Humbled before God

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

James 4:8-10

There is no doubt that God is waiting for us at this time to humble ourselves before Him and acknowledge our sins. We cannot deny that the world is convulsed and misfortune can touch us. No country is exempt from a criminal mind carrying out a terrorist act that kills dozens of people and destroys monuments and symbolic places appreciated by its citizens. Our response to God for an event of this nature should not be one of pride and self-sufficiency, but humble ourselves and seek His face with all our hearts.

The book of Jonah can serve as an example for what James 4:8-10 says. Jonah 1:1-2, Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” The prophet’s response, instead of fulfilling his mission, was to go the other way. Jonah 1:3 says, But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah was not an unbeliever but a servant of God acting double-minded. As he was not satisfied with the assignment, he preferred to ignore it and flee. Of course, it is impossible to flee from the presence of God. So the boat where Jonah went was caught by a great storm, he was thrown into the sea and was swallowed by a huge fish. All this can be read in the rest of Chapter 1 of his book. Inside the fish, Jonah reconsidered, acknowledged his sin, and prayed a beautiful prayer found in chapter 2 of his book. As a result, the prophet was able to escape unharmed from the entrails of the fish.

In chapter 3 of Jonah the prophet is seen fulfilling the mission entrusted. Jonah 3:1-4 says, 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.” 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[a] 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!”

The message of warning came to the inhabitants and king of the city, who took it very seriously. Jonah 3:5-9 says, 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?

And here is God’s answer in Jonah 3:10, 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. God bless you.

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