Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." --- Jonah 3:1, 2
B. Hussein Obama made “change” the key word and constant theme of his campaign for the presidency. Like the Pied Piper of olden times, he quickly gained a very large following with extensive help from many in the mass media and high profile celebrities such as Oprah, etc. Over time he was able to fill his campaign coffers with at least a half billion or more dollars. It’s still true – money talks and buys a lot of stuff!
But will the Obama formula for bringing about “change” really work? At least during the “honeymoon” period and glowing positive reports from most of the media, it will seem that this fellow does indeed have the answers the country has been searching for over many decades.
But there is only one change that will bring the nation to the place where it needs to be if it is to survive and have hope for the future. It is not a change involving the economy, the environment, the employment rate, national security, energy resources, or education. It is a change that must take place in the ethical, moral and spiritual realms of our culture – literally in the heart and soul of every person living in this nation. But that is something the overwhelming majority of citizens and their leaders (political and religious) do not want under any circumstance to seriously consider.
At the beginning was reference to a man called by God to go to a place called Nineveh. Jonah’s message was a warning of impending judgment within a few days' time – God’s wrath was going to be poured out upon the city for its wickedness. However, something most unusual happened – the people believed and began to change their wicked way of living – they actually sought to repent of all sin, and this included the king himself. Read the account for yourself:
So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, "Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?" Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. --- Jonah 3:3-10
The wickedness found within the republic of the United States is excessive and manifested in countless ways, starting with the destruction of unborn children. But we also have our rampant sexual immorality which violates the numerous standards God has established for acceptable sexual behavior and relationships. Other ways we have defied God involve our idolatry, our profaning of the day of worship, and our feeble attempt to erect a fence to keep God confined so that He doesn’t interfere in areas of public life and education! We also are doing a first rate job at convincing the vast majority of our young that our “roots” go back to lower life forms – and that we have arrived at our present condition by means of a process of evolution, but we’re not finished yet!
Elected officials and church leaders are at a critical crossroad at this point in time – as God issues the call for repentance, personally and collectively, what will the response be? Will it be a correct change which results in turning from all that offends God, or will we as a nation give Him the all too familiar obscene gesture and suffer catastrophic consequences which we cannot begin to comprehend?
At this moment in time there is no recognition on the part of elected officials or on the part of church leaders that there is the urgent need to repent, call on God for mercy and commit to being an obedient people, seeking His will for our daily lives!
It appears more likely with the passing of each day that we will experience what ancient Judah experienced (the wrath of God) in spite of urgent appeals rather than what Nineveh experienced (the blessing and mercy of God) after heeding the message of a prophet by the name of Jonah!
Consider the record of what Judah experienced:
Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He also did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand.And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. --- 2 Chronicles 36:11-19
Is that a mighty voice thundering out of eternity shouting, “Now it’s your turn!”
And the LORD spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, "Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle.’” --- 2 Kings 21:10-12