God Sees the Sincere Repentance in the Depths of the Ninevites’ Hearts

The Stark Contrast in Nineveh and Sodom’s Reaction to Jehovah God’s Warning

What does it mean to be overthrown? In colloquial terms, it means to disappear. But in what way? Who could make an entire city overthrown? It is impossible for man to perform such an act, of course. These people were no fools; as soon as they heard this proclamation, they caught the idea. They knew that it had come from God; they knew that God was going to perform His work; they knew that their wickedness had enraged Jehovah God and brought His anger down upon them, so that they would soon be destroyed along with their city. How did the people of the city behave after listening to Jehovah God’s warning? The Bible describes in specific detail how these people reacted, from their king to the common man. As recorded in the Scriptures: “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 word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God: yes, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. …”

After hearing Jehovah God’s proclamation, the people of Nineveh displayed an attitude utterly opposite to that of the people of Sodom—the people of Sodom openly opposed God, proceeding from evil to evil, but after hearing these words, the Ninevites did not ignore the matter, nor did they resist; instead they believed God and declared a fast. What does “believed” refer to here? The word itself suggests faith and submission. If we use the Ninevites’ actual behavior to explain this word, it means that they believed God could and would do as He said, and that they were willing to repent. Did the people of Nineveh feel fear in the face of imminent disaster? It was their belief that put fear in their hearts. Well, what can we use to prove the Ninevites’ belief and fear? It is as the Bible says: “and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” This is to say that the Ninevites truly believed, and that from this belief came fear, which then led to fasting and the donning of sackcloth. This is how they showed the beginning of their repentance. In utter contrast to the people of Sodom, not only did the Ninevites not oppose God, they also clearly showed their repentance through their behavior and actions. Of course, this did not only apply to the common people of Nineveh; their king was no exception.

Nineveh's true repentance

The Repentance of Nineveh’s King Wins Jehovah God’s Commendation

When the king of Nineveh heard this news, he arose from his throne, took off his robe, dressed himself in sackcloth and sat in ashes. He then proclaimed that no one in the city would be allowed to taste anything, and that no livestock, lambs and oxen would graze or drink water. Man and livestock alike were to don sackcloth; the people would earnestly entreat God. The king also proclaimed that every one of them would turn away from their evil ways and forsake the violence in their hands. Judging from this series of acts, the king of Nineveh demonstrated his heartfelt repentance. The series of actions he took—arising from his throne, casting off his king’s robe, wearing sackcloth and sitting in ashes—tells people that the king of Nineveh laid aside his royal status and wore sackcloth alongside the common people. This is to say that the king of Nineveh did not occupy his royal post to continue his evil way or the violence in his hands after hearing the announcement from Jehovah God; rather, he laid aside the authority he held and repented before Jehovah God. At this moment the king of Nineveh was not repenting as a king; he had come before God to confess and repent his sins as an ordinary subject of God. Moreover, he also told the entire city to confess and repent their sins before Jehovah God in the same manner as him; additionally, he had a specific plan for how to do so, as seen in Scripture: “Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: … and cry mightily to God: yes, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.” As the city’s ruler, the king of Nineveh possessed supreme status and power and could do anything he wished to. When faced with Jehovah God’s announcement, he could have ignored the matter or simply repented and confessed his sins alone; as for whether or not the people in the city chose to repent, he could have completely ignored the matter. However, the king of Nineveh did not do this at all. Not only did he arise from his throne, wear sackcloth and ashes and confess and repent his sins before Jehovah God, he also ordered all people and livestock within the city to do the same. He even ordered the people to “cry mightily to God.” Through this series of actions, the king of Nineveh truly accomplished that which a ruler should; his series of actions is one that was difficult for any king in human history to achieve, and also one that none achieved. These actions can be called unprecedented undertakings in human history; they are worthy of being both commemorated and imitated by mankind. Since the dawn of man, every king had led his subjects to resist and oppose God. No one had ever led his subjects to entreat God to seek redemption for their wickedness, receive Jehovah God’s pardon and avoid imminent punishment. The king of Nineveh, however, was able to lead his subjects to turn to God, leave their respective evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands. Furthermore, he was also able to put aside his throne, and in return, Jehovah God turned and repented and retracted His wrath, allowing the people of the city to survive and keeping them from destruction. The king’s actions can only be called a rare miracle in human history; they can even be called a model of a corrupt humanity confessing and repenting their sins before God.

God Sees the Sincere Repentance in the Depths of the Ninevites’ Hearts

After listening to God’s declaration, the king of Nineveh and his subjects performed a series of acts. What is the nature of their behavior and actions? In other words, what is the essence of the entirety of their conduct? Why did they do what they did? In God’s eyes they had sincerely repented, not only because they had earnestly entreated God and confessed their sins before Him, but also because they had abandoned their wicked conduct. They acted 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, to pray for Jehovah God to restrain His anger, to entreat Jehovah God to withdraw His decision as well as the catastrophe about to befall them. Through examining all of their behavior we can see that they already understood that their previous wicked acts were detestable to Jehovah God and that they understood the reason why He would soon destroy them. For these reasons, they all wished to utterly repent, 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 no longer continued their wicked conduct nor continued to commit those acts hated by 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 they would never again infuriate Jehovah God. Their repentance was sincere and thorough. It came from the depths of their hearts and was not feigned, nor was it temporary.

Sincere Repentance in the Depths of the Ninevites’ Hearts

Once the people of Nineveh, from the supreme king to his subjects, learned that Jehovah God was angry with them, every single one of their actions, the entirety of their behavior, as well as every one of their decisions and choices were clear and plain in the sight of God. God’s heart changed according to their behavior. What was God’s frame of mind at that very moment? The Bible can answer that question for you. As is recorded in Scripture: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do to them; and he did it not.” Although God changed His mind, there was nothing complex about His frame of mind. He simply went from expressing His anger to calming His anger, and then decided not to bring the catastrophe upon the city of Nineveh. The reason why God’s decision—to spare the Ninevites from the catastrophe—was so swift is that God observed the heart of every person of Nineveh. He saw what they held in the depths of their hearts: their sincere confession and repentance for their sins, their sincere belief in Him, their deep sense of how their wicked acts had enraged His disposition, and the resulting fear of Jehovah God’s impending punishment. At the same time, Jehovah God also heard the prayers from the depths of their hearts entreating Him to cease His anger against them so that they might avoid this catastrophe. When God observed all these facts, little by little His anger disappeared. Regardless of how great His anger had previously been, when He saw the sincere repentance in the depths of these people’s hearts His heart was touched by this, and so He could not bear to bring the 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 supply them.

from “God Himself, the Unique II”


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A Post-90s Couple’s Secret of Togetherness

Panpan I am a member of the post-90s generation. Since I was young, I had been affected by the surrounding circumstances. Additionally, a song called “Wife Is the Captain” was once in vogue and a sentence of the song was, “Wife is the captain and husband is the lieutenant.” I, frequently listening to the song in those days, progressed from paying no attention to the viewpoint to finally accepting it. So when I grew up and was in love, there was a strong desire in my heart: I must make my boyfriend obey my orders. In this way, I can gain a foothold in his family after marriage, so as not to suffer wrong. Looking at my male relatives and friends, I found nearly all of them were henpecked. They listened to whatever their wives said. My parents were a case in point. As I saw, dad never dared to yell at mom. Whoever was wrong, mom always got the better of quarrels while dad was always bullied. Moreover, mom always said to me, “Dominate him when you have a boyfriend. If you fail to do so before marriage, he will be more difficult to manage after marriage.” Gradually I took it for granted that a husband should listen to his wife. After getting married, I always found faults with my husband intentionally or unintentionally and made a quip to get the better of our quarrels. My aim was just to let him listen to me and to have a place in his heart. If there was anything he didn’t act according to my will, I would get into a temper, get a handle on him, and keep gripping about him. Furthermore, he usually forbore with me. As time went on, I made severer demands on him. Even before he went out to have a meal and drink with his friends, he must tell me in advance. As long as he disobeyed me and came home too late, I would burst into a rage whatever sound reasons he had. I never showed consideration for his feelings; nor did I sit down to have a heart-to-heart talk with him calmly. Gradually, our feelings grew cold. After coming back from work, seldom did we talk with each other. He played with his phone while I did my housework. Facing that kind of life all day, I was in anguish and depression, and I didn’t know how to face my future life. In 2014, my elder sister preached God’s kingdom gospel to me. After reading God’s words and listening to brothers and sisters’ fellowship, I realized the reason why I dominated my husband all day long and asked him to listen to me in everything is that I was living in dependence on the satanic disposition of “I’m the boss”. It was not the life to be lived by a normal person. Then I came into God’s presence and prayed for Him to transform me, so that I could be at peace with my husband. One evening, my husband called to tell me he wouldn’t be home for supper. Hearing that, I grew angry, thinking: Over these days, you have been out for drinks invariably. Don’t you even care about me? Wearing a long face, I thundered over the phone, “What? Go out drinking again! Listen! Get back before 11. Otherwise, I will deal with you!” After saying that, I flung the phone and threw myself down on the bed angrily. At that moment, I thought of God’s words: “If you believe in the dominion of God, then you must believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, don’t happen accidentally. It is not that someone doesn’t get on with you or opposes you on purpose; it is actually all arranged by God and He orchestrates everything. What does God orchestrate everything for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings for everyone to see or to expose you; exposing you is not the final aim. The aim is to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you and save you? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off—this is a God-given opportunity. You must learn to seize this opportunity and know how to seize it; don’t lock horns and don’t resist. If you are always competing with the people, events, and things that God has arranged around you, if you are always trying to extricate yourself from them, always feeling dissatisfied, always harboring a disagreeable mentality and always misunderstanding, then you will find it very difficult to enter into the truth. Through obeying, seeking, praying more, retreating to your spirit and coming before God then, unbeknownst to you, a change will happen in your inner condition” (“If You Wish to Attain the Truth, Then You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You”). Realizing that God orchestrated the matter to transform me, I prayed to Him in my heart, “O God! I know my husband’s going out drinking is by Your permission. No matter when he will come back, I’m willing to obey and learn from it.” In thinking of this, my heart settled considerably and I fell asleep soon. At around three in the morning, I woke up. Seeing he wasn’t home yet, I felt shaken and distraught. At that point, I was impatient to get hold of him to ask whatever was going on. But when I picked up the phone, a thought came to my mind, “Whenever he will come back is in God’s hand. Even if I make an irate call to him, he does not necessarily return. I’d better obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements.” Though I had the wish, yet because he didn’t come back at this late hour, there was an inexplicable feeling of pain in my heart, as if a big stone weighed upon it. Then I thought to myself: “I’ve told you when to return, but you haven’t shown up till now! You turn a deaf ear to my words and have no regard for me at all…” The more I thought, the angrier I was. Turning and tossing in bed, I couldn’t wait to call him to make a scene and then parted company with him. But what little sense I had restrained me—putting down the phone I just picked up. I kept calling to God desperately in my heart to help me desist from committing senseless acts. Thus, at six that morning, my husband called and told me he slept at his friend’s house last night. At that moment, I couldn’t help losing my temper with him. After that, I was in agony on the inside: I treated him by satanic disposition again. How can I pass the rest of my life with him? We just married and there’s still a long way to go. How can we get through it? I even felt my existence meaningless. At exactly that moment, I thought of God. Then I prayed to Him, “Oh God! I feel painful when facing with this matter. I really can’t overcome it by my own self-control and I don’t know what I should do. Oh, God! May You lead and enlighten me, so that I can understand Your will.” Afterward, I saw a passage of God’s words, “One after another, all these trends carry an evil influence that continually degenerates man, that lowers their morals and their quality of character more and more, to the extent that we can even say the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? You cannot see these trends with the naked eye. When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it. For man who is not of sound body and mind, who never knows what is truth, who cannot tell the difference between positive and negative things, these kinds of trends one after another make them all willingly accept these trends, the life view, the life philosophies and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them on how to approach life and the way to live that Satan “bestows” on them. They have not the strength, neither do they have the ability, much less the awareness to resist” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”). “Did you ever realize that what you are doing today-namely, … considering yourselves as always right and better than others, being arrogant, and acting savagely like wild animals in mountains and rough like the king of the beasts—where is the likeness of a human being? You are rude and unreasonable” (“The Essence and Identity of Man”). From God’s words, I knew the root of my misery was that I was poisoned by the ideological view of “Wife is the captain and husband is the lieutenant.” This view has become a kind of social trend which everyone adores and lives by. So I took it for granted that a husband should listen to his wife in this era. Therefore, whatever I asked my husband to do, he had to act accordingly; he couldn’t do whatever I didn’t permit him to do; if he didn’t listen to me, it was his fault and I would argue with him. Moreover, as I have been corrupted by Satan, satanic natures such as arrogance and conceit still remain within me. Thus I became less and less humane and completely lost my morality and reason. I, just like a fishwife, was very unreasonable most of the time. I always wanted to proclaim myself king before my husband and asked him to act according to my way of life and to listen to me in everything. In fact, my husband and I are both creatures in the hands of God and we are equal in front of Him. So the saying “Wife is the captain and husband is the lieutenant” is untenable at all. I am not entitled to control my husband. Both of us should worship and submit to God. This is the necessary reason we must be equipped with. I dictated to my husband, which was arrogant and the most unreasonable, and which was not only disliked by my husband but even more hated by God. When I dictated to him relying on these satanic poisons and thoughts, he not only refused to obey but was less and less willing to go home, see me or talk with me. We grew away from each other and there was more conflict between us. We had no patience and tolerance for each other and lived in endless altercations, which brought misery to me and harm to our family. At that time, I realized that I was so corrupted by the evil social trends that I had no likeness of man in the slightest, unable to get along with my husband. In today’s society, many people are infected by the evil thoughts, living by the satanic poison of “I’m the boss.” Many a married couple stands on equal ground and in the end makes their family break apart. Couples are unwilling to be controlled by each other, and because of just one word of disagreement, they often struggle fiercely and argue red in their face. Still so many are nominal couples and have to support the family only for their children. At that moment, I came to understand God’s good intentions. He couldn’t bear to see I was harmed by Satan, so He wants to save me. At this thought, I felt God’s word is so precious, which made me have discernment about the scheme of Satan—using the social trends to poison people. If I encounter things like this in the future, I will live according to His word, breaking away from the affliction of Satan and living out the manner of a true person. After a period of time, one evening, before I knocked off, my husband called to tell me that he would help his friend to move house and after that they would go out drinking. I thought: He just helped his friends to move two days ago. How could they move again? How is it possible to move every other day? He is obviously finding an excuse to go out drinking. Immediately, I was in a bad mood and wanted to lose temper with him. But I realized my corrupt nature was about to erupt, so I prayed to God silently in my heart, “O God! When I encounter this environment, I want to dominate my husband again. May You keep my heart. I’m willing to forsake my flesh and no longer be subject to Satan’s mocking! Please lead me to act according to Your words.” At that point, God enlightened me to remember His words, “Everything that happens to people is when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Nothing major has happened to you at the moment, and you do not bear great testimony, but every detail of your daily life relates to the testimony to God. If you can win the admiration of your brothers and sisters, your family members, and everyone around you; if, one day, the unbelievers come, and admire all that you do, and see that all that God does is wonderful, then you will have borne testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). I suddenly understood: I should bear witness for God in everything that happens to me each day. God wants to purify and transform me through this matter, making me live out a normal humanity and no longer live by the thoughts and views of Satan, so that I can win the admiration of my family members and unbelievers, and can bear witness and glorify God. When thinking of this, I was in a good humor and my heart was lightened. I didn’t feel angry at all. Later, I sent messages and chatted with him on my own initiative as if nothing had happened. He found I didn’t quarrel with him and directly asked me, “Aren’t you angry?” I replied, “Absolutely not! After you finish work, come back soon.” Seeing me really not mad at him, he was very happy and his attitude toward me improved. He began to talk and laugh with me. Thank God for His words being my beacon and reconciling us. Later, the more God’s words I read, the more truth I understand. Therefore, I no longer quarrel with him over some trifles. Not only can I be tolerant toward him, but also I can listen to his suggestions. Seeing my changes, he becomes increasingly caring and considerate. In addition, he is willing to discuss everything with me. He doesn’t go out drinking as often as before. We always chat and open our hearts to each other when we are free, which brings us more happiness and hope. From my experience, I see: I became less and less humane and senseless when I was basing my life on the thoughts, views and poisons of Satan, which brought me only sufferings; while, I can live out normal humanity, get on well with my husband and live a free and liberated life when coming before God and living by His words. I thank God for saving me. I will read more His words in the future and live out the likeness of a real man according to His requirements. To God be the glory! Recommended: God Is in Charge of My Family God Has Saved My Marriage The Sorrow in My Heart Is Finally Removed

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