THE SIGN OF JONAH
God called Jonah to deliver a warning of judgment to the city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. This Assyrians were hated by the Jews because they were constantly invading Israel. The Assyrians would later defeat the Northern Kingdom of Israel and carry its people off into captivity. Yet, God wanted them warned of His judgment.
This is a unique story in the Old Testament of the Word being carried to a Gentile people by one of God’s prophets, albeit unwillingly. God had declared His purpose to Abraham that “all the families of the earth” would be blessed from his seed. Here, the book of Jonah hints at this future blessing. Even the Lord Jesus referred to this little book when He said that the only sign He would give was the “sign of Jonah” (Matt. 12:39), referring to His death, burial, and resurrection after three days.
Those who have trouble believing that God could “arrange” for a fish to save a drowning man, will probably have trouble with a crucified man being resurrected from the grave. Yet, those who do believe are rescued from God’s judgment.