Nineveh was a great and populous city (3:3). It had 120,000 inhabitants. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria. The nation of Assyria was a very wicked nation. They were known for their cruelty to prisoners. In fact, they were so wicked, the Bible records that their wickedness reached God (Jonah 1:2).
God continues his discourse:
Joyce I see that you are wondering and questioning that last statement: their wickedness reached God. You have asked if all wickedness reaches me. Let me define reach. What the word reach means here is range of effective action. In other words, the wickedness of the city was so great that it demanded that I act immediately. I am very long-suffering Joyce. If I were not so there would be no flesh standing today. If I would take immediate action on matters, there would be no flesh standing today. The repeat of that statement is simply ” food for thought.” My long-suffering has purpose. Of course, man doesn’t see the purpose and many times man will become bitter and angry with me for not moving on a matter or circumstance when he feels that I should. My judgments are right Joyce; pure and right. Immediate demands for judgments could in many times, take out the person who is so adamant about me moving or vindicating or bringing judgement upon another or a place. Many to most of the times the adamant seeker seeks revenge for self- gratification. He that has an ear…. 2 Peter 3:9, KJV: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” … He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent.”
Yes, many suffer and lose life in my long-suffering yet there are others who convert. With this statement I add…Man must be on his p’s and q’s as you humans say, at all times. Many people lose life and suffer in my judgments. So here we have as you say six in one hand and a half dozen in the other. Stay on your grind.
Nineveh’s wickedness was so great that it demanded that I move. So too was the wickedness of Sodom. Nineveh was prosperous and prideful. Nineveh had a lot of political power and Nineveh contributed to the world some of the things that man enjoys today such as the flushing toilet, locks and keys, paved roads, libraries yet, despite the great inventions to aid in the comforts of life…the city was wicked and that’s the bottom line. Demonic activities were great in this city. Whatever was imaginable or suggested from the underworld this is what the people did. The torture was heart wrenching. Terrorism was birthed anew in Assyria. It was…the heart of hell itself. In man’s attempt to discredit and deny the spiritual realm both good and evil, he never takes the time to stop, think and ask where an evil thought would come from. He never stops to analyze or decipher a suggestion or thought. He simply acts upon. Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man must realize that thoughts and suggestions will come from the spiritual realm. He must in many instances not be quick to act upon but be quick to think and analyze most suggestions and thoughts. Most importantly he never stops to analyze self to the point of finding pleasure in evil and wicked deeds.
Though Nineveh’s wickedness demanded a move from me and mind you as you have before read, my move was to give them a chance to correct the wickedness. This is where Jonah comes into play. Perhaps Jonah thought me to be passive in my decision to send warning of pending judgement to the Ninevites. In Jonah’s opinion the city deserved my wrath and more. Truly if man received what he deserved there would be no flesh standing. Whatever was coursing through Jonah’s mind please know that his place was not to question or put personal feelings above instruction. So, he ran. There are two scriptures to be notated here Joyce and we will move on.
Ezekiel 33:11 “1 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why you should die, O house of Israel?’
Psalm 139:7-12 ” Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.”
There is really no need to elaborate on the scriptures. The scriptures are self-explanatory.
From the history of Nineveh, we have seen that this was a city that needed immediate annihilation. Joyce my love for man goes deeper than human comprehension. Scholars teach that Jesus ushered in the dispensation of grace. The truth is grace and mercy has always been. Had grace and mercy not been in effect…the world would not have made it this far. Grace and mercy have been before the beginning of time. Throughout the reading of the old covenant, you will see that grace has been exercised from the fall of Adam to the present.
Jonah was instructed to go to Nineveh and cry against it. Jonah goes the opposite direction and boards a ship going to Tarshish. I’m going to comically say this Joyce for a good laugh. “Jonah was trying to duck a brother out!” What does Psalm 139: 7-12 ask? Guess I could not find my way to Tarshish Joyce.
There is no place that I cannot enter. No life that I cannot enter. No city, state, town, or country that I cannot enter. There is no situation or circumstance that I cannot enter. There is no sea that I cannot calm nor any storm that I cannot calm. Just know that I do so at my choosing.
Jonah’s boarding of the ship though being defiant was also a testimony for the crew on board. For as history has recorded, I caused the sea to rage with great tempest. The crew called on their gods to no avail. After questioning Jonah and finding out the God he served the crew grew more fearful and tried with all of their might to save Jonah for he had asked them to throw him overboard so the sea would calm, and none would perish. So here we have everyone trying to save everyone when the truth is… I was the only one who could save them all. Isn’t it amazing that here Jonah was trying to save a people who didn’t know me in their way of life but ran when instructed by me to warn a heathen people who didn’t know me in their way of life? As history has recorded the crew found their efforts to be futile in their attempts to fight me in order to save Jonah. Jonah is thrown overboard, the sea is immediately calmed, and the crew has had a firsthand experience with the God of heaven, earth, land, and sea. Yes, there on the ship to Tarshish was birth a crew of believers whose lives were never again the same. They were also thankful that one man gave his life, so they thought; to save them all.
Jonah was as defiant as the peoples I was sending him to. In my rescue of him from the sea by means of a big fish, I was showing him as much mercy as I was the city of Nineveh by giving them a warning and chance to repent from their wicked ways. Love will cause you many times to do the unthinkable. Jonah’s stay in the belly of the fish gave him ample time to think on his defiant way. His sit down or time out in the belly of the fish allotted time for self-analysis. The time in the belly of the fish allotted time for Jonah to also come to a better understanding of his God. For as history has recorded Jonah cried out to me from the belly of the fish. He acknowledged his wrong. Jonah’s confession in the belly of the fish was, “Salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah realized that because I am God, because I am the Sovereign One, I can do what I want, when I want, how I want and do with whom so ever that I choose. One of my attributes that is very seldom spoken of is discipline. I am a disciplined God. I am all powerful and disciplined. I do not power trip as you humans say. I do not abuse my authority in fact, there are numerous instances where I have not and did not and will not exercise my rights at the given moment. By the way Joyce I do have rights. I watch the children in the land protest about rights. Has anyone ever stopped to consider the rights of the SELF EXISTING ONE….food for thought? One of the main responsibilities of man in the earth is getting to know the God who created him so that he; man can live out the next season in eternity in peace and consistent fellowship with his Creator, his God, his Master, his Savior, his Father and again his God. Getting to know me as one will show him or her that I have rights. Coming to know this will show man the numerous times that he has violated and still does violate my rights.
There are several points that I want to make current. First, I will say this: Un-forgiveness is an injustice. Hatred for people of which you all are the same is an injustice. The law and commandment of heaven is: Forgive one another. The law and commandment of heaven is” Love one another even your enemies. Bless your enemies and curse not. Many to most of the time when man says God bless you to his enemy or someone who has mistreated him the blessing isn’t spoken in love it is spoken with vengeance. Many people who are called by my name are criminals. Let me bring clarity. I John 3 :14 ” Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”