Jonah’s preaching in
Nineveh took place
sometime during the reign
of the Assyrian King Adadninari III (810-782 BC) who
was contemporary with
King Jeroboam II of Israel.
During the reign of Adadninari III, Assyria chose a
monotheistic religion as a
result of Jonah’s preaching.
If that conversion had been kept, Assyria
would have avoided its total destruction a
century later as prophet Nahum
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You”
How can we hide or run away from He
Who knows even our most intimate
Why did Jonah want to run away from the presence of God when he
was called to prophesy to Nineveh?
“So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this
what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled
previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious
and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in
lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm” (Jonah 4:2)
The story of Jonah is really amazing. He knew of God’s love and
forgiveness but he refused to accept that pagans deserved them.
It’s completely illogical that he tried to run away from God. When
he realized that God was chasing him, he went to sleep peacefully.
Later he accepted his sin and condemned himself to death because
of the circumstances.
If God hadn’t done anything, Jonah would have died in his sin.
The dealers and sailors on the boat
were greatly scared of the storm.
They cried out to their gods but didn’t
receive any answer.
Jonah’s story frightened them even
more. Nevertheless, he refused to
throw Jonah to certain death. Their
consciences didn’t let them do a
They threw the escaped prophet to
the sea only when all human effort
was unsuccessful. Then, the sea
calmed down in the same miraculous
way it became rough before.
They were disappointed by their fake
gods, so they turned to the living and
powerful God: “Then the men feared
the Lord exceedingly, and offered a
sacrifice to the Lord and took vows”
JONAH IS CONVERTED
“When my soul fainted within
me, I remembered the Lord; and
my prayer went up to You, into
Your holy temple” (Jonah 2:7)
Despite Jonah’s unworthiness, God heard
Despite Jonah’s reluctance, God used him
to save the people in Nineveh.
When Jonah sank to face certain death, he
asked God for help. After finding that salvation
in the belly of the fish, he thanked God with a
Despite our unworthiness and our reluctance
to do God’s will, He hears us and uses us to
reach other people.
His mercy and goodness are boundless.
“Yet Nineveh, wicked though it had become, was not wholly given over to
evil. He who “beholdeth all the sons of men” (Psalm 33:13) and “seeth
every precious thing” (Job 28:10) perceived in that city many who were
reaching out after something better and higher, and who, if granted
opportunity to learn of the living God, would put away their evil deeds and
worship Him. And so in His wisdom God revealed Himself to them in an
unmistakable manner, to lead them, if possible, to repentance”
E.G.W. (Prophets and Kings, cp. 22, pg. 265)
“The men of Nineveh will
rise up in the judgment with
this generation and condemn
it, for they repented at the
preaching of Jonah; and
indeed a greater than Jonah
How much joy filled
the Nineveh streets
when people were told
that God had accepted
their repentance so He
would not destroy
Then why did
Jonah react so
that forgiving act
How can we
learn to be more
who we think
don’t deserve it?
Contrary to Jonah, God is
willing to open up and to
offer salvation to anyone
who wants to receive it.
Ask yourself the same question God asked Jonah. Fill the blank with the name of
someone that you think doesn’t deserve salvation:
“And should I not pity …………………………?” (Jonah 4:11)
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