Wednesday: A Successful Mission
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After such a miraculous deliverance, when commanded by God the second time to go to preach in Nineveh, Jonah obeyed immediately.

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

In his proclamation, Jonah (3:1-4) used language reminiscent of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). But in the original Hebrew, the word for “overthrown” (see Gen. 19:2129Jon. 3:4) from Jonah’s proclamation can also have the meaning “turned around” or “transformed” (Exod. 7:17201 Sam. 10:6). Jonah’s preaching of the divine message was not in vain.

The greatest achievement of Jonah’s prophetic career was the repentance of the city. After the seamen, the Ninevites were the second group of non-Hebrews in the book to turn to God, and all because of interactions with God’s flawed messenger. The results were astounding. To humble themselves before God, the people of Nineveh wore sackcloth, put ashes on their heads, and fasted. All these were external signs of sorrow and repentance.

Read Matthew 12:39-41 and 2 Chronicles 36:15-17. What do these verses teach us about the importance of repentance?

The remarkable picture of a strong Assyrian monarch humbling himself in ashes before God is a sharp rebuke to the many of Israel’s proud rulers and people, at least those who persistently rejected the prophetic calls to repentance. Because of the book of Jonah’s emphasis on God’s grace and forgiveness, the Jewish people read it every year at the climactic point of the Day of Atonement, which celebrates God’s forgiveness for their sins.

“Our God is a God of compassion. With long-sufferance and tender mercy he deals with the transgressors of his law. And yet, in this our day, when men and women have so many opportunities for becoming familiar with the divine law as revealed in Holy Writ, the great Ruler of the universe can not behold with any satisfaction the wicked cities, where reign violence and crime. If the people in these cities would repent, as did the inhabitants of Nineveh, many more such messages as Jonah’s would be given.”—Ellen G. White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, October 18, 1906.

Read Jonah 3:5-10. What do these verses reveal about the nature of true repentance? How can we apply these same principles to ourselves?

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Wednesday: A Successful Mission — 22 Comments

    • The Holy Spirit achieved a successful mission despite Jonah's.
      Thanks to God, His constant love can change our lives, and make us fulfill our mission despite ourselves.
      Praise the Lord!

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  1. Jonah makes a typical and flawed messenger of GOD who develops jealousy about the turn of events..."that God had changed his mind to forgive the Ninevites". It's like going to pray for a sick friend who you have warned several times about his behaviour and you feel that he deserves that punishment. May God help us see it the way it should.

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  2. On judgment day we see the repentant saved. Repented in their life time.
    Amaizing God's love. I will say God cares for those sinful peoples, God alone.

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  3. Sorrow for sin and turning from it are two parts of repentence. God is very merciful, and He tries to lead us to truly repent so that He can give us the life He intended for us to experience. Genuine repentence is the result of the Holy Spirit's patient work and miracles in our lives.

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  4. The repentance of the people of Nineveh is demonstration of the fact that we should never write off any person, people, nations, as being too evil and wicked for God to save. He can save to the utmost.

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  5. My friend Mposa, Jonah did accept God after what precaution? Yes it's true that we should accept God the way He did. So, what do you expect? Should we do it the same?

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  6. I think when we are called by God to perform something, let's not hesitate. tell the Lord, "Here I am send me Lord" thank my Friends.

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  7. It is surprising that God would forgive us even though we turn from His divine will for us. He truly is Love!

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  8. [Please use your full name in comments on this site. Thank you. ]

    When we are obedient to God's command we become powerful, effective witnesses

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  9. Thank you Isaac, I was just praying to God to improve my mental status so I will be able to study and be able to impart to others the good news of salvaton. Because that's what we are called to do. We sometimes hide because of what we think we cannot do but God will help us if we rely totally on Him.

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  10. [Moderator Note: Please use first and last name when commenting]

    When the Lord calls us to preach, It is not revealed the outcome to us, we just have to do our best to present the message in its purity, no sugar coated, and no political correctness. Perhaps this is what happens in America, Perhaps this is why we have a few baptisms, perhaps we are not preaching the imminent judgment of God to the world but entertain people from our pulpits. Perhaps we are trying to compete with the media..if that is the case we are already defeated.

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  11. This shows us that our God is able to seek and save lost. What an inspiring lesson for us to learn from! We should all be greatful that we have such a merciful and loving Saviour. Let us all rely on God and his word, and repent of our evil ways.

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  12. Thank you Dear Lord, You are truly eager and willing to forgive because You Love us. Before even destroying the people of Nineveh, He sent warning, His Word, ahead. His Word had pierced the persihing souls of these people and had led them to wear sack clothes and fast and pray. He is doing the same thing with us, let us repent from whatever our wicked ways and turn to God with a humble heart. Dear Lord, please instill in us the desire to do Your Will.

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  13. A successful mission can only be granted by God.The lesson is "when setting goals God should be involved and let him be the planner and the head of what you want to achieve.By so doing, success is inevitable. After the second calling, Jonah stead fast adhered to God's command, went to Nineveh and preached correctly the message God planned.The mighty Assyrian monarch gave themselves to God. We saw true repentance like what of David, they also put on sack clothed and fasted to be forgiven. Lesson here is that we need to give ourselves fully to God without reserve. Amen

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    • "and preached correctly the message God planned" What is God's message for us to preach today? Can it be sumed up like in Jonah case in one sentence?

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  14. i think the importance of repentance is to acknowledge our sin turn away from it so that the holy spirit can dwell in us and help us to obey the lord and do his commands..

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  15. Renford, Yes Isaiah 11 is a great chapter. But, It is speaking of the millennium and not Heaven. This is a time after the anti Christ. The devil is in chains. No longer roaming about. The children referred here are children of people still on earth. Its kind of like it was before the fall, but not quite. Its still needs help and the saints are the ones ruling with Christ as Lord. Peace is the general rule of the day! What a time!There's more, but that should help you.

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    • TOM help futher about Isa 11.. Are saved judging devil and lost in milenium or are they rulling with Christ in that time over living on earth? I remember learning in Adventiist church that in 1000 year there is no one alive on eart but devil alone!?

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      • Goran, The devil is chained up during this time, this thousand years time. This makes for a peaceful earth, and is full of the knowledge of the Lord . We, those that went to the first resurrection, are back with Christ and ruling and reigning with Him. The lost still have the gospel preached, but it is every where. There is no lack for that. It is the time when men beat their swords into plowing tools. They learned war no more. You can read more in Revelation 20.

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