by W.G. Guy
Jonah 1:1-2 – Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
God commissioned Jonah and go to Nineveh and make an ominous proclamation. First we need to consider conditions in Nineveh at that time; we also need some background that led up to why God gave such a task to Jonah and the resultant outcome.
Nineveh was the principle city of the Assyrian Empire. Assyria was the main enemy of Israel at that time. Nineveh was also the center of Assyrian pagan worship and idolatry with the temple of Ishtar, the goddess of sex and fertility. Nineveh was an extremely prosperous city being located on a major trade route. When godless people, who are immersed in idolatry or paganism, acquire great wealth it typically leads to excessive immorality, debauchery and great wickedness. The prophet Nahum describes corrupt Nineveh as “the bloody city, ...full of lies and robbery” constantly defrauding and abusing one another, also filled with vile sensual pagan idolatry. Such was the condition of Nineveh at the time.
Nineveh was a very large metropolitan area consisting of the main city and its many surrounding suburbs which had a circumference of about sixty miles. The main city contained multiple palaces for the Kings of Assyria. The wickedness of Nineveh was well known throughout the region, especially in Israel who was the object of Assyrian oppression.
Consider that the people of the region knew of the past exploits of Israel because of the intervention of God. It is also likely that they heard about the miracles of Israel’s prophets Elijah and Elisha whose ministry was about the same time period. They may also have heard of the prophet Jonah and his prophesy about Israel as recorded:
2 Kings 14:25 – He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which He had spoken through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gath Hepher.
The people of Nineveh were aware of the rise of the Babylon Empire that was presently posing a threat to Assyria. (The Babylonians eventually overthrew Nineveh as Jonah warned, and the final destruction of Nineveh ended the reign of the Assyrian Empire.) The king of Assyria may have also had a sense of the wickedness and immorality of the people of Nineveh and recognized that it was a serious problem which needed to be addressed.
So the stage is set for the arrival of the prophet Jonah. However, Jonah had his own agenda and being instrumental in giving advance warning to the people on Nineveh did not fit in what he wanted for Nineveh. Jonah preferred to see the principle city of Israel’s enemy destroyed. He did not want to go near this vile immoral city. Jonah fled from God’s presence and commission. Jonah may have suspected what the outcome would be, and indeed this is recorded:
Jonah 4:1-2 – But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.
But God did not change His mind or commission, or the person whom He commissioned:
Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and the calling of God are with repentance.
God intervened in a miraculous way, the details of which will not be discussed further except to mention that many have tried to dismiss this event as a fable. However, this event was so significant that it became a sign regarding Jesus death and His resurrection, and Jesus Himself referred to it – so it definitely was NOT a myth. This writer believes that Jonah was dead for three days and three nights and was brought back to life when the great fish vomited him out on the shore. Thus he was a true sign of Jesus being three days and three nights in the grave, (sheol or hell – just as scripture says of Jonah in Chapter 2 verse 2 and where he saw corruption which means decay – verse 6).
After his fishing adventure, God again instructs Jonah a second time to go the Nineveh and preach what He tells him to. Jonah then takes his journey to Nineveh which took several days since this city was along the Tigris River in what is now Iraq and not far from where Babylon was being erected. He arrives at Nineveh and walks a day’s journey to the interior and begins to make his proclamation: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown”.
It is interesting to note that Jonah did not preach repentance; he did not want the people to repent anyhow, he wanted to see this sinful pagan enemy destroyed. However, “the people believed the word from God and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them”. Putting on sackcloth is act of extreme self-humiliation and mourning.
Jonah never did address the king since God sent him to preach to the city. However, the king heard about Jonah’s proclamation and it so moved him that he took off his kingly vestments and put on sackcloth also and then sat in ashes, an even more self-humiliating act. The fasting, sackcloth and ashes demonstrates the sincerity of the remorse and level of repentance of the entire city. Obviously a great conviction came over the people to bring them to their knees before God.
The king even made a decree that everyone participate in humbling themselves before God, even the animals had to participate.
Jonah 3:8-9 – “Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one form his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell of God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger that we perish not?”
The world then beheld the great grace and mercy of almighty God:
Jonah 3:10 – “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented (changed His mind) of the evil, that had said that he would do unto them: and he did it not.”
God’s loving mercy and grace gave Nineveh a second chance after He saw the great sincerity of their acknowledgment of their sin and wickedness and their repentance. God’s mercy is so great that He would much rather forgive than execute judgment. Unfortunately, the very next generation of Ninevites returned to godless idolatry and God’s judgment fell on them as promised.
COULD AMERICA BE A MODERN DAY NINEVEH ?
Could Nineveh be an example for America? Let’s compare Nineveh with America and explore the possibility of a similar proclamation of what would or could happen based on our current condition. God has His servants that He has been preparing to go forth throughout this nation to proclaim His Truth – His Word calling for repentance. If the people of this nation continue to reject His truth, America may indeed be overthrown.
What does it mean to be overthrown? By definition it means to be defeated; be forced out of power; put to an end; to be brought down. We need to consider if there is any reason why this nation could be overthrown? Are we living as a godly and righteous people acknowledging Him and walking in obedience to Him. Or have we become as wicked as Nineveh, filled with sin, violence and corruption; killing the innocent (unborn children) and defying God’s whys of living by promoting laws contrary to God’s law, (like same sex marriage); are we worshipping other than God and engaging in blasphemous and immoral behavior and idolatry. Is our leadership passing laws legitimizing immoral and formerly illegal behavior, thus sanctioning sin?
Psalm 94:20 – Shall the throne (seat of government) of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
Psalm 119:126 – It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.
Add to this lying and using any means to defraud others for personal gain; murdering; worshipping false gods or something or someone other than God Himself? Is America living in the wickedness that afflicted Nineveh? The answer at once becomes obvious; YES we are!
The next concern is to recognize that America has numerous enemies that seek to overthrow us, subjugate us, even to utterly destroy us. These enemies are external and internal; both foreign and domestic. Our Federal government and Courts pass and impose laws that are contrary to God’s laws as they “call good evil, and evil good”. Then we have the liberal leftists, progressives, Marxists-Socialists in our government who want to “fundamentally transform America” as publicly stated by President Obama. He, and the leadership of our Senate, have worked consistently while in office to overload our national economy with so much debt that it will bring its collapse. This will likely bring the overthrow of our “Free Market” or Capitalist system. Our way of life in America will thus be “overthrown”.
We are also experiencing a major invasion through illegal immigration. Again, our congressional leadership and our recent and current administration refuse to do anything about it as though they are using it to advance the overthrow of our nation. At the same time America is being invaded by a major political entity masquerading as a religion known as Islam. Islam has the sole objective of conquering this nation as they have done in other nations to bring everyone under their rule and oppressive sharia law.
Then we have our national enemies of North Korea, Russia, Iran and China that seek our ruin to gain control over us or our ultimate destruction. China is on the brink of total conquest by our indebtedness to them. The Bible clearly states that the debtor is a servant under the control of the creditor and America is now heavily in debt to China. Amazingly, it is America that made China such a significant financial power by relying on China for the majority of manufacturing products.
America’s former power in the world was the result of its great wealth; its great wealth was the result of its tremendous manufacturing industry. America has relinquished its manufacturing efforts over to Mexico, India, and even on to China, so that America is no longer a manufacturing nation but simply a lazy consumer nation. As a result of being a consumer nation, our entire economy is based on consumerism. This is why our government insists that we keep on spending as spending is the means we have of keeping money changing hands. We no longer produce as much material to sell which generates wealth.
Americans failed to recognize that a few years ago (about 1998) our nation passed the point where over 50% of our nation’s work force now works for some government entity, local, state or national. This means that more than half of our work force is paid from taxes imposed and collected. Most of the remainder of America’s work force is in the service industry which does not generate real revenue but merely moves existing money from one hand to another rather than generated revenue from manufacturing. Our entire economy is about to be brought down to ruin – overthrown, and mostly from within!
Those who are currently sounding the warning of potential ruin, overthrow or collapse of the American economy are being ridiculed in the main stream media and being ignored by our current irresponsible leadership. Soon many more of God’s true servants will be making the ominous proclamation to America like Jonah made to Nineveh. So we still have the opportunity to REPENT – CHANGE our selfish, self-indulgent, corrupt and wicked ways.
It does not have to be the hand of God bringing judgment upon this nation that will lead to our downfall or overthrow. We will simply reap the consequences of what we have sown to our fleshly lusts. Greed, corruption and immorality breed their own results which lead to ruin.
Will the people of America hear and repent? Will our leadership, our congress, courts and administration take heed? Or will the godlessness and corruption continue to increase unto our national demise, and to which our enemies begin to mock us whose motto is “In God We Trust”? Will it be shown who our god really is – the money on which that inscription is imprinted? Will Nineveh prove to be more noble and honorable than America because they repented and we didn’t?
Remember the declaration of the King of Nineveh: “Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell of God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger that we perish not?”
God is willing to do His part in forgiving America of its sins and wickedness, but only if we are willing to acknowledge our sins and wickedness and repent. The decision and end result is up to you! Remember that the revival in Nineveh did not begin with the leadership, it began with the people, and they brought the warning to the leadership. Will you also bring the notice of the warning to our leadership? Will you heed and repent as Nineveh did or will you be the reason for the overthrow of America?
Proverbs 14:34 – Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
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This article was written by Walter Guy in 2010; in 2011 another author has written one of the most powerful books this writer has read and carries this same warning but in a most powerfull and significant way as it relates to 9/11/2001 and the future of America. Please
read The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn, it is a must read for every American citizen.