God Prepares the Heart | Jonah 2:10-3:10
Jonah 2:10-3:10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
While God was dealing with Jonah at sea, he was dealing with the Ninevites on the land. In 765 BC, a major plague hit Ninevah. On June 15, 763 BC, there was a total solar eclipse. To the Ninevites, these were signs of divine anger. Then in 759 BC, another plague hit. When Jonah strolled into town with his judgment message, the people, even the king, were all ears. They listened intently and responded in repentance. It is amazing how God prepares the heart.
When God works on your heart to share the Gospel with someone, you can be pretty sure he is working on the recipient’s heart as well. Your words will be like seed falling on hard dry soil unless God has done some sovereign plowing. You can’t save anyone. Salvation is from the Lord. You are the messenger; he is the Savior. Be obedient to do your part and he’ll be faithful to do his.
Lord Jesus, never let me put the burden of a person’s soul on my shoulders. Help me to be faithful to share the message and trust in you to save the soul. Remind me often that I am an imperfect messenger; you are the perfect Savior. In your name I pray, Amen.