When God gave Jonah a second chance to obey His instructions to go to Nineveh
and announce His judgment against the city, this time Jonah obeyed.
I love the picture that the Word of God gives us of the king's response.
He stepped down from his throne, took off his royal robes, and decreed that everyone in Nineveh,
from the greatest to the least, should fast and repent.
What a response of humility we see in this king.
While the Word of God makes it clear that it is by grace that we are saved and that salvation is not of our works,
it seems to me that we are seeing a cultural shift to what I would call, "entitlement grace".
I fear that instead of embracing the seriousness of our offense against God and responding in humility, we are now seeing a shift to acting as if we are owed God's grace.
We glibly insert our dimes worth of "I'm sorry" into heaven's vending machine and demand God's limitless forgiveness, mercy and grace as though we did earn it, as though we do deserve it.
Yet, God says that it is those with a broken and contrite heart that He saves.
His Word says that He opposes the proud but gives His grace to the humble.
I'm not saying we can earn God's love by repenting better,
but I am saying that I think we could learn a thing or two from this Ninevite king.
He stepped off his throne -
to me that symbolizes that he laid aside his position and his rights to call the shots, to be the boss.
He took off his royal robes -
to me that symbolizes that he laid aside any claims to self-righteousness,
anything he could use to cover his true sinful condition.
In humility, he cast himself fully on the mercy of God and he was not disappointed.
God's judgment was averted.
When we respond to God's call to repentance in humility and contriteness,
we will not be disappointed either.
Jesus took the judgment we deserved and bore it on the cross.
What amazing grace!
What lavish mercy!
Let's honor what He did by responding to it like this pagan king,
not lightly, but seriously and humbly.
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