Text: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” – Jonah 3:10.
Comment: When a worshipper of God understands that mortal men are infallible and liable to sin, the logical approach to any misdeed is sorrow and repentance. The prophet of God had warned them of God’s impending anger on the inhabitants of Nineveh, “an exceeding great city of three days’ journey”.
Jonah’s warning jolted the inhabitants from their spiritual slumber to alertness or awakening of God’s requirements. “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them…And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.” – Jonah 3:5-8.
King David writes: “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5). Furthermore, God speaking in the first person said: “If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” – Jeremiah 18:8. See also Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9.