about the city of Nineveh and how the people reacted. We all know how diﬃcult it is for even a small group of individuals to agree on anything, so how did they come together, and why did the whole city respond so quickly?
They surely saw what was happening to their city. They knew it had become unsafe and was an intolerable place. According to Scripture, their society was violent. It is likely there were still some partially good people who surely saw some of that violence creeping into their own lives. They were apt to be angry and apprehensive in such an environment. Our societies, communities and homes are seeing the same effects as in the days of Nineveh. Yes the apples are not falling far from the tree. Just look around and see the rise in crimes. The rise in churches and still nothing is being done to change the tone. God is still on the throne begging and pleading for a change.
We see this happening in our own society today. When we look at the world around us, we may feel like the people of Nineveh. Violence, outside threats, anger, and a general feeling of being unsafe. ISIS on our doorsteps, the threats from politicians who are asking us for our votes, the dangers in our school and our water supply. It’s part of the world we live in. It could overwhelm us if we dwell on it too long. We also know how easy it is to be inﬂuenced by those around us. Have you ever met someone with anger issues? Violent people are often upset with their own actions and character and want to change. So, how about Christian believers who constantly preach sin and homosexuality while they are living in fornication and living a dark lie. Those who interfere with the very people that they minister to in their groups or congregations. God is sending a messenger to you this morning asking you to repent or perish. The great falling away is not too long from now and this earth is like a rocking chair. REPENT OR PERISH and turn to Almighty God in your safety net.
Jonah’s warning was probably timed exactly right for a community in chaos. The people wanted to change, and this warning gave them a good reason. They were being told God was fed up, and they made haste to try to get back in His good graces. They obviously didn’t like the way they were living or they would not been so willing to change. However, you have to want to change in order to enact the change. Today if you will hear His voice I am asking you not to block that still small voice but with open hearts accept it before it i to late.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
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