God’s imperative was to deploy Jonah to preach repentance in the most unexpected place: Nineveh, a sin-ridden, idolatrous, ungodly city and a monument of rebellion against God Almighty. If God had called Jonah to pronounce doom to Nineveh, he might have gone like a shot!
To Jonah, Nineveh wasn’t worth the effort. It was a waste of time in his mind. His message would only fall on deaf ears. This mindset was the inner core of Jonah’s reluctance. He did not like the fact that God was extending His mercy by giving such a corrupt and evil people an opportunity to repent.
As a man of God Jonah might have known what was expected of him. Either run from God in disobedience and face His rebuke, or run with God under His direction and delight in God’s service. Jonah experienced both. Confronted by his wilful disobedience, he was re-commissioned and finally delivered God’s message to Nineveh.
The result was a total dramatic repentance from an entire nation . . . ‘so the people believed God’. Imagine how many would have missed out on the Gospel! Nineveh experienced one of the greatest revivals in history. What a turnaround! Through this surprising outcome, God reveals to us that:
- No one is beyond God’s reach and love
- No one knows what kind of response they will get to the Gospel until they go in obedience to God’s direction
- No one knows how God might be preparing a person to receive His word
- No one knows the impact their repentance might have on others in their circle of influence
Often times, the right message is not enough. It needs to be accompanied by the right attitude and the right motive. Total obedience and total submission to God’s commission necessitates we rid ourselves of the ‘anything but that, Lord’ attitude.
Keep on keeping on…
Passion DVD © 2010