When is the last time you called out mightily to the Lord? Most of us prefer to repent quietly, without anyone taking notice. We recite words of confession in worship on Sunday mornings, often giving little thought as the words spill mechanically out of our mouths. Do we really consider the magnitude and weight of our sins? Do we truly search the depths of our hearts for all the evil inclinations that linger in the darkness of our silence?
The people of Ninevah knew the consequences of keeping their sins hidden away in silence. God had sent the prophet Jonah to warn the Ninevites of their impending condemnation and destruction. The immensity and pervasiveness of their sins had kindled the wrath of God, and judgment would be swift and complete.
But the people of Ninevah believed God. They donned sackcloth, sat in ashes, fasted from food and drink, called out mightily to the Lord, and turned from their evil ways. The people genuinely repented. They made their confessions loudly and from the depths of their hearts. And the Lord heard and saw the sincerity of their confession, the genuineness of their repentance, and responded not with destruction, but with mercy.
Prayer: Compassionate God, help us to search the depths of our hearts and turn away from evil, that we may receive the riches of your grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Paulette McHugh, Associate Pastor at
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lexington, SC.