Book of Jonah: Chapter 3

I found myself near the mouth of the Euphrates river which empties into the Persian Gulf. I knew that the water in the Euphrates River was salt free. Therefore, I walked into the river with my clothes on. I knew that I needed to get cleaned up and I knew that my clothing stunk of fish. The waters of the Euphrates River were nice and warm, and it really felt good to get clean. I was also very thirsty as I had not had anything to drink or eat for the last three days. I put my hand into the Euphrates and drew up some water to drink. It felt so good to be able to drink and to see the sun again. It took a few minutes for my eyes to get adjusted. I was in one piece. I sat down on the ground and fell asleep after being awake for three days I really needed to sleep. I do not know how long I was sleeping, but then I heard a voice calling out my name. I woke up and I looked around and I did not see anyone there. So I closed my eyes and tried to fall back asleep. But then I heard the voice again calling my name Jonah, Jonah. But this time I called out is that you Lord God calling me. It was certainly the Lord God calling out to me. The Lord God reminded me of the promise that I have made while I was in the belly of the fish that I would do and go wherever the Lord God was about to send me. Then I heard the Lord God say, Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city and proclaim to at the proclamation which I’m going to give you. I was not very happy to take this message from the Lord God. I thought the Lord God would have figured out from the first time that I did not want to go into the city of Nineveh and certainly not proclaim the possibility of salvation for such a wicked people on earth. However, I remembered what I said to the Lord God inside the stomach of the fish and remember that I said I would do anything that the Lord God commanded me to do. So, I needed to walk to Nineveh. The city was at least a three day travel and I did not have any supplies. I had not eaten anything in three days and had nothing to drink except what I had at the Euphrates River. Luckily, there was a small town about 250 feet ahead of me. I walked over to the small town and I asked a local person, Where can I buy some food? The local person was very kind to me and directed me to the marketplace. Luckily for me, I had some money leftover from when I bought the boat in Java. I was able to buy several days of food and water. While I was in the marketplace, I even had a sandwich. I realized that the food in the marketplace was not kosher, but when you’ve been in the belly of the fish for three days, and you’re that hungry, anything works. I approached the city gates of Nineveh where I was greeted by several people. It was obvious that I was an outsider since I was dressed in a different kind of clothing than what the people were wearing. However, they were very coming to me and invited me into the city and offered me a tour. I told them The Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, had sent me to bring them a warning that in 40 days Nineveh would be overthrown by the Lord God because of all their sins. I told them that I was sent by the Lord God to tell the people that they must change their ways before God’s judgment became final. At first, they did not believe me and several of the people wanted to throw me out of the city. So I explained to them what happened to me that I was in the belly of the big fish for three days. I did not have food or water, yet the Lord God kept me alive and the large fish spit me out because I agreed to come to Nineveh to bring this information to the people of Nineveh so that they would not be destroyed. People ask me what they needed to do. I told them that they needed to change from their evil ways and to stop sinning. I told them that they should come together for a time of mourning and that they must wear a sack cloth so that the Lord God could see that they were truly repenting of their sins. I was quite surprised that the people listened to me. They ran into their homes and they came out wearing sackcloth. They knocked on the doors of other houses to tell People that they needed to put on sackcloth and that it was time for Nineveh to rid itself of its sinful ways. When the word reached the king, I became scared again because kings do not like to be told by prophets of the Lord God what should and should not happen? The King upon hearing what I had said, rose from his throne, took off his robes and put on sackcloth, the king decreed a proclamation that went out throughout the city to all the noble men and to the common people that everyone was too fast for the next day and that everyone must be covered in sackcloth. Even the animals must be covered with sackcloth. The city of Nineveh observed a day of mourning, and each person was told to pray to the Lord God that he would forgive them of their sins and help them to turn away from their wrongdoing. The King proclaimed, who knows, God may withdraw his burning anger so that we will not perish. All the people of the city of Nineveh, in their sackcloth, dropped to their knees and you could hear the sound of all the people doing this at the same time, all the way in Jerusalem, that people cried out to the Lord God to forgive them for what they had done. When the Lord God saw their deeds that they had turned away from their wicked ways. The Lord God relented concerning the calamity which he had planned to bring upon them and he did not punish them. Not only did the people of Nineveh change their minds, but that it was also possible to change the Lord God’s mind. Oh, I wish that my people back in the northern kingdom of Israel would do the same thing that the people of Nineveh had done today.