Most of Jonah’s distress is self-inflicted. He had been living in the belly of a great fish for three days & nights. Finally, he is vomited out onto dry land, walks into Ninevah, preaches eight words, and many are saved.
1. We serve the God of second chances. Likewise, we don’t just forgive 7 times, but 70 times 7. The church must learn to be compassionate and forgive and not take on the demeanor of unforgiveness. Mercy is called mercy because we don’t deserve it. How dare we not minister to others when God has shown us so much grace. When cultures change, God’s word remains the same. His character and His word never change. His name is holy, but He has exalted His word above His name. Ninevah was the most wicked civilization on earth at that time and God simply told Jonah to go and preach His word to them.
2. God’s remedy for cultural change is the preaching of the word of God. We are living in an age when preachers fear the opinions of man over the truth of the word of God. The closer we get to the return of Christ, it is going to be harder to find churches that preach the truth. When we preach the truth it often doesn’t make sense to us but it changes people’s lives.
God gave the people of Ninevah 40 days to repent or be destroyed. For three days, this is all Jonah preached. Oddly, the people of Ninevah worshipped the fish god. God used this to get their attention regarding Jonah and his method of deliverance to them. They believed, fasted and put on sackcloth. Indeed, revival broke out in the most spiritually ignorant place in the world.
3. God is calling us to faith, repentance and desperation. It is easy to look around us and get discouraged. Judgment begins at the house of God. When you get desperate enough for God’s power is when He starts working. The church in America is addicted to noise & chaos — everything but Christ and who He is. If we never to anything else successfully, let us at least hold high this book called the Bible.