If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.
And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
Perhaps the best known example of an unfulfilled prophecy relating to the terms of Jeremiah 18:7-10 is that of Jonah going to Nineveh.
Jonah was told “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:2), but Jonah refused to go, and caught a ship going in the opposite direction. So the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you” (Jonah 3:2).
Jonah obeyed and proclaimed the message he had been given: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned” (Jonah 3:4). However, far more than forty days passed yet the city was not destroyed.
This very definite announcement, this very black / white assertion, this clear statement of prophecy, came to nothing! Why? Surely we would expect that any clear-cut statement made by God would be carried out. Here He told Jonah to state that Nineveh would be ‘overthrown’ (KJV, ASV) in forty days. There were no conditions attached, no ifs or buts, so why didn’t it happen?
And how many other prophetic statements are there in the Old and New Testaments which simply did not see their fulfilment? This publication features the main ones and explains why God either did not do the good he had promised, or why he withheld the judgment.