So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
And the people of Nineveh believed God
* * * * * * *
Ninevah was a city that a 3-day walk wide. Jonah was only getting started to call the people to clean up their acts and get right with God. It worked. It worked immediately. The people listened and believed God. They repented. They changed their ways. They felt sorry and asked for forgiveness. If I didn't already have problems believing the whole eaten-by-a-whale-and thrown-up-on-a-beach scenerio, this change of heart makes me immediately suspicious that the story of Jonah is real. No one admits being wrong that fast. No one cleans up their act that fast. No one listens that carefully to any preacher. No one changes their mind that fast. God was planning on destroying Ninevah in short order. God changed his mind that fast. I am left to question whether it is easier to believe that people changed their minds that quickly or that God was willing to change his mind. The story of Jonah and the Whale might be difficult to believe all the facts but the fact we need to be true most of all is God's willingness to forgive.
* * * * * *
Help me to hear and believe the grace that I most need. Amen.