When God Relented
In the entire story of Jonah, he is the only one who doesn’t obey God!
Jonah 2:2 says, “I called out to the LORD from my distress, and he answered me; from the belly of Sheol I cried out for help and you heard my prayer.”
Jonah has just told his shipmates to throw him overboard because he knows that his disobedience has caused the disastrous storm they are experiencing. Yet in the belly of the large fish, he cries out to God and God hears Jonah’s prayer!
Often we feel, and believe, that God won’t hear us because of our sin. Yet God was sending Jonah to a Gentile nation because “their wickedness has come to my attention.” God wanted to redeem them.
Psalm 34:18 says The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Jonah didn’t become brokenhearted or crushed in spirit until he was in the belly of the large fish.
Jonah 3:8-10 the king of Nineveh says, “Every person and animal must put on sackcloth and must cry earnestly to God, and everyone must turn from their evil way of living and from the violence that they do. Who knows? Perhaps God might be willing to change his mind and relent and turn from his fierce anger so that we might not die.” When God saw their actions - they turned from their evil way of living! - God relented concerning the judgment he had threatened them with and he did not destroy them.
God relented! I know myself, and I know what I deserve, BUT GOD, in his great mercy, looks at my heart and sees the blood of Jesus, and he relents from giving me what I deserve and instead lavishes on my his goodness!