“So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.”
The need for Nineveh was greater than anyone could imagine. God saw the need of Nineveh because He looked at the city through His viewpoint and not through the human viewpoint of mankind. When God saw the city, He saw a city that was filled with violence, evil and wickedness, and yet He still called it an “exceeding great city.” It was not exceeding great because of how long it took to travel across the city, but it was exceeding great for several other reasons.
God saw the city was great because He saw what it could become. God looked at what would become of the city after His mercy was applied. God always looks at something at what it can become after He has the ability to be merciful to show the power of His grace in it. God sees what can become of the fallen sinner after grace is applied, and not at what they are in the filth of their sin. God sees how clean He can make one’s life after He pulls them out of the miry clay and cleans their life through the power of His Word. Likewise, God sees what can become of any city if they will come to Him.
God saw that the city was great because of the power He has over sin. Yes, Nineveh was a sinful and wicked city, but His power could easily defeat the sin in the city. It matters not how sinful a life may be; God’s power can overcome any sin-filled life that will come to Him for help.
God saw that the city was great because He saw how He could reveal the magnitude of His mercy. The one great thing that Nineveh needed was the mercy of God. God couldn’t exercise His mercy until the city returned to Him. God knew that He could be merciful to this great city, but they needed a preacher to preach the Gospel to them so they could come to Him.
My friend, the city in which you live may not be as massive as was the city of Nineveh, but your city is still an exceeding great city. The city in which you live is exceeding great because of what God can do with your city. However, the only thing that keeps your city from seeing the great works of God being applied in it are the same things that kept Nineveh from coming back to God.
First, a sleeping believer keeps your city from being reached with the Gospel. It is sad that Jonah was sleeping while a city was dying and going to Hell. Too many cities in this world are slipping out into eternity without Christ because of believers sleeping in worldly entertainment instead of working in the harvest. While you sleep in your worldly lifestyles, pleasures and entertainment, people slip out into eternity to burn in Hell forever because you didn’t reach them with the Gospel. Oh, my friend, sleeping in pleasures instead of working to reach the harvest of souls has sent many lost people to Hell who would have gotten saved had some believer gotten busy in the harvest of our Saviour.
Second, a rebellious believer keeps your city from being reached with the Gospel. Jonah rebelled and ran when he should have surrendered and submitted to the call of the harvest. Let me encourage you not to rebel against God’s call for you to reach the harvest. Souls are hanging in the balance; submit to God’s call to reach the harvest and do your part to see God reach the harvest through your life.