That Great City
by: Rev. David Bast
Now the Lord re-commissions Jonah, giving him a second chance to deliver God’s message to Nineveh. Ancient writers describe the city of Nineveh in tones of awe, noting its size, the strength of its walls and gates, the splendor of its palaces and temples. The ultimate testimony to Nineveh’s significance lies in the fact that three times in the book of Jonah God himself calls Nineveh “that great city.” It is one thing for people to be impressed with a place, but when God calls a city great, it must really be something.
God cares about the city. Think about that. He doesn’t just speak to the church, to people who are actively paying attention to him. His word is also for the great cities of our world, where human culture reaches its pinnacle. God’s call to the city should dispel the misconception that he is concerned only about the personal life of individuals, that his only business is saving people one by one to be with him in heaven when they die. That’s not all there is to biblical faith or to the agenda of the living God. He is not just a private God. He is the God of the whole earth. He is not interested only in individuals. He also cares about cities, societies, cultures, and nations. The Lord is the God of everything and everyone; his concern is to turn earthly cities into the City of God.
It must be ours too.