Pastor Tim Romero
2 minutes reading time (306 words)
Jonah 3:10 (ESV): "10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it."
The purpose of chastisement is to change. It's not punishment for transgressions but a catalyst that is meant to turn the heart back to God. Often when people have a change of heart towards their sin God relents from chastisement for the purpose is to produce repentance not payment for sin.
Jonah showed up in Nineveh is raw form. He very probably looked like a hairless albino because of the stomach acid he had been living in inside the belly of the fish for three days. He obeyed God and went to Nineveh and hurled a short and sweet message to the pagans, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown (vs 4)!" The crazy thing is they heeded the warning with zero pleadings from Jonah. The Lord saw their response and gave them mercy, not giving them what they deserved.
God is simply looking for the right response when we sin. He desires repentance which is a change of heart and mind. That is all He is after. It doesn't mean the natural consequences of our sins will disappear but God most likely won't bring further correction upon a person if they repent. He is a merciful God and simply desires to see us turn away from sin and turn towards Him, amen?
Father, we thank You for looking after our hearts. All praise and glory to You. Help us to be quick to repent and turn back to You if we get off track and then help us to not fall back into the same pitfall we pray in Jesus' name, amen.