Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 29)

29 Aug

The Ninevite revival was more than dust and sackcloth.  The king proclaimed to his people: “Let everyone call urgently on God.  Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.  Who knows?  God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” (vv. 8-9).

I find this challenge from the Ninevite king amazing!  He calls for a city-wide repentance marked by earnest prayers (to Jonah’s God) and behavioral change.

What is truly fascinating is that the king doesn’t know that Jonah’s God will forgive!  He says, “WHO KNOWS?  God may yet relent . . ..”  This seems to indicate that Jonah never mentioned the possibility of forgiveness, perhaps because he did not want the Ninevites forgiven.

Jonah’s orthodox statement in this chapter — “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown” — is what God wanted Jonah to say.  I wonder, however, if he said it with tears or with taunting?  With grief or with glee?  Judgment from a holy God is inevitable.  How does one prepare for that coming judgment?  Apparently Jonah had no interest in explaining to the Ninevites how God’s wrath could be averted.  (to be continued)






Posted by on August 29, 2017 in Jonah


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5 responses to “Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 29)

  1. john

    August 29, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    We are already at part 29 and there is no end in sight. Hopefully you will come around and describe Jonah’s experience inside the Whale. It would add to our knowledge of how to survive such an ordeal. I am sure that most of your readers would be thrilled to hear about it.

    • Dr. Larry Dixon

      August 29, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      So good to hear from you, John! There are actually a total of 41 posts on Jonah. If the God of the Bible is real, then He can prepare a special creature to rescue His wayward servant. I’m not sure we need to prepare for such an ordeal ourselves. The Bible is full of warnings about a much worse fate, as you know. Blessings. Larry

  2. john

    August 31, 2017 at 11:58 am

    The word “if” is a very powerful word. It reminds me of the saying “if pigs would have wings, they could fly”. Your story also brings memory of a similar event to the foreground of conscience. From my childhood I recall “Red Riding Hood’, where the grandmother survived inside the stomach of the wolf. As a three year old I even believed the story.

  3. Dr. Larry Dixon

    September 1, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Good morning, John. I always appreciate your comments. Say, John, I’ve been reading Tim Keller’s Making Sense of God. I think an intellectual like yourself would really get a lot out of it. Blessings. Larry

  4. john

    September 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for reminding me again of Tim Keller’s good book. But, having an independent mind, I rather rely on my own good common sense. In case you should not be aware of it, I like to point out that Tim’s writing is not as universally accepted within the Christian community as you might think. But as you too have an independent mind you will pick out the nuggets you find acceptable and ignore the rest.


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