Nineveh had practiced gross acts of cruelty and sin for centuries. It was a part of her social environment. They were living as though there was no tomorrow or eternity. It became part of the norm, acceptable just like immorality in the world and church today. Ninevites were not God’s chosen people, Israel was. Ninevites were a heathen nation that worships many gods, many idols.
The problem was that God’s chosen people, who knew God, who God had delivered many times from their enemy, was doing the same thing Nineveh was doing, they were in gross sin, and rebellion against God. They should have been a model example to the Ninevites, to the world, but they were no different in their lifestyle. They knew the Truth, but you can know the truth and not walk in it. You can believe in God, and not obey Him.
Sadly, it is the same with the Church and the world. We have allowed the World to say what is morally acceptable and what is not, instead of God’s Word having the final say.
He Came to Save Us
Jonah 1:12 says, that Jonah said to throw him overboard into the sea, and the storm will cease, and those on the ship will be saved. God didn’t come to save them from the storm. He created the Storm. God didn’t come to deliver Jonah from the Fish; God made the fish just for Jonah. What God wanted to do is save Jonah and those on that ship from themselves! From their wicked and sinful selves. God used the STORM and FISH to do that.
Hell and Salvation
Many today, believe if they receive Jesus as their Savior, they will be delivered from Hell. So they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, so they don’t end up in Hell, but their lifestyle doesn’t change. Jesus didn’t come to deliver us from hell but our sinful nature. Hell wasn’t created for man, but the devil and fallen angels. Man was created for God, but sin separates us from God. That’s why Jonah was in the belly of a fish, separated from God in complete darkness. Jonah himself called it Hell. Jonah’s rebellion against God put himself in that position.
Just like God sent prophets to warn Israel and Nineveh, He is sending them today to warn a lukewarm church. When we think of lukewarm, we immediately think of something not on fire but straddling the fence so to say. Neither hot nor cold.
Members have told me, I didn’t go to church, because it’s snowing, too cold, raining, cleaning my house, too tired, family function, my children, and spouse didn’t want to go. Although none of these is a sin, it can and usually does lead to complacency.
Many think the church is boring. But the Church was never meant to entertain people. It is not meant to be a social club. It is a spiritual training camp…a refuge…hospital…sanctuary…an Mt. Sinai where God meets with His people. We have reduced it to programs and social events. God is calling us to come back to our first love, Him.
Jonah repented, and the fish threw him up on dry land. Jonah realizes Salvation belongs to the Lord. If you are saved, then the bibles say in Philippians 2:12 we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
If Jonah didn’t know God before, he knew Him now. If Jonah was pious, and a prideful man before, now he was humbled and yielded vessel. What does God’s need to do to get our attention? A still small voice or a giant fish?