12 August 2010 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #150, 5934 AM
Teshuvah #4 Nineveh
An Example for Us to Follow
Ancient Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was the home of a people with a terrible reputation for viciousness and cruelty, especially to conquered rulers who rebelled against their power and authority. However, they were in reality no more or less cruel than other peoples throughout history. They were not, as they have been frequently portrayed, sadists. Their soldiers often raided the northern Kingdom of Israel when the latter apostacised and they would eventually destroy that kingdom and take its people into exile. For all their ferocity, the Assyrians were a highly cultured people, a multi-national empire like that of Rome, Russia and the British Empire. Like the Egyptian Pharaoh, the Assyrian Emperor thought of himself as his god's special representative on earth. They were highly efficient administrators.
Of interest, perhaps, to Jews, Messianics and others seduced by occultic Judaism, there is strong evidence that Kabbalism originated from the mystical pagan religion of Assyria (Margot Stout Whiting, Assyria 1995 - The Glory and Fall of the Assyrian Empire). This occult practices has, sadly, badly infected the Messianic Movement and needs to be renounced in all its forms. It is essentially Assyrian witchcraft.
When Jonah was commanded by Yahweh to go and preach teshuvah or repentance to the Assyrians, he did not run away to Tarshish (Spain) because he was a coward but because he hated them for what they had done to his people. His attitude was that these people were beyond redemption and that what they deserved was fire from heaven like Sodom and Gemorrah, not an Israelite prophet risking his neck in a futile bid to evangelise them.
Yahweh forced Jonah to have an 'attitude change' by arranging a short vaccation in a whale which persuaded him that he perhaps ought to do what Yahweh wanted after all, even though deep down he still resented the call. Once expelled by the whale and deposited on dry land, Yahweh again told him to go to Nineveh and to tell the people to repent of their evil lifestyle. So he did. His message at length reached the Assyrian Emperor who much to his surprise (but not Yahweh's) took his message extremely seriously and ordered his people to make teshuvah, renounce evil, and abandon violence. The people repented, lived better lives, and were saved from the punishment Yahweh had threatened against them.
I wonder if there is anyone you think is not worth your trouble sharing the Gospel of Repentance because you just 'know' they are too wicked or set in their ways? Might it be that your balking is your issue rather than the person whom you feel is unreachable? Jonah, unbelievably, went and sulked after the people repented! He lost his whole focus and instead of worrying about lost souls was more concerned about losing some shade when a special plant that grew quickly to shield him from the scorching sun was eaten by a worm. The man even wanted to die because he was so absorbed with himself and his neglibible problems. It seems that Yahweh's prophet was in need to some teshuvah himself.
That may seem a little strange at first sight but the truth is ministers and the unsaved all need to make Teshuvah. That is why the whole of Messianic Israel - the Body of Christ - is commanded to do it annually. Prophets are just as in need of repentance as the heathen. Yahweh can save both believers and unbelievers! And if that sounds a bit strange to you (saving believers), think on it a while.
Everything is possible with Elohim. Those who will turn from their wicked ways will be saved. That's a promise.