Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
The Right Tool for the Job
Sometimes the right tool for the job is the last thing you would expect. For example, if you accidentally immerse your smartphone in water, you can salvage it by putting it into a bag of uncooked rice. That doesn’t seem like it should work, but in an emergency, the moisture-absorbing properties of the rice can save an expensive piece of technology.
What if you need to save a city full of thousands of people from the wrath of God? What’s the right tool for that job? Nineveh was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. It was the capital of the Assyrian Empire and was renowned for its brutality and cruelty. It was filled with people who worshiped false gods. In short, the inhabitants of Nineveh were headed for hell.
So God sent Jonah to turn the Ninevites from their sin. That doesn’t seem like it should work. What could one man armed with the Word of God accomplish in a city with thousands of people? Turns out, quite a bit.
Jonah preached, and the people repented. They showed their sorrow over sin by not eating and wearing uncomfortable clothing. Of course, what made the difference was not Jonah but the Word of God that Jonah spoke.
God’s Word does what it says. In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Through his prophet, God said, “Repent,” and stony hearts were turned in repentance. The Word says “Believe,” and dead, unbelieving hearts come to life, trusting in the good news about Jesus.
Thank God that what at first seems inadequate is, in fact, the right tool for the job. Praise God for the power of his Word!
Lord God, give me confidence in the power of your Word. Amen.