April 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

Laura Woolf Houle
Guest Columnist

I was recently listening to a devotional about Jonah and his unenthusiastic, reluctant mission to warn the city of Nineveh of pending damnation if they did not repent and turn their hearts back to God.  Growing up in a Christian home and going to church and Sunday school each week, I had heard this story dozens of times.  I’ve always thought, “Wow!  Nineveh must have been a horrible place, filled with awful, devious, sinful, wretched people who probably deserved what they had coming to them.”

As I listened to the devotional this past time, it struck me like a 2 X 4.  America is Nineveh!  The things they did are probably comparable to the things we are doing.  The recent ruling by the state of New York to legalize late term, up-to-birth abortions is the modern day equivalent of child sacrifices.  We have turned our back on God and our Judeo-Christian heritage and have tried to push Him out wherever we can – schools, workplaces, even attempts to remove the phrase, “In God We Trust” from our currency.  We have long called good, evil and evil good, and the behaviors our society is labeling “good” have rapidly become more vile and depraved.

America is a mess.  We are divided and bitter, filled with anger and hatred towards one another, murdering the most innocent, vulnerable members of our society, fighting against one another, giving Satan far too much power to destroy marriages, families, relationships and any progress we had previously made with bridging the racial gap.  We are a lot like Nineveh, who was headed towards ruin until their ruler heard Jonah’s message, heeded his warning and led the Ninevites to repent of their sinful lifestyles and turn their hearts and minds back to God.  Our amazing God is long suffering, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. (Jonah 4:2) 

Despite how messed up they were, the Ninevites had two really big things going for them.  They had a leader whose heart was open to what God had to say, and they were broken over their sinful condition.  If God can have compassion on Nineveh, He will have compassion on America IF we repent and turn back to Him.  It starts in our homes through repenting of the stubborn sin areas in our own lives and taking deliberate measures to shepherd our children and instill Godly, righteous values in their lives.  That may mean installing filters on their devices to protect them from the myriad of unhealthy, counter Christian influences that subtly and continuously bombard them.  We must take back the power God has given each of His children to fight back against Satan and the growing evil in our midst.  We must take a stand for righteousness by voting our values and getting our own hearts, lives and homes right with God. 

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  – II Chronicles 7:14