Derek Prince - We're So Familiar With The Bible That We Don't Feel It's Impact
This is an excerpt from: Self-Humbling Through Fasting
Now you know Jonah was given a second chance. Thank God for a second chance. And he walked into the city if you read in chapter 3. So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown"! So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Well, I said to myself, "That’s amazing. Why did Jonah’s simple statement have such a powerful affect on such a large and wicked city"?
I concluded was because he’d been through the belly of the whale. I mean he didn’t speak about God’s judgment from a theoretical aspect. It was very real to him. And the amazing thing is, the entire population of Nineveh, this very wicked, violent city, repented from the chief man, the king, down to the lowest. They proclaimed a fast and no one was permitted to eat or drink. Not even the cattle. The whole city fasted. There’s no other fast that I know of like that anywhere in the Bible. The interesting thing is, Nineveh had one prophet once and repented, Israel had many prophets many times and never had a parallel repentance. You know they say "familiarity breeds contempt". And I’m afraid that’s true for some of us. We’re so familiar with the Bible that its impact we don’t feel.
Anyhow, I don’t need to go into the story of Nineveh in any great detail. The fact is that one day, or possibly more than one day of fasting, changed the entire history of Nineveh. And Nineveh was spared God’s judgment for more than one hundred years. The interesting thing is, Nineveh was spared, northern Israel was not spared, and Nineveh was the instrument of God’s judgment on northern Israel. There’s a lesson for that. So there’s one entire city, a pagan wicked city, whose whole history was changed through prayer and fasting.