While in that fish, Jonah had plenty of time to pray to God and plea for forgiveness. He was in a terrible situation, at the bottom, in the dark, and he called out to God, repented, and asked or forgiveness. God granted him mercy.
As a nation, we are in a big fish right now! We have little time left and we must obey God's call to warn the people.
Once again, God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the people. This time Jonah obeyed God. Jonah warned Nineveh. Here's where it gets good. He warned them that their land would be destroyed in 40 days and word got out, even to the king. The whole land fasted and prayed for FORTY DAYS! Everyone fasted, from the least to the greatest, including the king.
Jonah 3:8-10 "8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened."
Jonah thought this was wrong and he became angry with God for healing their land and showing them mercy. Jonah wanted justice. Jonah was angry with God and didn't hide that. He told God that he'd rather die than live. God asked Jonah if it was right for him to be angry over their salvation. Jonah went out in the wilderness to sit in the shade that he made. In the night God provided him with the shade of a plant. Jonah was very happy with the plant's shade, but he did not water it or care for it and the plant died within a day. God had also sent a worm to devour it. Jonah became angry that God would allow the plant He gave him to die so quickly.
Our nation is dying just like that plant. Our people are starving for the bread of life.
Here's where it gets really good. God asks Jonah why he didn't care for the plant that He provided, why did he let it die? God exposes Jonah for not watering it, feeding it, etc. Again, Jonah was so angry that he wanted to die. God also questions his right to be angry at the loss of the plant.
Jonah 4:9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”
10 But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
You see, God commands us to "go out to all the earth and make disciples of all nations" (Matt 28:19). We are to share the gospel with the lost, we are to pray for the lost, we are to care for the lost as well as fellow believers. We are to nurture one another and help one another grow. The people of Nineveh heard the warning and they fasted for 40 days, they repented, turned from their evil ways and sought forgiveness.
2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
As believers in Christ we are called to warn non-believers of the judgment as well as encourage and care for our fellow believer.
Ezekiel 3:16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
It is our duty to reach out to the lost. For every person we choose to not warn, their death, their blood is on our hands.
This is what the 40 day fast is all about. We are fasting and praying for the family, the church, and our nation. But, it shouldn't end there. We must care for and nurture our fellow man. We must sound the warning of the coming judgment and show others how to escape that judgment and secure a seat in the House of the Lord forever. It isn't enough to just pray for them. We must actively participate and carry out the Great Commission.
May God use us in a mighty and powerful right to increase His kingdom. Amen.