Book of Jonah

Jon 1 Nineveh
Nineveh, Iraq The ancient city of Nineveh is situated just outside Mosul on the eat bank of the River Tigris.
Nobody knows exactly when it was inhabited for the first time, but it was a cultural settlement in the 6th millennium B.C., right through Sumerian and Babylonian periods. In fact, the name of Nineveh is of Sumerian origin.

Maybe you’ve heard of Roy Riegels, better known as “Wrong Way Roy.”

In the 1929 Rose Bowl, he got mixed  up and ran sixty-nine yards in the wrong direction. It’s been the worst blunder in college football history.

Well, he reminds me of “Wrong Way Jonah,” who ran off toward Tarshish when God told him to go to Nineveh.

Had Jonah obeyed, taking a message of repentance immediately to the Gentile nation of Assyria, the book that bears his name might read more like those of the other Minor Prophets.

Instead, the record of his ministry is an intensely personal story of God’s grace to a rebellious prophet, not just to a wicked pagan nation.

Jonah did finally end up going to Nineveh, but he resisted the entire way. And when the Ninevites repented and avoided judgment, Jonah was undone.

The book ends with a pouting prophet more concerned for his own comfort than for the multitudes of Assyria.

As God probed Jonah with questions about his values, priorities, and actions, we should answer those questions too. We all arrive at a similar crossroads at some point.

Jon 2 Walls
Ancient Nineveh Wall near Mosul, Iraq Nineveh was the 3rd capital of Assyria Empire after Assur and Nimrud, dating from the reign of the great King Sennacherib (704-681 B.C.) and was one of the most powerful cities of the Middle East: the hub of the civilized Ancient World.
Its downfall came in 612 B.C., when it was sacked by the Medes of Northern Persia whom killed the last great king of Nineveh, Ashurbanipal (669-624 B.C.).

When the book of Jonah ends we see the procrastinating prophet who had still not made up his mind. But his moment of hesitation becomes a moment for each of us:

God’s call is on our lives right now, and He has a mission for us today. Will we go the wrong way? Or will we go with Him all the way?

Key Thought:

We must never run away from God’s devotion to evangelism, His compassion for souls, or His direction in taking the Gospel to the nations.

Key Verse:

“And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice” (Jon 2:2). 

Key Action:

Go wherever the Lord sends you without hesitation or vacillation.


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