Nineveh is capital of the ancient kingdom of Assyria, and what I found interesting about the meaning of Nineveh to mean “offspring of ease.” In other words, Nineveh was designed to be productive, and bring rest to its inhabitants. Evidently, Nineveh was not the offspring of ease as its name depicted, else God would not have had to send Jonah to address the situation in that great city. The book of Nahum speaks of some strong denunciations of Gods displeasure at Nineveh. Read Nahum1:14; 3:19 (KJV). Sometimes, people don’t live up to their God given abilities; and they might find themselves working against or be at cross purposes with the plan and pursuits of God for their lives; and it would take a Jonah like person to bring a warning and correction to that situation.
I love the word of God and excited about this discussion. Being in a sedentary (inactive) position for too long can become a challenge. And I believe, God needed to get Jonah out of that position of inactivity, and prepare him for a divine assignment. Let us look at what the Bible says, “One day long ago, God’s Word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.” Read Jonah 1:1-2 (MSG). Permit me to say it this way, “God had enough” of what was going on at Nineveh; and He needed someone to take charge and bring correction. Jonah was in a privileged position; for those looking from the outside inwards, yet Jonah could not fully comprehend the extent of Gods call. I wonder if we fully appreciate the enormity of God’s call upon our lives.? If we do, then our attitude to the things of God would be expedient. This story reminds me of Moses, when God called Moses to be the deliverer of the children of Israel after so many years in bondage; Moses hesitated before finally responding to the call. I want you to imagine with me for a moment, Jonah was asked by God to go up to Nineveh and deliver a message; and he pretty much said no, because the scripture says, “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.” Read Jonah 1: 3 (NLT). It must be an amazing adventure to try and run away from the Lord, when the Bible says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?.” Read Psalm 139:7 (AMP).
You have been placed on this planet and born in this Century to fulfil Gods purpose. Esther in the Bible had to be reminded by her uncle Mordecai concerning the very reason why she was in the palace. In like manner, you and I have been called for such a time as this to be the “light to our world,” “the salt of the earth,” and to declare and to warn governments and nations; what thus “Saith the Lord.” I am like your Mordecai reminding and re-awakening your spirit to Gods truth. The question then is, would you go in Gods direction or your own direction.? Let me point out to you; the implication of going in your own direction can have a devastating effect on you; but especially on those to whom the Lord has assigned for you to reach. You might say, well, God can send someone else. Oh really? Think again!!!. Jonah’s initial refusal to go to Nineveh meant a nation was going to be wiped out for their evil ways, and here is Jonah arguing with God; like we do sometimes or most times. But God in His grace and mercy, gives us many opportunities to turn in the right direction, and follow after His counsel.
Passivity in the things of God does happen, but that is not to say it is right and acceptable by God. I believe God’s timeline is much different from ours, and when He gives His counsel, the scripture says for us to “hearken.” In other words, hear and do immediately. It is not for us to contemplate or try to intellectualize and rationalize what God is saying to us at any particular point in time. I am not saying do not engage your brain, however, we should understand, doing God’s bidding is far more important; because God’s counsel must be fulfilled at the exact time of His choosing. In the army, the command is ARISE SOLDIER, and they are given their marching orders; and what you observe is the soldier GOING. I have never observed a soldier considering or trying to initiate a discussion with his commandant once the order has been given, the soldier has heard the command, and his response is YES SIR. Are we going to say YES SIR or NO SIR to God? If you are reading this and you have no personal relationship with God, then I invite you to open up your heart to God and allow Him access into your life. He is a loving, kind God, and wants to deposit His goodness and mercy and fill you with His unquenchable love.
I believe we are in a crucial time in the history of the Church where passivity must be rooted out. Why do I say this? The world is going in a direction leading to destruction; and just like Nineveh, our great nations seem to have departed from their purpose. Remember, people make up a nation; in other words, I am referring to our collective responsibilities as human beings to “be the salt of the earth,” and the light of the world.” No longer can you and I be hiding and practising our Christianity in secret; we have to be strategic in soul winning, in preaching the gospel, including pulling people from the bondage of satan and exposing them to the liberty of God’s loving favor and kindness. Scripture tells us, “Who wishes all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge and recognition of the [divine] truth.” Read 1 Timothy 2:4 (AMP). What I am sharing with you today is Biblical and absolute truth. You and I have been mandated and enlisted into the army of God to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to our world. We can’t continue to be “pew-fodders”, we must take this gospel of Jesus Christ, but most importantly live it out in our lives and be an expression of God in the earth; in whatever sphere or circle we influence.
Are you aware, passivity can kill? What this simply means is, one is slowly dying to life, their surroundings and to people. Listen to this definition, “passivity,” a mediumistic principle that opens the door for demonic activity and leads to spiritual bondage.” This tells you we must deal with passivity is the most ruthless of forms, hence the antidote to passivity is being aggressive and passionate in pursuing after God. Remember the Bible tells us, “SET YOUR HEART on the Kingdom and His goodness, and all these things will come to you as a matter of course.” Read Matthew 6:33 (PHILLIPS). In other words, God must be the “NUMERO UNO,” above everything else; and I mean everything – families, children, wife, husband, business, church and the list goes on. Watch this, when you truly put God first, He is obligated by His covenant to bless, and He has blessed you indeed.
Hear my heart on this matter, Gods gift upon my life to write, to preach the gospel, and to lead people is meant to be used to serve you, likewise, your gift is meant to be used to serve others. Your gift is not for you to keep and can. So we can’t be like Jonah, who tried to hide his gift by running away from his assignment. Pause for a moment, you and I are to invade the darkness confronting our day with the light of Gods word in us. And I believe this was what God was trying to tell Jonah by sending him to Nineveh; to be the light and the salt to that once great city.
Nothing just happens, it’s time for you to ARISE and GO, and make sure you GO where you are being sent to.
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One thought on ““Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim against it…” Jonah’s Passivity – Part 1”
Wonderfully written and gracefully received. God bless you Ricky. The Lord strengthen your hands to keep being committed to His call upon your life to exhibit it to its full expression in grace and faith to Gods glory.
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