25th Jul

The Sign of Jonah for Today

But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. -Matthew 12:39

The word of the Lord brings reality. After all, that is how the physical world was created. The words of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 12:39 when read in context speak to the time Jesus would spend in the tomb, that we are certain.

Consider for a moment, however, a recent event in the ancient area that Jonah preached repentance.

The burial place of the biblical prophet Jonah, was reportedly blown “to dust” by members of the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Thursday.

“Islamic State completely destroyed the shrine of Nabi Yunus after telling local families to stay away and closing the roads to a distance of 500 meters from the shrine,” an official at the Sunni endowment, which manages Sunni religious affairs in Iraq told AFP.

The official who asked not to be identified said the militants took an hour to rig the shrine before levelling it to the ground. He explained that other notable shrines had also been destroyed by ISIS: “But the worst destruction was of Jonah’s tomb, which has been turned to dust.”

Early followers of Jesus used the symbol of Jonah and the fish as symbol of Christ and his resurrection and an expression of Christian resurrection faith. The destruction of Jonah’s tomb in Nineveh is but a small sign that many will miss. However, its occurrence along with the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate should not go overlooked.

Jonah preached repentance from sin and Nineveh heard the warning. They mourned over their sin and begged the Lord to turn from His wrath and He did. The modern citizens of Nineveh and the world are being given the same opportunity. Turn from sin and the worship of false gods such as the false god of Islam while there is still time.

The warning is not for the Middle East and Muslims alone, it is for you and I too. Are we hearing the Lord and turning from our sin and keeping His commands?

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. -Revelation 22:12-14