They Repented, God Relented

The men of Ninevah believed in God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth-from the greatest of them to the least. When word reached the king of Ninevah, he got up from his throne, took of his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes.     Jonah 3:5-6 HCSB

Jonah was called to Ninevah to preach repentance. God had vowed to demolish the city in 40 days. The people of Ninevah listened to Jonah and repented. Without regret and remorse there can be no repentance. Repentance is defined as the action of repenting, sincere regret or remorse.

The people were sad and remorseful over their sin. They were in mourning.

Ephesians 4:30-31 reminds us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. We are told to live in a way that is pleasing to God and not in a way that grieves Him. Our sin displeases God, and it should literally break our hearts. God doesn’t overlook our sin, and neither should we.

Many people claim to be saved but are actually caught up in emotion. This happens at revivals and church camps where people have an emotional reaction to the message. They walk the aisle and get baptized, but they don’t change the way they live. They continue committing the same old sins. They are not broken hearted over their sin; they are unwilling to repent.

There can be no salvation or revival without repentance, we need to understand that. We also need to understand that we serve a God who can be provoked to great anger and wrath.

God loved us so much; He gave His only begotten Son to die for us so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16). We must also remember that this is the same God who destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their wicked behavior. He also turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt for looking back after being told not to.

Those Israelites were something weren’t they? They were God’s chosen people, but they were habitually disobedient. It took me a while to realize I was just like them. I would love the Lord, get off track, beg God to forgive me and then go through the same pattern all over again.

In Exodus 32, God was so fed up with their disobedience He vowed to destroy them. He told Moses to leave them alone and He would make Moses into a great nation. Moses was fed up with them too, remember he broke the first set of tablets for the Ten Commandments in his anger with them. But Moses interceded for them. He prayed and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. God relented and did not destroy them.

The people of Ninevah repented after hearing God’s message to them through the prophet Jonah. God relented and did not demolish their city. We too can repent.

We are warned in Romans 1:18-24 if we continue to reject God, He will just give us over to our evil, fleshly desires. It will be too late.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that we serve such a loving God, He will simply overlook or tolerate our sin. Hebrews 10:26 says, “For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.”

If you are deliberately sinning, you can expect God’s judgment and His wrath. Sin is good for a little while, but then the trouble comes. Confess your sin to God. Ask Him to help you remove this sin from your life. Trust in Him. Repent. When we truly repent, we regret our sin and even mourn over it.

Your sin is going to lead to God’s wrath. He doesn’t want to punish you; He wants you to turn back to Him. He wants you to repent and get into a right relationship with Him. He wants to relent on bringing the full force of His wrath against you, but He won’t relent if you don’t repent. Repent today before it’s too late.

Have a great day!