Ninevah: The Great City

Ok so Jonah only had to hear once from the Lord. And the message was about a great city, Ninevah. But God calls it a great city and the wickedness of it has come up before Him. He wishes to redeem it (Jonah knows this Jonah 4:2-3) and he has to send someone to go tell them.
Now there is a message about someone has to be the one to go out to the great cities, nations, countries, etc. But that is not what God wants to show us right now – BUT support our missionaries as they have answered the call put forth and put the lives of others way above their own.
What God does want to show us is that this city, wasn’t just a regular city. This city was GREAT and the wickedness that was there had come up before the Lord, which means that the sin from that great city was also great.
Ninevah was a great city, probably flowing in riches, it had 120,000 people in it (Jonah 4:17) and God wanted to save them. If He didn’t want to save them, He wouldn’t have sent them Jonah. He would have just completely wiped it off the face of Earth as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:23-29)
So you may be facing a great challenge – it could be a co-worker, a great step of faith, a great sin in your life, a great problem – but take heart! Because the Lord your God wants to intervene on your behalf! He is sending forth His word to you so that you may speak to it, there is power in speaking to your problems, speaking to this great whatever in front of you.
If it is a co-worker, speak to the spirit of hindrance behind her/him. Speak life to them because God wants to save them just as much as He wanted to save you!
A great step of faith, speak faith to your unbelief. Speak God’s promises over it – God will never leave you nor forsake you, He will provide your every need with abundance flowing over after your need has been met.
Now let us compare Jonah 1:3 and 4:2-3. The first is Jonah running away from the Lord and he is headed in the opposite direction and 4:2-3 is showing us the reasons as to why Jonah ran away. He wasn’t afraid of Ninevah, he knew that God was trying to save it and he – Jonah – had deemed it too wicked for saving. Jonah wanted the calamity of God’s wrathful judgment to come upon this great city and he most certainly did not want to go and be the one to preach a saving grace message.
How many times have we deemed something not worth saving? Whether it be too hard, too painful, too sinful, too wicked, too hopeless, too pitiful, too insignificant to be worth saving or not? If we took our promises that the Lord has given us or the tasks He has appointed to us and made our own judgments as to whether they were worth saving, do you realize what we would be attempting to do?
We would be attempting to not only de-throne King Jesus but also erect an idol in his place…that idol being ourselves, our wisdom, our pride. Jesus will never be removed from his throne. So, you won’t win that battle. Matthew 19:28, Luke 1:32, Hebrews 1:8
But if you just want to see how it will turn out for you, I caution you to take a look at Jonah’s example in 1:3-5 (the whole chapter is beneficial for the full picture, this was just a sample). First, you will see that before he even encountered the storm, he had already experienced hardships in his finances.
Jonah had to get from wherever he was, down to the port city of Joppa. That either took money or took him days to walk there. Then once there, he had to find a ship that would take him to Tarshish. And obviously they didn’t do it for charity because it says “after paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”
Not only was he about to go through a physical, horrifying, and near-death-encountering storm on the boat, but he is quite literally paying to go through it.
This is a caution that if you have received a word, a task, a person to pray for, or a promise from the Lord and you – yes you! – have deemed it not worth completing for whatever reason, that there will be consequences. Not just one consequence, but multiple consequences – Jonah’s physical being was taxed by the trip to Joppa, his finances were depleted by the fare to Tarshish, his very life was also threatened by the storm and later on the great fish.
God did not intend for Jonah to go that way. We will never know for sure, but I know God and if He had ordained for something to happen/task to be completed and you are obedient to Him right off the bat, then He moves heaven and earth to ensure that it is done. God still provides a way for when you finally do come around to accomplishing the task He has asked you to do, but you know have to do it with the baggage of the previous trip without God.
God does not just ask you to do something without also providing the tools for you to be successful at completing it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

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