If you’ve missed part 1 about Jonah and the Fish, I encourage you to go and read the story – it will definitely make you feel more human.
In summary, God tells Jonah to go to a land call Nineveh to tell the people to turn back to God. Jonah gets on a boat and goes in the opposite direction. God sends a big storm. Jonah sleeps. The sailors get angry and asks Jonah what he had done to make God angry. Sailors who worship other gods, now fear God. They throw Jonah into the sea. The seas calms. The sailors praise God. The fish swallows Jonah. Jonah repents and then goes to Nineveh like God told him to in the first place.
In Nineveh Jonah tells the people: “In forty days Nineveh will be smashed.” Here’s what they do:
They proclaimed a citywide fast and dressed in burlap to show their repentance. Everyone did it—rich and poor, famous and obscure, leaders and followers. (verse 5
Then the king finds out, here’s what he does
He got up off his throne, threw down his royal robes, dressed in burlap, and sat down in the dirt. (verse 6)
Not only does the king humble himself by getting off his throne, taking off his royal robes and settling down on the floor – dusty, deserty, dirty floor. He issues a decree [an official order issued by a legal authority, a legal document, a law] saying everyone in the city – both human and animal will fast and go without food and water.
“Not one drop of water, not one bite of food for man, woman, or animal, including your herds and flocks! Dress them all, both people and animals, in burlap, and send up a cry for help to God. Everyone must turn around, turn back from an evil life and the violent ways that stain their hands. Who knows? Maybe God will turn around and change his mind about us, quit being angry with us and let us live!” (verse 7-9)
Heal our City. Heal our Land
When was the last time you saw a president humble himself. Jacob Zuma in burlap? The queen of England sitting in the dirt? Can you imagine the impact we as the body of Christ can have, if we could stand together for the benefit of our country, for the future of our children and humble ourselves and pray? Imagine the impact we can have if we obey when God speaks.
It is time for our brokenness to lead us to the path of humility and repentance in front of our God.