Jonah and Nahum are categorized under the Minor Prophets of OT…but there is nothing minor about their message!
The term ‘minor’ refers to their length rather than their importance or that stature of the prophets.
Do you know that both Jonah and Nahum spoke about Nineveh? Read on…
Some TIPS on How to Read the Book of Jonah
Ever thought that some people are beyond hope because they seem so evil and incapable of change – perhaps a serial killer or drug kingpin or terrorist? Like us, Jonah viewed the Assyrians in similar manner. The Assyrians were known for their gruesome torture acts. Yet, God asked him to love them.
At this time in Israel’s history, the northern kingdom had its traditional borders restored by King Jeroboam II. He had been able to recover territory lost in earlier times. Nevertheless, Assyria remained a very real threat from the north at this time. It is against this historical backdrop that God sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn it of the imminent danger of divine judgment.
As you read Jonah,
- Notice the changes that occur in the city of Nineveh and in Jonah. Observe how God pushes him to make these
- Look out for God’s compassion for all people and the great lengths to which He will go to get our attention.
Jonah’s reluctance to go to Nineveh hinged on his view that the cruel Assyrians did not deserve to be saved and that God would surely relent if they repented. Through Jonah’s distress in the belly of the fish and his encounter with the withering vine, God slowly changed him. God gives second chances.
May we learn from Jonah’s example to obey God – doing whatever He asks and going wherever He leads.
A God of mercy
God will forgive all who repent. The message of God’s love is for everyone, not just a particular group of people. Have I limited the sharing of this message only to those whom I think deserve to hear it?
A God who pursues
God does not give up on us so easily. He will patiently push us to effect changes in our lives. Am I running away from God? Is God pursuing me to bring me back to Him and His purposes?
A God who is sovereign
God controls nature and all of life. But have I placed my trust in Him to handle my past, present and future?
“…I know that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”