Jonah 3

DateVersionReading Plan
@November 22, 2023ESV (2016)ESV Prophets Plan 2023


  • Jonah Goes to Nineveh
  • The People of Nineveh Repent


The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time that he was to call out against Nineveh with a message. This time Jonah was obedient and told them that the city would be overthrown in forty days. When the people of Nineveh heard, they responded favorably and believed God. When word reached the king, he tore his clothes, covered himself in sackcloth and sat in ashes. He issued a decree that they were to fast from food and water, cover every man and beast with sackcloth, cry out mightily to God and turn from their evil ways. The king was unsure that their repentance would cause God to relent and turn from His anger, but thought it worth commanding it anyway. God saw how they turned from their evil way and, in His compassion, “relented of the disaster he had said he would do to them” (Jonah 3:10).

The king’s faith and leading his people by example to repentance is remarkable. He had no idea whether these actions would elicit a positive response from God but knew that they were gestures of a correct posture. This serves as a wonderful example of how we are to go to the Lord in prayer. In our petitions for improved circumstances, it is not the desired outcome that matters but that we come to Him first. His response may be to our liking or it may not, but we bless our Father when He is top-of-mind for our every need. What an inspiration this earthly king can be for us as we approach our heavenly King, that we would come to Him for all things and bless our Lord who has blessed us so abundantly.

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