The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the good city of Nineveh and preach against it, simply because its wickedness has come up ahead of me.” (Jonah 1:1-two NIV)
Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, a nation which, in the days of Jonah, was not only the main energy in the Middle East, but also an enemy of Israel. So, when God told Jonah that He wanted him to go to Nineveh and preach against it, you would assume that Jonah would have stated, “On my way, Lord!” Immediately after all, simply because of the wickedness that God saw in that city, He was prepared to cast judgment on it and to destroy it. But alternatively, Jonah got up and hightailed it in the opposite path (Jonah 1:three). He went to Joppa and took the subsequent boat out of town, heading for Tarshish, which was as far in the opposite path from Nineveh as Jonah could possibly go at that time. Jonah was a reluctant prophet.
But God was not letting Jonah off that effortlessly. God sent a raging storm that threatened not only Jonah’s life, but also the lives of the sailors on the ship headed to Tarshish. To cease the storm from destroying the ship and every person on it, the sailors threw Jonah overboard. The storm was quieted and God gave Jonah a “time out” by sending a good fish to swallow Jonah and give him time to assume. Jonah sat in the belly of that fish for 3 days and when he prayed and gave praise to God, God ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach. God gave Jonah a second possibility. After once more, he told Jonah to get up and provide His message to Nineveh (Jonah three:1-two). This time, Jonah did what God told him to do (Jonah three:three-four).
What was the purpose for Jonah’s reluctance the 1st time God told him to preach against Nineveh? Possibly he was afraid of what the Ninevites could possibly do to him. Immediately after all, they have been identified for their violence. Possibly it was simply because, as an Israelite, Jonah felt he would be betraying his personal nation by warning the Ninevites of God’s impending judgment. But, if you study by means of the book of Jonah, you will find out that what was truly behind Jonah’s reluctance, what truly sent him on a journey to attempt to flee from God’s presence and God’s strategy for him was simply because Jonah knew God. Jonah knew that the God he served was merciful and compassionate. He knew that his God was slow to anger and filled with a enjoy that never ever fails. And that signifies that Jonah knew that if Nineveh repented, they would not face the judgment and destruction that they deserved.
Nineveh did repent. As a outcome, they have been spared the judgment and destruction that Jonah had told them they have been facing (Jonah three:five-10). And Jonah? Was he content that, as a outcome of his preaching God’s word, the Ninevites repented and have been spared the consequences of their wickedness? Nope! Jonah was upset and became angry with God (Jonah four:1-three). Generally, he stated, “God, I knew this was going to take place! I knew that simply because You are merciful, loving, and compassionate, You would spare these persons! That is why I didn’t want to do this to start with! Kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than to see this.”
God responded to Jonah’s tantrum by saying, “Is it proper for you to be so angry about this?” And Jonah went off and sulked (Jonah four:four-five). It is quick for us to study this and say, “Right, God! You inform him! What proper does he have to be so angry that his enemy was spared?” But, if we’re truly truthful about it, though we might not have ever stated it, we likely would really feel the exact same way Jonah felt if God have been to spare these whom we dislike, these whom we contemplate enemies, these who, in our eyes, do not deserve God’s mercy and compassion. The book of Jonah ends with a query, asked by God: “But Nineveh has far more than 120,000 persons living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I really feel sorry for such a good city?” (Jonah four:11 NLT)
God produced all persons. He produced us. He produced our enemies. He produced these who reside in techniques that deserve His judgment. Truth is, we are all sinners. But when you study Jonah four:11, when you study Matthew 18:12-14, and when you study two Peter three:9, it is really clear that God desires that all persons must be saved, that all persons must be offered the possibility to acquire eternal life. John three:16 (NIV) says that “God so loved the planet that he gave his a single and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God loves the planet. Not the planet, but the persons who reside on it. And, if God loves them, so must we. We have a mission, offered to us by Jesus (Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:eight). We are to preach the great news of salvation by means of Jesus to all persons, not just to these we enjoy, not to our neighbors and buddies, but even to these whom we do not like, even to our enemies. We are to preach the great news to Nineveh.
Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Made use of by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale Home Foundation. Made use of by permission of Tyndale Home Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.