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Jonah’s Repentance Compared to Nineveh’s June 22, 2005

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
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In Jonah chapter 2, we see what appears to be the repentance of Jonah. When compared with Nineveh’s repentance in chapter 3, you can see he definitely goes through all of the right steps:

  • Both turn to God, rejecting all human efforts to solve problems (Jonah-2:1, Nineveh-3:5)
  • Both cry out to God, expressing passion and humility (Jonah-2:2, Nineveh-3:8)
  • Both change their ways (Jonah-compare 1:2 with 3:3, Nineveh-3:8)
  • Both obey God’s command, without regard to the consequences (Jonah-3:3, Nineveh 3:9)

However, Jonah’s attitude remains decidedly negative and at times, it appears he was only following the letter of God’s command, with no concern about the spirit (3:4, 3:10-4:1). In spite of that, it is undeniable that Jonah did, indeed, obey God, that God’s will was ultimately accomplished and that city-wide revival resulted.

Jonah’s actual repentance is arguable – but the effects of not repenting are mostly internal to Jonah. In the final analysis, if he didn’t truly repent, he is the only one hurt, in that he was unable to enjoy the outcome of God’s graciousness.

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