Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nineveh: A difficult assignment

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me." But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. Jonah 1:1-3

Jonah did not do as God had commanded him and fled from the presence of the Lord. Jonah was a prophet; he was one who spoke for God. God created him and called him to do a certain work. Jonah’s job was to share the message God gives, to whomever Got commands it to be given to.

God had given Jonah an assignment: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” We will learn later in the book of Jonah that Jonah did not want to be on this assignment. He did not want to do anything that might cause the Ninevites to repent and be saved. He did not want them to hear the warning of God, lest they humble themselves and repent of their sin and receive mercy from God.

God has created each of us according to His plans and purposes. When we choose to go our own way, we sin against God. Sometimes it is an identity issue that we struggle with; we are envious of another’s life, of their prestige, or of their calling and we wrongly try to be like them and live their life. Other times it’s just the difficulty of our work and the current circumstances of life that lead our wayward hearts to turn away from the work that God has called us to, and pursue other more attractive opportunities, more money, or more power.


  1. What is the work that God is calling you to do in this season of life? When answering, don’t think in terms of vocation, but instead think of assignments (ie: there’s a broken relationship in my life and I know God wants me to reconcile it).
  2. Prayerfully consider why you are resistant to doing this work.
  3. When Jonah rebelled from the work God called him to, there were consequences that not only affected him, but those around him. How has your resistance to this assignment impacted your heart towards God and others?
  4. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to help you identify the sin that you need to turn from, and the resolve and help of the Holy Spirit to do so.

Share your answers to these questions with someone from church and encourage and pray for one another that you each may complete the assignments that God has called you to do.
What else did you take away from this passage?


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