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Saturday, January 23 2016
Jonah 4: Their Right Hand And Their Left Hand
"Should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand?"
The prophet Jonah had one of the most successful ministries of any prophet of the Holy Bible. The paradox is that Jonah would very much have preferred to have failed in the mission that the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) gave to him.
Jonah was contemporary with other prophets of the LORD, who were given to warn the Kingdom of Israel directly, while Jonah was sent to warn Israel's enemy Assyria, to keep them from being destroyed before they were sent to destroy Israel if Israel refused to heed the warnings of the other prophets (see Why Was Nineveh Saved From Destruction?). The northern Kingdom of Israel did not heed their warnings, so the LORD brought about their fall by the hand of the Assyrians who did heed the LORD's warning (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes).
Jonah's famous experience at sea (see Jonah's Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and Jonah's Prayer) was the result of his direct attempt to not go to Assyria. Jonah rightly viewed the people of Assyria as a major threat to Israel - and would much rather have preferred to see the LORD destroy them, despite the LORD's stated reason and purpose for the Assyrians.
With his at-sea lesson learned, Jonah went to Nineveh, Assyria's capital city, and warned them. Much to Jonah's personal dismay, he was successful at getting the Assyrians to repent (see also The Nineveh Prophecies).
It was however a plain assurance and proof that the LORD has compassion and forgiveness for anyone who genuinely repents and obeys Him - and that those who regard themselves as "special" in the LORD's Sight will be surely destroyed if they do not return to the reason that the LORD blessed them. It's the reason that Messiah spoke of them all when He said "12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here" (Matthew 12:41 KJV).
"4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 4:3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
This Day In History, January 23
393: Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaimed his eight year old son Honorius as co-emperor (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
971: In China, the military elephant corps of the Southern Han were defeated at Shao by long-range crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops.
1264: The Mise of Amiens, an agreement arranged by Louis IX of France between Henry III of England and his barons. It invalidated the Provisions of Oxford.
1265: The first Parliament of England convened.
1492: The Pentateuch (i.e. the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) was first printed.
1516: Spanish King Ferdinand II died. While he and his wife Queen Isabella are most famous for employing the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (who "discovered" the Caribbean islands; see a map of all of the voyages of Columbus at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy), Ferdinand, also known as "Ferdinand the Catholic," was the perpetrator of the infamous Spanish Inquisition in which tens of thousands of non-Catholic people were tortured and executed. Thousands were burned alive at the stake, while others were tortured with "waterboarding" in an attempt to brutalize them, by near-drowning, into forsaking the genuine method of baptism, by immersion (the exact same torture used by the CIA around the world today, despite, at the end of the Second World War, the U.S. having executed Japanese military officers for the "war crime" of torturing prisoners by the very same waterboarding).
1556: Over 800,000 people died in an earthquake in China. It remains the most deadly earthquake on record.
1570: James Stewart, the Earl of Moray, who was appointed Regent of Scotland on the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots, was assassinated.
1579: The Dutch Republic was formed with the signing of the Union of Utrecht.
1622: William Baffin died at age 38. The British explorer's calculation of longitude at sea by using observations of the moon's position was the first documented. Canada's Baffin Island is named after him.
1631: The Treaty of Barwalde between France and Sweden in which Louis XIII consented to pay Gustavus II Aldolphus a million livres per year to continue to fight the Habsburgs in the Thirty Years War.
1668: The military Alliance of The Hague, also known as the Triple Alliance, was signed by Britain, Sweden and Holland.
1719: The Principality of Liechtenstein was formed within The Holy Roman Empire by the amalgamation of Vaduz and Schellenberg.
1793: Prussia (a German kingdom in northern Europe located in what is today northern Germany and northern Poland) and Russia declared the second partition of Poland.
1806: William Pitt, the Younger, died at age 47. As Prime Minister, he led Britain during the Napoleonic Wars against France. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was named after his father, William Pitt, the Elder (neither father nor son were revolutionaries in the New England colonies that were built by English pioneers in the wilderness).
1812: The great New Madrid earthquake struck in Missouri. It registered 7.8 on the Richter Scale.
1831: The Lower Canada Assembly ("Upper" and "Lower" Canada were terms based simply on the flow of the Saint Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean; "Upper Canada" was present-day southern Ontario, "Lower Canada" was southern Quebec) voted to extend legal rights to Jews.
1870: In Montana, U.S. cavalrymen murdered 173 Native Americans, mostly unarmed women and children, in what became known as the Marias Massacre.
1900: In the second Boer War, the British attempted to break through the Boer lines to relieve Ladysmith but were thwarted at the Battle of Spion Kop.
1920: The Dutch refused to extradite German Kaiser Wilhelm II after he went into exile after the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1943: During the Second World War, Tripoli, Libya was captured by British and Canadian forces under Field Marshal Montgomery.
1950: George Orwell (actual name Eric Blair) died at age 46. The British novelist was the author of Animal Farm (that dealt with the hypocrisy of revolutionaries who end up becoming the very same sort of people that they rebelled against) and Nineteen Eighty Four (a futuristic warning about "Big Brother" government).
1968: North Korea captured the U.S. Navy ship Pueblo. The crew was released later that year, but the ship remains in North Korea to this day.
1973: Richard Nixon announced that an accord had been reached to end the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose single country had been partitioned in 1954, by the French at the end of the First Indochina War, into North and South Vietnam).
2006: Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister of Canada.