What can you do to better society?
Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sack cloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh… Jonah 3:4-7 NIV
What would happen in your church, community, or city if large numbers of people decided to become Godly? What impact would that have on family and business relationships? Would some be restored? Would the crime rate and domestic abuse rate decline? Would people become more respectful and honoring even if there is disagreement? Would the workplace become more productive and congenial? Would honesty, patience, and kindness become the norm?
The answer to all the above questions is a resounding, “YES!” In our above Scripture focus, the city of Nineveh experienced a revival. Simply put that means there was a city-wide renewal of interest among people in knowing and serving God. There was a city-wide, far-reaching encounter with God. The city itself had a population of 120,000 people. Some say the surrounding area would take the population up to a million people. The Ninevites admitted to their sinful, self-centered nature and godless behavior. They invited God to restore in them their God-given nature. What resulted was a tremendous far-reaching improvement in the condition of their society. People changed. The entire population was blessed by this spiritual awakening.
Revival is desperately needed all over the world. There is godlessness everywhere you look. Sinful, godless ways are not just accepted but elevated. Righteousness simply means being right with God and man. Today it is ridiculed. Marriages and families fall apart. Every form of behavior is not only practiced but accepted and exemplified. Violence is seen in homes, schools, shopping malls, and the workplace. Road rage is commonplace. More people carry weapons in order to protect themselves. We live in a toxic culture. People disrespect and denigrate others for sharing personal opinions which are opposite to theirs. Hate crimes are increasing. Does this sound like society is getting better while we get more education and wealth?
A revival is desperately needed. The Latin root of the word “revival” means TO LIVE AGAIN. People need to learn to live again just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden with God. What a beautiful, peaceful, productive society they lived in. Everything was good. God made it that way. The Ninevites experienced revival. They changed so much that they learned TO LIVE AGAIN.
A Nineveh-like revival is desperately needed. Society will never change by politicians making new laws. Neither will big businesses be able to make large donations to charity in order to see people respecting people and the drug epidemic drastically dwindle. The educational system will not be able to bring about a Nineveh revival because the change that is needed does not first begin in the mind but the heart.
If there is to ever be a monumental change in our society, what happened in Nineveh will have to happen where we all live. There will have to be the following:
- SOUND, AUTHORITATIVE, BIBLICAL PREACHING. God uses preaching to confront sin. People may consider it to be a foolish, out-of-date method to communicate God’s principles and laws, but it is God’s chosen method. [1 Corinthians 1:18-21] Jonah preached this way. People do not need to hear a preacher’s opinion but instead the proclamation of God’s Word. To live again, people must be told about God’s love and ways.
- BELIEF AND CONFESSION. The Bible says the Ninevites believed God, not Jonah. They knew what was being said was true. It was not Jonah’s personal thoughts. They heard the voice of a man making a declaration about their sinful behavior which was about to bring God’s judgment. The Ninevites became convinced it was God speaking through Jonah. Belief in God means having a reverential fear of God. When someone believes, it leads to confession of their sin to God alone. The Ninevites asked God for forgiveness and salvation. God heard them. To live again, people must believe God and confess their sinful ways.
- GENUINE REPENTANCE. The Ninevites truly realized there was only one God to be accountable to and they were living opposite to His purposes and plans for their lives. True repentance is more than just feeling sorry. It is not merely sorrow but change. They fasted and put on sackcloth because they were admitting to their evil and violent ways of living. God first saw their wickedness and then saw their change. [Jonah 1:2: 3:10] To live again, people must sincerely realize how their ways of life are destructive to society, family, city, and country.
What can you do to help your part of the world TO LIVE AGAIN? No one would have thought the Ninevites would change. Your community and city can change. Just do your part by living for God and praying for revival.
SOMETHING TO DO
This devotional requires you to reread it and meditate on it. Then take time to pray.
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Lord God, we need revival. Our society desperately needs to learn TO LIVE AGAIN. Please send a divine moment in our time similar to what happened in Nineveh. AMEN!