The memory of Jonah’s preaching is often swallowed by his encounter with the whale. We are, of course, fascinated with his three days in the great fish, but what about his preaching? He went through the great city of Nineveh preaching that they must repent or else they would be destroyed. Interestingly, the entire city repented. We should be as amazed by their repentance as we are at Jonah’s journey in the great fish. Repentance is hard. It is also difficult for us to remain committed.
Sadly, Jonah wasn’t the only prophet who had a message sent to Nineveh. The prophet Nahum, instead of three days of preaching or three days in the belly of the great fish, has three chapters of warning to Nineveh about coming destruction from God’s wrath. Nineveh was reminded of God’s wrath which will be poured out on the godless. “The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies” (Nahum 1:2-3).
God’s wrath was to be poured out on Nineveh because of their wickedness. God said, “The scatterer has come up against you” (Nahum 2:1). I can’t imagine how the people of Nineveh felt when God said, “Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts” (Nahum 2:13).
The fate of Nineveh does not have to be ours. We cannot forget God’s wrath, but we must also remember God’s love. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Christians, you can say, “we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Rom. 5:9).
Jesus was faithful in all things for our salvation. Christians, we must be faithful as well. We should not be like the Ninevites who turned from God after being forgiven. We must be faithful.