If Jonah came to your land, as to Nineveh that day,
And cried aloud
in prophet-tones, with words you heard him say:
forty days (one month plus ten) your land will be no more,”
Would you believe the warning of that man, just put ashore,
Transported by a great fish (three days and nights within),
Because he’d run away from God, and suffered for his sin?
Perhaps he wore a loincloth of seaweed, wrapped and tied,
Because of human modesty, his nakedness to hide.
skin was ashen-grey, from stomach acids there,
As he floated midst the items of the fish’s
Did the pagan ones of Nineveh mistake him for Neptune,
A god they may have worshipped, why they heeded him so soon?
As day-by-day, from dawn to dusk (it took three
days to cross),
Old Jonah cried aloud to spare the people from
At first the hearers questioned: “Just who is
this crazy one
Who cries out such outrageous threats each day from sun
But then his words began to penetrate their minds and
As one-by-one some then believed,
on streets, in homes, in marts.
More and more believed his words, and the
king was told at last;
He took the matter in his hands and called a total fast:
“Not old nor young, not man nor beast, shall anything partake;
Perchance, by deep humility, this grievous curse we’ll break.
Let man and beast wear sackcloth, and no violence be found;
Let all cry mightily to God, from evil ways turn round…
“Perchance His anger will abate, His wrath be turned away
When He sees we are repentant and mean just what we pray.”
He rose up from his royal throne and laid aside his robe,
Then clothed himself in rough sackcloth; the ash heap his abode.
God saw their deep contrition, how they heeded Jonah’s call,
Withheld His hand of judgment and forgave them, one and all.
As in the days of Nineveh, that city wide and great,
America must now repent, before it is too late.
God’s boundless grace is offered now wherever sins abound,
But mercy is not endless where repentance can’t be found.
Who knows if forty days, or weeks, or months will yet elapse
Between today and judgment, His protective wall’s collapse?
In fact, who knows if only forty hours yet remain
Till heart attack, an accident, foul play, or stroke of brain
May snuff out life, or render one incapable of thought.
Perhaps the time is very short, and yet we know it not,
If forty minutes, even seconds, be our futures’ length,
Let all repent…relinquish sin, so God can give new strength!
Let timid Christians seek His face, and pray “the sinners’ prayer,”
Lest sheaves be lost that we might lay at Christ’s feet, over there.
The fear we may offend, by witnessing in Jesus’ name,
Is nothing when compared with the offense, and thus the shame,
Of letting hell-bound souls proceed along the downward way!
Will they lift up their eyes in flames and, agonizing, say:
“I’m sure that I remember you; we lived just down your street,
You always greeted pleasantly whenever we would meet.
But if you knew about this place and kept the truth from me,
I pray, from now, you’ll share that truth with everyone you see,
So they may turn to Jesus Christ before it is too late.
Give them an
opportunity, lest this should be their fate!”
-- Roberta N. Tuthill,
Copyright 12/15-21/2006 (1-17-08)
T. Teckenburg, sister; dedicated 1-17-08
to our father, Henry Garfield Tuthill, Sr., 1/29/1882-7/6/1960)