A City That Saved Itself
A city saved itself. It was marked for destruction because it was a city of corruption, crime and violence. Yet it was not destroyed because it’s people were violent by nature. It was not destroyed because no matter how far they strayed, there is always a way back. It was not destroyed because repentance is always possible.
Nineveh was the name of that city and Jonah was its prophet who proclaimed its destruction.
Jonah had a very dark view of humanity. Unlike Abraham he never argued with God for the righteousness of our souls. He ran from his responsibility.
He did not understand why a city was permitted to save itself. He had to be taught that people can change, that our fate is not written in stone. And what Jonah learned about Nineveh, each of us must learn of our own lives.
We all make mistakes. We commit violence, we lie, we cheat we steal. Yet we also have the power to defeat our mistakes. We do not need a priest to make expiation, we do not need a prophet to proclaim what we already know. Through prayer, through love, and through acts of righteousness we can atone for our sins. We can be good again. We can save ourselves.