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God’s Repentance

“God’s repentance”

He did it not. —Jonah 3:10

Read Jonah 3:10-4:4

In today’s Scripture passage we are confronted with a great contrast. On the one hand we read of God, who shows mercy to the heathens of Nineveh. On the other hand, we see the prophet Jo-nah, angry because of delayed judgement on the Ninevites. God repented of the evil that He said He would do unto them, and He did it not. We need to realize that we are speaking here about God in human terms. When we have been made sorry about something we often really mean, If I had known the consequences, I would have never done such a thing. This, of course can never be said of God, for He is all-knowing. There are no mistakes in His calculations. The all-knowing God was not surprised when the Ninevites repented.

God does not change, but He may change His threats into blessings. God is unchangeable, however, He is not like an unfeeling robot. Instead, we have a living God who reveals His compassion for us, which opens the way for our deliverance from distress and death, from sin and anxiety. But Jonah’s reaction can be simply put in the following way: He wanted to correct the Lord’s work. This is a sin that is repeated thousands of times in our lives. How often do we not question God? Why did this terrible catastrophe come into my life? Where is God now? If there is a God, He would not have let this happen to me. Who among us is never troubled by this sin? Who of us is not inclined to try to take hold of the reins of God? Let us learn to leave the reins of God’s providence in His hands alone!

What does the phrase “it repented God” mean?


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