When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. (Jonah 3:10 NRSV)

Frederick Buechner, a well known writer and theologian, said, "To repent is to come to our senses. It is not so much something you do as something that happens. True repentance spends less time looking at the past and saying 'I'm sorry,' than to the future and saying 'Wow!"

In the story of Jonah, we read about God repenting. Jonah was sent, by God, to the wicked city of Nineveh. He was instructed to tell the people that God was going to destroy their city because of their great sins. So Jonah preached and something unexpected happened. The people repented--from the king to the common citizen of the city. It was amazing. It was the most successful preaching ever. It even amazed Jonah who wanted God's revenge to destroy the city.

The book of Jonah tells us that God saw that the people of Nineveh had repented, so God repented. God decided to spare the city. There was a changed in the hearts of the people, and their relationship with God was restored.

Dear Jesus, restore me today, as I seek your forgiveness. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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