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The Softening of a Calloused Heart

Updated: May 29, 2022

God could have called any other prophets but He went after Jonah.

Nahum prophesied the fall of Nineveh but was not the one called to preach against its people. We read about the Ninevites' wickedness through Nahum and at the very end of Nahum 3:19, we're left with these words: "for who has not felt your endless cruelty?"

Surely, Jonah was one of the many who experienced the Ninevites' wickedness. So why did he run when God called him to preach against it?

Maybe this entire story isn't about the sailors turning from their idols, or the Ninevites' but a story of God softening the calloused heart of His servant, Jonah.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah again "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."

Jonah obeyed the Lord and started his journey to Nineveh. Jonah was sent by God to share a message to the wicked. Throughout scripture, we know God's words are transformative. His words create, transform, destroy, and renew. Scripture does not state which words God had given Jonah prior to the trip.

'The message I give you', is not the same as 'the message I gave you'. God had not yet given Jonah the words to say in Nineveh. Jonah 1:2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it" (NIV Zondervan 2020), in King James Version on the Bible Gateway site, it is written that God asked Jonah in 1:2 to cry against the city, and in 3:2, to "preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee". The words were not yet given to Jonah.

Three days and three nights, Jonah sought the Lord in the belly of Sheol.

Now here he was, called by God to spend three days through Nineveh.

Behind every person's anger or hate is pain.

Oh how heavy was Jonah's pain.

How unbearable it must've been.