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Jonah: A Great Man

Written By: Reverend Haskel Swain, May 24, 1993

Many sermons have been preached about Jonah. I too would like to say a few things about Jonah. Although many of God’s servants have been misunderstood by this present generation, God’s anointed servants have always been very precious to Him. 

Jonah was one of the greatest men who ever lived. There were many prophets in the land which God himself ordained for His service, but Jonah was the best of the best.

The city of Nineveh was a great city. The people had a king, but their society had deteriorated insomuch that they did not know their right hand from their left. The people did as they wished, and violence overtook the city. This was a city of 120 thousand people who had forgotten God.  Finally, the anger of God rose up against the city so great that He decided to destroy it. He wanted to put fear into every man’s heart before they were overthrown. To do this, God went to the country where Jonah lived and had a lengthy conversation with him concerning Nineveh. God told Jonah that He was so angry that He was going to destroy the city.  Jonah saw the anger coming from God, but he knew God better than God knew himself. Jonah was so close to God that he knew the very heart and mind of God.

God went to Jonah because there was not a man in all the land as great as this man. God told Jonah, "I am going to overthrow Nineveh in 40 days" - Jonah knew that God was very angry. He said to God, “I know you better than you know yourself. If I go to Nineveh, the king and his people, knowing I am a prophet, will repent and your heart will turn from anger to love.  I know you are a gracious and merciful God and have kindness.  You will not overthrow them, but will repent of the evil you have against them”.

Now, Jonah would rather die than preach something that would not come to pass. Therefore, Jonah, knowing the heart of God, desired to go to Tarsus hoping God would not come looking for him. The book of Jonah has only four chapters - Read them over a few times and take a good look at Chapter 3:10 and Chapter 4:1-3.

To speak evil against Jonah is to speak evil against Jesus Christ. Consider the similarity.

  • Jonah wanted to find another way by ship; Jesus wanted to find another way in the garden.
  • Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights;
  • Jesus was in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
  • Jonah suffered to save a city; Jesus suffered to save the world.
Jesus testified that He was numbered with the three greatest men on earth. Jesus was the greatest and the other two were Solomon and Jonah. Read Matthew 12:39-42


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