“And perhaps if the leaders should repent…”

“The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonas (Jonah) ; and behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” Matthew 12:41

Of course that was Jesus speaking in our scripture and he was warning those of the day that as those of days past would all be raised from the dead, together in judgment, that the people of Nineveh, whose wickedness had set them on a course for divine destruction, would even condemn those of this generation, because even the most wicked of Nineveh was wise enough to heed the warning of Jonah, because God not desiring to destroy those of the earth, sends his messengers to urge repentance. 

Jonah had been sent to them, although quite unwillingly, sent nevertheless, proclaiming that if they would not repent and turn from their wickedness that God would destroy them through his righteous judgment. 

Now I want to show you that this repentance came down from the leaders, when a nation comes under judgment, the judgment comes because of wickedness that has been allowed or made into law by those in power, so not only must the people repent the leaders must also repent.

Jonah 3:4-10: “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

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.

For the word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

And he caused it to be proclaimed through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, not 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.

Who can tell if God will turn and repent (relent), and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented (relented) of the evil that he said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” 

So you see, once the king got all the people on board and they humbled themselves God spared them.

I want to give you another such story,  we see how God spared them from judgment and in the next story we will see the hand of God protect those who were surrounded by multiple enemies. Because  either way, we don’t need me to tell us what a mess we are in, but my job is to do just that and to encourage everyone to pray, pray like never before, and pray for those in power to do the right thing and seek God and his protection, because without God no one stands.

2 Chronicles 20:1-30: ” It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.

Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side of Syria; and behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.

And Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah. 

And Judah gathered themselves themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah the came to seek the Lord.

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court,

And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all kingdoms of the heathen (nations)? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?

And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,

If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is as this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

And now, behold, the children of Ammon, and Moab and mount Seir, who thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;

Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit.

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee.

And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaniah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation;

And he said , Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours’s but God’s.

To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set (position) yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them; for the Lord will be with you.

And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face toward the ground; and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord.

And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and the children of the Kornites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high.

And they rose early in the morning and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that they should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever.

And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten (defeated).

For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants on mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of (had finished with) the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped destroy another.

And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.

And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil (plunder) of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days in gathering the spoil, it was so much.

And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah (literally means Blessing); for there they blessed the Lord; therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.

Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies.

And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries (stringed instruments) and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord.

And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for God gave him rest round about.”

If only our leaders would seek the Lord… pray that they do so.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson