Read Jonah 3:4
The goal was clear. The strategy was straight forward. I knew my role, and I knew exactly what needed to be done to achieve success. But, I had not done it. I had turned a blind-eye to my responsibilities.
One cold, February day, I got “the” call. A meeting had been set to discuss the project and what needed to be done to meet the goal. My negligence was public knowledge to my manager as well as to her manager (and likely beyond). The meeting would involve several people, and I knew they knew I had not done my job. So, when the meeting date arrived, I was prepared to hear what my manager and others had to say. I apologized, and I took ownership of my role in the project. And, together we moved forward toward success.
God prepared Ninevah – its people and its leaders – to hear His message, “… in 40 days, [you] will be destroyed.” Their hearts were receptive to the truth. Somehow, all of Nineveh – a huge city – was ready to hear, believe, and repent at once. They knew they deserved destruction as punishment, but they repented and asked God to change His mind in forgiveness.
If you sneak ahead and read the rest of the chapter, it seems like God might have started preparing Nineveh to hear His message at the same time He called Jonah to share His message. How amazing to think that long before Jonah stepped foot in Nineveh (or even on the boat headed to Tarshish), God was at work in the hearts of those living in Nineveh, calling them to repentance.
God’s timing – and message – is always perfect!