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Joined: 2009/1/16
Posts: 393

 Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

I mean he did no sign right?

I think the same could be said of John the Baptist who did no sign and others.

Yet, Jesus did signs for the people to believe.

I think when he said no sign will be given to this evil generation save the Son of man as Jonah in the belly of the fish (the cross ect). That he did not mean no sign would given in the sign of miracles ect because he showed many of those signs. I think His point was that the sign of Him taking over the earth and delivering as Messiah would not be shown at this time, but only Him in His death.

Then also I think other prophets were heard because one they brought down fire, or had a track record of proven words ect.

So what was it with John and Jonah and other who did no sign that cause people to listen to them?

For instance Jesus said you were pleased to enjoy the light of John for a time ect.

Was it John's holiness, simplicity of life, love, a supernatural power on His words that caused the hearts to burn?

For I think it is said he was given a "voice" and I think if I remember right that His words were probably made as fire and the people wood?

Yet, if so, what of Jonah was he in the same way? I would find it hard that the people would listen because of a track record since they knew him not or his holiness. Nor is there any mention of a sign or probably even a loving personality from him. Yet, of him I wonder if his words were as fire because there is no mention of it.

Maybe there is just something that happened that is not mentioned? Or maybe the people just knew they were so evil and from afar had witness of the God of Israel or something?

Why did God have it that John did no signs? Was it to show that he was lesser then Jesus? I also wonder if he was Elijah then why no signs? I guess though there was a power on him.

 2009/10/10 20:39Profile

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2774
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

Here's an excerpt from a Carter Conlon sermon that may shed some light on the issue...

In the moment Jonah agreed, the fish vomited him out on dry land "and the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee."...He walks through, seemingly a weakened man, a dependent man. Everyone who looks at him sees a man who looks a bit foolish. He is probably somewhat bleached from being inside the belly of the whale. He seems to be everything that a godless society does not want to be. Oh, God, help us to understand this truth. He is everything that a godless society does not want to be. He is not powerful. He is not wise. He is not noble. Nobody takes any notice of him. He looks like a vagabond, coming within the city limits. But, something is different. This man shows up in the city, just like the apostle Paul coming to Corinth.

The carnal preachers were saying of Paul, his bodily presence is weak and his speech is contemptible. They were saying, don’t you see us, don’t you see how well dressed we are? Don’t you notice our shoes, our Armani suits and our white scarves? Don’t you want to look like us? Why do you want to look like Paul? He is not a good preacher, his bodily presence is weak, he is skinny and small. And, apparently he had a big nose. His speech is contemptible. Do you want to be like Paul? That is what the carnal preachers were saying to the Corinthian church. But there is something different about this man. His words have weight and power behind them. Paul says, I will not know the wisdom of those who say they are called by God, I will know them by their power.

You see this man, Jonah, coming into town. He says, turn from your sin for all this society is about to come under the justice of God. As he began to speak, I see demons bending their knee, I see Hell with all its false reasoning having to give way, I see prison doors opening, I see captivity having to release its captives. Because God found a man who needs the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s brand of Christianity will not touch this generation. It has not, and it will not. God does not need 100,000 Corinthians, he needs one Jonah, one Paul. The greatest thing that you can do today, and I can do, is to say, by God’s grace, I will be that person. I will the one that makes the difference in someone else’s life – and maybe it will just start in your own marriage, it will start with your own children, it will start with your own friends, it will start with your own enemies. It will start in your own work-place, it will start in your own apartment building, it will start in your own street, it will start in your own community, city state, and country. It is the man, it is the woman that says, God Almighty. . . to the death. . . to the death. . . I am yours. If I have to go to jail, if I have to die, I am yours. If I have to forfeit everything that I thought would make me happy, if I have to give up my future – the future that I have in my mind that would fulfil me, I give it to you, Lord.

Ron Halverson

 2009/10/10 21:58Profile

 Re: Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

What a thought provoking question. A very good question. I will have to give some thought to that one.

The only one thing I can say about John is that he was the sign. He was the voice crying in the wilderness. Matt 3:3

And in regards to John being Elijah, he is! You have no idea how many people doubt this. But the proof is right here. Matthew 11:10-14

As to the title of your thread, that remains a mystery, at least for now.

 2009/10/10 22:45

Joined: 2006/6/15
Posts: 343


In the ESV study bible I think it is historically recorded that there was an eclipse of the sun around the time Jonah went to preach to the Assyrians.

This might explain the willingness of the people to repent.

Also, Jonah really wanted the people to die. I don't think anybody has ever preached like Jonah, or ever will. He hated the Ninevites for what they had done to the Jews in the past. He wanted judgment to fall from heaven and consume them. He really wanted JUSTICE.

Nobody preached like Jonah... he really believed that fire was gonna fall and destroy the entire city, hallelujah!


 2009/10/10 23:29Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 1196
North Central Florida

 Re: Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

It could be because God gave them 'ears to hear.'

Kind regards,
white stone


 2009/10/10 23:38Profile

 Re: Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

Good extract from Carter Conlon, Ron. Thanks!

But there is something different about this man. His words have weight and power behind them.

Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

Surely it is because he was speaking the very simple message God had put in his mouth (Repent, or face the wrath of God in forty days), and therefore, it struck the hearers to the heart as in Acts 2:37.

Anyone who hears God speak directly to them, has the power to obey Him. Those who choose to use their own power to resist His, make a big mistake.

 2009/10/11 2:51

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

No definite scriptural basis for this, but perhaps God prepared the city at the same time He was preparing the messenger.

Another possibility: Remember when Jesus spoke and the people said, "this guy speaks as a man who carries some real spiritual weight, not like the empty words of the pharisees". A man surrendered to God, regardless of what personal path the man took to come to that point, is a man who God can invest the power of His Holy Spirit in. Perhaps it was simply the spiritual weight he carried.

It need not be anything that is perceptible in the flesh that causes a man to be listened to.

Just a couple ideas. Interesting question.


 2009/10/11 9:34Profile

Joined: 2009/1/16
Posts: 393


Yes, I think that you all are right. I think that he probably did not do a sign. But, God probably prepared the city. And, He also put power on the words of Jonah to strike the heart. Also, probably Nineveh knew of Israel and maybe knew God was among them and so when an Israelite came they knew to pay attention. This is an interesting thing though in how much importance is upon the power of God on the words of the preacher. For Jonah did not even want them to turn he did not even want to speak so it was not like he was eloquent or emotionally stirring or something. I think maybe also can be said of the need to have a sign and the accountability to it. For when Jesus said woe to you chorazin for if the mighty works done in you have been done in Sodom they would have repented.. so also with Nineveh they did repent and didn't even need a sign. I am thinking man think of the accountability when God does release His power and people just get excited, but don't repent. Or think of how even though there are not signs we should still repent as Nineveh a witness against us. Ect. I will take more time later to more thoroughly look over things...

 2009/10/11 22:56Profile

 Re: Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

To anonymity

But, God probably prepared the city.

I'd like to add, that if He did, it was by making the people tired of their Godlessness.

Decadence is thoroughly boring and waring, if one has enough of it. One knows one is dissatisfied with self-centredness, debauchery, immorality, cruelty, unbridled freedom (etc), so, when a man comes speaking life and health to the soul by the word of God, and 'faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God', you have a potent agent for change, to change both the aspirations of men from their heart upwards, and, their actions.

Also, God gives HIS authority to those who are submitted to Him to obey Him; in this case, Jonah.

 2009/10/12 1:47

Joined: 2009/9/1
Posts: 62

 Re: Why did Nineveh listen to Jonah?

Jonah was a Prophet who lacked any love or compassion.He dismayed at the Lords hand staying judgement on Nineveh and wanted to die...His own reputation meant more to him than the lives of several hundred thousand.By God removing temporary judgement from Nineveh Jonah would look like a false prophet after 40 days with no Judgement.The man leaves the city and makes for himself a booth..or you could say sat down with his popcorn and waited for the show.Jonah was a sign to the ninevites and these heathen probably heard of his miraculous deliverance from the belly of the fish and believed.Brothers and sisters let us not forget what Paul says in 1 Cor 13 "Though i have the gift of prophecy" and have not love..Jonah was the prophet and where was the love.Jesus also said to his apostles that they were of a different spirit when they said about calling down fire from heaven on the Samaritan village..mercy triumphs over judgement!!

 2009/10/12 3:09Profile

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