It is recorded in the Bible that the Ninevites were evil and depraved to such an extent that God hated them and decided to destroy them with the disaster. However, the Ninevites were not destroyed in the end but rather they gained God’s mercy. What exactly did they do so that God turned His profound wrath to abundant mercy? Read the following God’s words to find out.
God’s word says, “After hearing God’s declaration, the king of Nineveh and his subjects performed a series of actions. What was the nature of these actions and of their behavior? In other words, what was the essence of their conduct in its entirety? Why did they do what they did? In God’s eyes they had sincerely repented, not only because they had made earnest entreaties to God and confessed their sins before Him, but also because they had abandoned their wicked conduct. They acted in this way because after hearing God’s words, they were incredibly frightened and believed that He would do as He said. By fasting, wearing sackcloth and sitting in ashes, they wished to express their willingness to reform their ways and refrain from wickedness, and they prayed to Jehovah God to restrain His anger, entreating Him to withdraw His decision and the catastrophe bearing down upon them. If we examine all of their behavior, we can see that they already understood that their previous wicked acts were detestable to Jehovah God, and we can see too that they understood the reason why He would soon destroy them. This is why they all wished to make a full repentance, to turn away from their evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands. In other words, once they became aware of Jehovah God’s declaration, each and every one of them felt fear in their hearts; they discontinued their wicked conduct and no longer committed those acts that were so detestable to Jehovah God. Additionally, they entreated Jehovah God to forgive their past sins and to not treat them according to their past actions. They were willing to never again engage in wickedness and to act according to Jehovah God’s instructions, if only it were possible to never again infuriate Jehovah God. Their repentance was sincere and thorough. It came from deep within their hearts and was unfeigned and intransient.”
“When God observed all these facts, little by little His anger faded away. Regardless of how great His anger had previously been, His heart was touched when He saw the sincere repentance deep within these people’s hearts, and so He could not bear to bring catastrophe upon them, and He ceased to be angry at them. Instead, He continued to extend His mercy and tolerance toward them and continued to guide and provide for them.”
From God’s words, we can see that the Ninevites offended God’s disposition due to their evil and degeneration so that God decided to destroy them. When God’s declaration reached the Ninevites, they didn’t resist but completely accepted and obeyed it. Then the Ninevites, from the king to the common people, all fasted and wore sackcloth to express their willingness to abandon their wicked conduct and confess their sins before God. God observed their true repentance, and then had a change of heart toward them, and gave them abundant mercy, no longer destroying them. From this, we can see God’s disposition is real and vivid. When people commit sins and resist God, God’s wrath and punishment will come to them, but when they truly repent and abandon their wicked conduct, God will bestow upon them mercy and tolerance. Now, disasters are becoming ever more severe. If we want to gain God’s protection, the priority for us is to have true repentance before God.