God’s Repentance (Jonah #10)

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Text: Jonah 3:10

God sees all

  • saw their works
  • Talk is cheap
  • Reminds me of Revelation when the Lord says, I know thy works
  • Paul said one time God is my witness
    • Sometimes that’s good
    • Sometimes we don’t want that
  • After I trusted the Lord and particularly after I was called to preach, my life and decisions have been filtered through the relationship I have with the Lord.  Why? Because I know the Lord is watching and I want to make Him happy.

God’s revelation affects behavior

  • they turned from their evil way
  • It is grace that God gives to man His words.  The purpose of God giving man His words is that man might have life.  Wonderful Words of Life
  • The entrance of thy words giveth light.
  • Nineveh responds to the light they are given

God’s repentance

  • What are the things about God that don’t change?
    • Attribute of his existence (Psalm 102:25-26)
    • Attribute of his faithfulness to Israel (Malachi 3:6-7)
    • His doctrine (Hebrews 13:7-9) – meaning God is not double minded.
    • You could look at this like a countdown to judgment.  God calls what He was going to do evil.
  • God’s choices
    • The Lord chooses mercy
      • This is what the Lord wanted to do the entire time.  Jonah seems to be the center of the story, but this is not about Jonah.  The Lord wanted an opportunity to show mercy.
      • Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
      • God would rather crucify His Son than send a sinner to hell.
    • The Lord doesn’t abandon truth for mercy’s sake
      • And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way
      • Sometimes mercy is shown with a blind eye.  The Lord does not ignore the truth that Nineveh needed to change their ways.
      • We can be very good sometimes at ignoring our responsibility to speak the truth by using mercy as an excuse.  The truth is patting someone on the back as they walk off the cliff is not mercy.  It is a friendship that is a lie.
  • God responds to man
    • The Lord’s repentance is always in response to man
      • Did God change His interaction with Adam after sin?
    • Answered prayer
      • Exodus 32:14 – Moses prays and the Lord chooses mercy
      • 2 Samuel 24:16 – David’s prayer and the Lord chooses mercy
      • Jeremiah 26:19 – Hezekiah prayed for mercy and the Lord listened
      • Amos 7:3, 6 – Amos prays and the Lord responds in mercy
    • The Lord tells man more times than we have time for, If you will turn, If you will believe, If, If, If…
    • The Lord continually conditions His actions on man’s response to His words.
  • Repentance is not a word we associate with God.  It really doesn’t make sense that an all knowing God would ever change his mind on a subject.  And how do we reconcile that God does not change, yet here He changes His mind.  How do you say that God is consistent, yet dynamic?
  • God repents in the Bible more than man does.  So the question is not whether God repents, but whether man ever repents.
  • Response is the basis of a relationship.