In spite of Jonah’s rotten attitude, the people of Nineveh listened. They’ve never heard the message before. They had no idea God loved them and wanted to grant them forgiveness. A great revival broke out, and the entire city – including the government leaders – repented and turned from their wicked ways.
Why were they so quick to believe? Two reasons:
1. The message was simple. The gospel – when preached in pure form – is always simple. If we’ll keep it simple and just share the Word of God, people will respond!
2. The messenger was real. Can you imagine what Jonah must have looked like when he was vomited up on the beach? In the three documented cases of men being swallowed by whales, all three men emerged in the same condition: Due to the gastric juices in the whale’s stomach, they looked like hairless albinos – pure white with not even an eyelash or eyebrow to be found. Jonah was a living testimony! How could people not believe him?
That’s encouraging, because it proves we don’t have to be perfect to be used by God. Jonah was able to testify, ‘Hey! I’ve been in the pit of a fish for three days and three nights. Yeah, I’m bleached, but I’m alive! God has been merciful and gracious to me, and he wants to offer grace to you as well.’
You’d think Jonah would have felt privileged to have been used by God in such a mighty way. But instead of rejoicing over what God had done in a wicked city, Jonah was angry at God. We can imagine a conversation something like this:
‘See, God! This is exactly why I didn’t want to preach forgiveness to those people. I knew that if they repented, you’d forgive them and save them from their sins. And what about the destruction I predicted? Now it’s not gonna happen, because they’ve turned from their wicked ways. I look like a fool talking about something that didn’t happen!’
Not exactly an attitude of gratitude, huh?
God Bless!(Susie Shellenberger)