This content is part of a series.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
Series: The Divine Pursuit - A Study of Jonah
Week 1: Call - Day 5
“FOR AS THE SOIL MAKES THE SPROUT TO COME UP AND A GARDEN CAUSES SEEDS TO GROW, SO THE SOVEREIGN LORD WILL MAKE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PRAISE SPRING UP BEFORE ALL NATIONS” —ISAIAH 62:11
One of the peculiarities of growing up in the military is the Army’s incredible way of moving people around. Whether it’s an “emergency move”, like when we packed up and moved with only three weeks notice, or a selection process, when my dad could rank choices and then get selected for the next destination, there was never a dull moment in the ultimate question of where we would move next.
The selection process was a particular emotional roller coaster. Imagine being told that you may be moving to San Diego or the middle of the plains of Texas. Or maybe it could be a twenty-four hour flight to Australia or Ft. Drum, NY, which averages over ten feet of snow a year! Each of these locations conjured up a different set of possibilities and challenges. When we moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (code name: Ft. Lost In The Woods) my eighth grade year, I was dismayed to learn that the nearest shopping mall was seventy miles away. For a tween fashionista, this was devastating!
Jonah is no different. Both Nineveh and Tarshish are places that would invoke a host of thoughts and feelings. Understanding more about these places helps us understand why a man who’s job and life was to speak for God would run away so fast.
How does God describe Nineveh in Jonah 1:2?
Nineveh was considered the capital of the Assyrian empire. History has much to tell us about the Assyrians. Look at Nahum 3:1-3 and record the information you find about Nineveh:
We know the Assyrians were brutal to their enemies, noted for their ruthlessness and terrible atrocities. We even have specific and gory evidence...the pyramid of chopped-off heads that King Shalmaneser III boasted of building in front of an enemy’s city!i We know that Israel is one of those potential threats for Assyria, so it stands to reason that they could be the next country with their own people’s heads bowled at the city gates.
We also know that the Assyrians were polytheistic—meaning they believed in many gods. In the 19th century, the city of Nineveh was excavated and found to be a strikingly modern city. Large city gates were adorned with carvings of the gods the Assyrians worshiped. An enormous palace built by King Sargon housed a large library, estimated to have held 20,000-30,000 inscribed tablets.ii
Nineveh was a hotbed of all that is indulgent and secular culture. On every level, Nineveh represents the opposite of everything Jonah believes in. My best modern-day translation would be God telling me to leave my comfortable ...
There are 9600 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 3000 character sample of the full content.