In Jonah 3, we see Repentance revealed three ways. It is revealed in Jonah's recommitment, Ninevah's regret and reversal of their ways, and in God's "relenting"...all three are rooted in the Biblical teaching on Repentance.
Below is an outline for this message. I hope Holy Spirit speaks to you through it. More importantly, I encourage you to respond as Holy Spirit leads.
God bless, Kirk McCormick
“Resent, Repent, Relent”
** In Jonah 3, we see how Repentance is revealed Three Ways.
Way 1 – (Repentance Expressed when)
Point: Repentance is often a Change of priorities.
Jonah 3:3 – “Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh.”
Point: Repentance, when genuine, frees us to clean the slate so we can reconfigure our priorities according to God’s plan.
Way 2 – (Repentance Expressed when)
Nineveh Regrets and Reverses.
** Jonah recommits to God’s plan…he goes to Nineveh and preaches…
…the king hears the message (v. 6)
6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne,took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
…and issues a proclamation, that everyone should call on God, and then (the key part being in v. 8c):
Jonah 3:8c – “Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.”
Point: Repentance also means a Change of practice.
** Remorse = knowing I did something against God and feeling stuck because was caught.
** This is what Paul encourages in Romans 6:13
Romans 6:13 – “No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness.”
Way 3 – (Repentance Expressed when)
Jonah 3:10 – “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
Point: Even for God, Repentance means a Change of direction.
** God speaks through prophet Jeremiah how willing he is to change directions if people will respond to him -
Jeremiah 18:7-8 – “At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it.”
Application: The King of Nineveh had it right… every outcome of repentance is due to God’s compassion and grace.
Jonah 3: 9 – “Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”