Can you imagine cows wearing sackcloth and ashes? That is what the message of Jonah describes, the mandate that if you really wanted to show that your country was repentant then everyone, including the beasts of burden, needed to show that they were really sorry. Look at vs.8 you will see what the king of Nineveh demands, that “people and animals shall be covered with sackcloth.” How does one put sackcloth on a cow? I guess one hoof at a time.
I always use vs.10 in this chapter as an example of how our prayers and our petitions to God actually make an impact. Read vs.10 again and tell me what you hear. Let me lay it out there so that you can read it again: “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring up on them; and he did not do it.”
God changed his mind. God changed his mind. Did you read that. Because of how the people repented, God changed his mind. The impact that we have upon God cannot be overstated. Like any good parent who hears His children, that parent responds to the request of His children, so God responds to the parameters that he had established with the people of Nineveh. If you repent, then I will save you. They repented. He saved them.
I want to be sure that every person who is reading this knows that we are able to change God’s mind. God loves us so much, and cares for our needs and our life so much that if we do what God asks us to do, then that will create a whole change of events which will always lead to our good. This is at the root of what we read in Romans in chapter 8:28 which tells us that all things work together for good for those who love God. What a great Scripture this is.