Who’s looking for a whale?
“And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left and also many cattle?” (Jonah 4:11)
God expressed his heart to Jonah, who of course had other ideas. He ended up in a whale’s belly because he was afraid of the Assyrians of Nineveh and believed they didn’t deserve forgiveness, for in reality they were a ferocious and brutal people.
Whilst the latter was true, the former wasn’t, God desire was to call the nation to repentance and restoration. The people of Nineveh did repent and this made Jonah even angrier. He knew God was a gracious God and would forgive, but he himself had unresolved bitterness towards Nineveh.
Let’s move forward about 3000 years. Today, are we looking for a whale?
Syrian people are dying in their nation every day. Today I heard of a woman who had been raped in her home, then sent into the street naked. She killed herself in that street, because of the shame. It’s not only the soldiers who are dying, but the whole nation has lapsed into a state of lawlessness. Will the Christians pray?
Does the mention of the word Muslim encourage you to pray, to shrink away in fear, or burn in anger? These times are complicated, and it would be easy, maybe even to some acceptable, to take the position of they deserve this, why should I care?
The Assyrians inflicted untold violence on the nation of Israel, yet the God of Israel wanted to reach out to them. What would God’s heart for Syria be today?
Every time I visit a Syrian family we offer to pray for them. They always ask for the same thing. They say, “Please pray for peace and pray that we can return to Syria.”
In a very short time God could indeed miraculously bring peace to Syria and restore the nation. However, is that His best for Syria? If the majority of the nation’s people still don’t know Jesus, their end will be death for eternity.
Please pray for God’s will to be done in Syria “as it is in heaven.”
This is the hour, believers all over the world need to move in the opposite spirit and reach out to this nation in prayer.
Are you still looking for a whale?