Dave Burnette's Commentary

Jonah Chapter 3

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jonah
Date Penned: BC 785-760
Overview: Jonah's calling shows God's Sovereignty (c 1-4)
Theme: Jonah Fulfills His Mission (c 2-4)
Message: Jonah Preaches at Nineveh (v 1-10)

Jonah: Chapter 3 Commentary

(3:1) Jonah had ignored God and rebelled against him, but God still showed him compassion. When we ignore God, he may punish us, but he will show compassion and forgive us if we turn from our sins.

(3:2) Jonah ran away from God, but he was given a second chance to participate in God's work, You may feel disqualified from serving God because of past mistakes. But serving God is not an earned position. No one qualifies for God's Service, but he still asks us to carry out his work. You may yet have another chance. Jonah also was to preach only what God told him - a message of doom to the most powerful city in the world. This was not the most desirable assignment, but those who bring God's Word to others should not let social pressures or fear of people dictate their words. They are called to preach God's message and his truth, no matter how unpopular it may be.

(3:3) The Hebrew text makes no distinction between the proper city (the walls of which were only about eight miles in circumference, accommodating a population of 175,000) and the administrative district of Nineveh which was about 30 to 60 miles across. An "exceeding great city" it took three days to just walk through it.

(3:4-9) God's Word is for everyone. Despite the wickedness of the Ninevite people, they were open to God's message and repented immediately. If we simply proclaim what we know of God, we may be surprised how many people will listen.

(3:10) The heathen people of Nineveh believed Jonah's message and repented. What a miraculous effect God's Words had on these evil people! Their repentance stood in stark contrast to Israel's stubbornness. The people of Israel heard many messages from the prophets, but they refused to repent. The people of Nineveh only needed to hear God's message once. Jesus said at the judgement, these Ninevites will rise up to condemn the Israelites for their failure to repent (Matthew 12) It is not our hearing God's Word that pleases him, but our responding obediently to it. God responded in mercy by canceling his threatened punishment. God himself said that any nation on which he pronounced judgement would be saved if they repented (Jeremiah 18) God forgave Nineveh just as he had forgiven Jonah. The purpose of God's judgement is correction, not revenge. He is always ready to show compassion to anyone willing to seek him

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Importance of Obedience

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue with the book of Jonah with Chapter 3. In our text today we see Jonah fulfills his mission and preaches to Nineveh and they repent. In making application we see the importance of obedience as the people that Jonah doubted and despised were saved. Today many refuse to obey the Lord by sharing the Gospel with those who are living in sin or of low social status but if we would obey they too will be saved. How about you? Do you share the Gospel with others who are living in sin? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Jonah to be obedient so that others will be saved.


Jonah 3

Jonah 3

 1And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

 2Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

 3So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.

 4And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

 5So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

 6For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

 7And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

 8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

 9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

 10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.