From Jonah's Crumpled Notes
I couldn't blame the king for looking at me with squinty eyes. I didn't dress fancy like the people of Nineveh. Had never owned more than two changes of clothes. I was hot and had walked seven hundred miles and smelled like I had washed in fish soap.
"What is your message? Be quick about it."
I bowed to him, respectfully. "The Almighty God has sent me to you with His message. In forty days Nineveh will be conquered."
I didn't expect the king to believe me. In truth, I thought he would have the the guards drag me out of the city and throw me out the gates.
Instead, he rose from his throne and took off his royal robes. "Bring me sackcloth at once." His servants ran out of the room and returned moments later with sackcloth. They helped him put the scratchy cloth over his head and down over his body. He walked over to where there was a pile of dust and sat in it.
The people in the room gasped. They whispered among themselves, "This is serious."
The king of Nineveh raised his head and said, "I am issuing this proclamation. Effectively immediately and by my decree:
"Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything. Do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."
The people fled from the room to obey the king's decree. Throughout the palace I could hear men and women crying out prayers to God. I walked back out to the city streets and was amazed. The shops had all closed. People sat on the city streets dressed in the brown sackcloth.
Children and animals, too. No one walked about the city as they had when I arrived.
God saw how they had changed their ways. He saw the sincerity of their hearts and how the entire city cried out. He spoke to me saying He had compassion on the people of Nineveh and would not bring about the destruction he had threatened.
Really? This mean and cruel people of Nineveh? But, I didn't want God to forgive them.
Come back next time to see what Jonah does.
1. What message did Jonah tell the king of Nineveh?
2. What did the king do to his clothes as soon as he heard the news?
3. What declaration did the king send out to his people?
4. What did the people do?
5. What did God decide?
6. Why was Jonah upset?