A. DESCRIBE HOW GOD MADE SURE THAT HIS MESSAGE GOT TO THE PEOPLE OF NINEVEH.
B. ENUMERATE THREE FACTORS THAT MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR GOD’S PEOPLE TO CARRY OUT THEIR RELIGIOUS DUTIES.
The story of Jonah is the Bible tells how God’s message got to the people of Nineveh.
Following is a straightforward outline of the points you need to answer this question in your Christian Religious Studies paper.
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Note also the factors that prevent believers from carrying out their religious duties.
Jonah and the people of Nineveh
This event demonstrates God’s nature as a universal God. That is his sphere of influence is not limited to only Israel but extends across the length and breadth of the earth.
God called and asked a man named Jonah to go to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.
His mission was to warn the people of Nineveh concerning their wicked ways.
Incidentally, Assyria at this time was Israel’s bitterest enemy.
Jonas did not want to obey God
So he attempted to run away to Joppa by boarding a ship going to Tarshish.
A mighty storm arose and buffeted the ship, causing the sailors to take the following actions:
They prayed to their gods for protection
They threw some of their luggage overboard into the sea in order to lighten the weight of the ship
The captain woke up Jonah who was fast asleep inside the ship to join in the prayer.
They finally decided to cast lots so as to find out the cause of their predicament.
The lot fell on Jonah. Upon interrogation, Jonah confessed that he was a Hebrew running away from God’s assignment. He asked that they should throw him into the sea in order to calm the storm.
Thus, clearly, Jonah would rather die than obey God and go to Nineveh.
As soon as Jonah was thrown overboard, the storm stopped.
But Jonah was swallowed by a whale, and he remained in the belly of the big fish for 3 days.
While inside the belly of the whale, Jonah prayed for God’s mercy and God forgave him. Thus, God caused the fish to vomit Jonah on dry land very close to the city of Nineveh.
When God once again commanded Jonah to proceed with the mission to Nineveh, Jonah now responded positively.
Thus, Jonah preached a message of doom for Nineveh saying God would destroy the city in 40 days.
Reaction of the people of Nineveh:
They lamented and put on sackcloth
They forwarded the message to their king
The king removed his garments and put on sackcloth and ash all over his body.
The king passed a decree that every person, beast and cattle should abstain from food and sin in order to attract the Lord’s pity and mercy
The Lord saw what the people of Nineveh did and repented from carrying out his threat to destroy the city.
The factors that make it difficult for Christians to fulfil their responsibilities include the following.
Fear of ridicule and persecution from society.
Sickness or disability
Inordinate desire for worldly pleasures.
Lack of faith and commitment
Bureaucratic obstacles within the church.
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