We tend to think that the OT book of Jonah is all about the story of a unwilling prophet named Jonah (Sunday, Oct 14, 2012).
But, what if it is not really about a man at all but rather about a city, and the incredible extent to which God will go to save a wicked city. What if the familiar story is actually all about the people in the city of Nineveh, not about Jonah. Read it over again from the new perspective of God’s great, persistent, insistent love for the city — and the extraordinary lengths God went through to bring the good news of his mercy and forgiveness to the lost and hopeless sinners there.
Here’s a fresh perspective on Jonah…
Jonah may not just be a story about… It may also be a story about… The failure of a prophet The success of God A reluctant prophet A pursuing God Jonah and a great fish God and a great city Jonah being swallowed by a great fish Jonah being delivered by a great fish A prophet who disobeys God’s call A city that obeys God’s call A prophet who doesn’t care about people A God who deeply cares about people What Jonah does to get away from Nineveh What God does to get His love to Nineveh Jonah running from God God running toward a city Jonah resisting God’s voice God speaking a second time Jonah caring about things God caring about people Jonah wishing judgment on Nineveh God longing to show mercy on Nineveh
Now think about God’s great love for your city. Is it possible that you are Jonah? Do you have a hope-filled message from God for the people your town or city of “Repent and be saved!”? Are you running away from that assignment because you are afraid? Or do you love your city like God does? “God so loved the world…” also means … “God so loved the city…” (John 3:16, 17). What would it look like if you took on the task of reaching your city for God?
Resting in Him,
Credit: This paradigm for Jonah is from my friend Dennis Fuqua, President of International Renewal Ministries (IRM), Vancouver, Washington and author of Living Prayer: The Lord’s Prayer alive in you and United and Ignited: Enountering God through dynamic corporate prayer.