BIBLE MONTH – Jonah 3 v. 7 – 9

BIBLE MONTH – Jonah 3 v. 7 – 9

7 : ‘Then the king and his officials sent out an order for everyone in the city to obey. It said
8 : ‘None of you or your animals may eat or drink a thing. Each of you must wear sackcloth, and you must even put sackcloth on your animals.
9 : You must also pray to the Lord God with all your heart and stop being sinful and cruel. Maybe God will change His mind and have mercy on us, so we won’t be destroyed.’

a) even the animals are to take part in this national act of repentance, of turning back to God in sorrow – it’s an amusing twist, to challenge Jonah in the light of his disobedience and hard-heartedness

b) fasting and wearing sackcloth and ashes are symbols of our humanity, humility, dependence and sorrow for the things the people of Nineveh have done wrong – an act of community repentance. I wonder what it would take, today, for a whole community, or a whole nation to be moved to such an act of repentance, sorrow, commitment to change?

c) I love the faith articulated in the prayer, that ‘maybe God will relent / change His mind, and have mercy on us’
It does remind me of the wish/prayer of the ‘lost son’ who returns to his father, hoping that his father will welcome him home, even as a servant rather than a son – another ‘maybe he will have mercy on me…despite all I’ve done’

Gracious God,
in spite of everything I’ve ever
done, said and thought
maybe, just maybe
You might show mercy
You might still love me
You might call me to follow You
to serve You
to glorify You
maybe, just maybe
I’m still part of Your great plan
I’m truly sorry
and I long to live for You.

Phil Gough