TEXT: JONAH 3:1-10.
🔑KEY VERSE “And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Niniveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God” (JONAH 3:7,8a).
Theodore Roosevelt once commented that: “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who actually in the arena strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause and knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; his place shall never be with cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Influence in life can either be positive or negative. Negative influence leads in wrong direction and ends up in a chain of catastrophe and ruin. Eve had a negative influence on Adam and the whole world is still groaning from the curse that followed. Rebecca influenced Jacob negatively with grevious consequences. Ahab was negatively influenced by Jezebel, his wife; he killed Naboth and incurred the wrath of God, which altered the destiny of his lineage. On the other hand, positive influence produces good results which lead to joy and accomplishment.
Our Lord Jesus had a positive influence on His disciples and, by extension, all that believe in Him. The disciples became Christians or little ‘christs.’
Our text today, shows that the king of Nineveh led the whole city back to God. He proclaimed a fast and commanded that all men and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily to God. The influence of the king led to God’s mercy and pardon. “God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and did it not” (Jonah 3:10). We can individually and collectively take definite steps to influence and affect others until they come to Christ, the Saviour.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Light a candle and influence others.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: JOB 39-42.
Are you a wise national?
- A great prophet- evangelist with dangerous character traits
a. Jonah was not a willing vessel of the Lord, 1:3. He was disobedient to God’s command and only obeyed by compulsion.
b. He had problem with temper, 4:1,4,9.
c. He was cruelly a selfish citizen of Israel and a tribal bigot desiring the non- Israelites to go to hell than being saved, 4:2,11.
Lesson The fact that God used some greatly is not a sign of divine approval of their character but just an evidence of availability. When there is no holy vessel available, God can use anybody, including an animal, to accomplish His will. A ministry of signs and wonders is not enough to take any to heaven. Watch the character. Many will prophesy, preach and demonstrate God’s power and still end up in hell, Matthew 7:21-23.
- Nineveh – A wise nation
a. They had seen and read about the rise and fall of many great nations and so did not rule out that same happening to them, 3:4,5.
Q Do you live as if you are immune to the judgement of God?
b. They were wise enough not to take the warning of Jonah lightly even though Jonah himself was not perfect. They accepted and believed his sermon as God sent since it had to do with judgement on sin and the need to repent, vv5,6.
c. They took immediate definite steps of repentance to appease God in response to the message from God, vv6-8.
d. God showed them mercy because their repentance was backed up with fruits of repentance, 4:6-10.
Q Do you have the habit of taking immediate steps on the messages that come from God?
Q How wise are you in the way you respond to God’s word that demand a change of your character?
Q Is your nation a wise nation? What is your contribution to make your fellow nationals open up to divine wisdom?
Lord, write the principle of wisdom that always respond to God’s word in my heart🙏
Give me wisdom that will never be carried away with talents, gifts and charismatism without righteous living🙏
Lord, let the wisdom that takes the message of repentance and salvation as a matter of life and death rule the hearts of nationals of my country🙏
HYMN Till the whole world knows