Jonah finally makes it to Nineveh, walks in, and proclaims the word of God. Here is what would seem to be a very strange looking crazy little man walking through the streets crying that in forty days this city will be overthrown. Who would believe that? This was a great city, it took three days to walk across it (about 60 miles wide), with a population of about 120,000 and that is likely only the men.
Nineveh was founded by Nimrod, one of the most wicked characters in the bible being the first antichrist archetype that appears in scripture. Nineveh was a center for Ishtar (Asherah) worship, who was the female counterpart of Baal. This was always greatly condemned by God throughout scripture. This city, from its founding was evil. Everything about it was evil. Everything it had ever been or done was evil. It was immoral, it was violent, it was vial. Who would want to save this people? No man, not even Jonah (that’s why he ran) wanted this wicked people who covered their walls with human skins and lit their streets with blazing human heads, to be saved. Surely they were too evil, surely they were a lost cause, surely they deserved annihilation. Yet in this we see God’s great love and justice shine forth. That even though all that would count themselves good saw no good in this people (including Jonah), yet God who is just still made a way for them to choose.
These people were wicked from birth, they were founded in wickedness, they knew no truth, so God sent them a preacher. God made a way where there was no way to get the truth to them that they would be without excuse. For how can judgment justly come less a warning first be given and the choice to reject it be made? Yet we see here what no one expected, they did what no one thought they would! They made the right choice! They repented! Their sin was pointed out and the judgment for it was made clear and they truly and sincerely repented. This was probably the largest revival recorded in scripture and Jonah (this assuming preacher) had run from it!
How many times have we given up on someone, or a group of someone’s and deemed them too evil to be saved? Immoral people, politically wicked people, violent people, people that worship false and evil gods, people just like the Ninavite’s or maybe not even as bad as they. Yet God sent a preacher to the Ninavite’s, to offer salvation, and they were saved. Is God calling you to do the same yet you are turning and going the other way like Jonah did? Are you making yourself their judge before they have even been given the justice of the truth? God is a just God and he will bring judgment on the unjust, however for that judgment to be just He must first provide a warning and a way of escape that they might choose whom they will serve.
Too often we decide that someone is hopeless or useless to God when they are the very people that God is calling us to minister to. We think they deserve judgment, we think they are too far gone, but God knows the truth. Often times the people and places that we see as a waste of time, God sees as a revival in the waiting. After all, what is your purpose but to reach to and preach to the lost? Then we’re is your mission field but among the hopeless, for who needs hope more then they?
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority…” – Titus 2:11-15