It occurs to me that the greatest miracle in the story of Jonah was not that a great fish swallowed a man for three days and vomited him up ALIVE on the very land where God had told him to go in the first place. The greatest miracle was not that God appointed a very large plant to grow so Jonah could be in the shade, or that God appointed a worm to eat the plant, then appointed a scorching wind and burning hot sun so that Jonah, once again, despaired of life. No, the real miracle in the story of Jonah is that a great city filled with wickedness heard the WORD OF GOD and repented of their sin and that an arrogant King, himself, declared a FAST for the entire city on the chance that the LORD would relent of the calamity He had declared against it. This is what true repentance looks like in many cases: fasting and prayer for forgiveness, a realization that I am helpless to fix myself, and that I am utterly undone. It’s a brokenness that only God can make whole. A contrite heart is so valuable to God that He will actually RELENT if we truly REPENT!
As I considered the absolute absurdity of a pagan King repenting and calling for a CITY-WIDE fast in sackcloth and ashes, I thought, hey, if God could do that for such a lost city as Nineveh where their wickedness was so bad that it actually reached GOD’S ears in HEAVEN, then why can’t the God of the impossible save America? Our wickedness is not less than Nineveh’s sin, is it?
As I contemplated this, I remembered that very familiar passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, “If MY PEOPLE, who are CALLED BY MY NAME, will humble themselves and pray, and seek MY face….” (ok, let’s stop here for a moment) Whose people? God’s people. (That’s us:) Will do what? HUMBLE ourselves and PRAY & SEEK [God’s] FACE. That’s right, apparently, followers of Christ can be pretty prideful, prayerless, and self- centered as a whole. But wait, there’s more! The Scripture goes on to say “…and turn from THEIR wicked ways….” We also have some wicked ways? Wow. Really? I guess it’s time for the Church to do some searching of our hearts and lives to see if there are any wicked ways we need change, so that God can heal our land.
As believers in Jesus, we have the responsibility to humble ourselves. Some of the proofs of that humility are prayer, holiness and a desperate seeking of our God. You may say, “Yeah, but we have arrogant, non- Christian rulers, and God will never cross a person’s will.” Really? I think the devil may be trying to pull one over on us here. The Bible says, “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” Psalm 115:3 And again in Job 40:12, “[God] looks on everyone who is proud, and humbles him….”
And let’s not forget King Nebuchadnezzar. He was the King of Babylon which was the most powerful nation on the face of the earth at the time. This is what HE said after the LORD humbled him, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Dan. 4:37)
Personally, my faith has been built up in this area lately, and all I can say is that MY GOD IS AN AWESOME AND really, really, really BIG GOD! I won’t understand His ways because they are so much higher than mine, but I have learned not to question His methods or accuse Him of being unfair. Ever.
One more thing to ponder. God is the GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, right? Right! So, just when you think it can’t be done, God can do it. A wicked, evil, arrogant King and his people in Nineveh repented in sackcloth and ashes and this is what God did: “When God saw their deeds that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.”
Is it so far-fetched that America and her leaders would fall on our faces, crying out to God for forgiveness and mercy? God did it for Nineveh. He can do it for US. Let’s cry out to Jesus, Church, and let’s proclaim HIS WORD to our Nation. We are the last hope for this land we call home. It’s up to us to believe and ask God for a Miracle in America.
Shalom! Big D
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