In ancient Israel, there was a powerful prophet of the Lord. He was charged with proclaiming God’s thoughts and intentions to powerful people in powerful places. He loved his job. His favorite prophecy was when he got to tell the king of Israel, Jeroboam, that Israel would expand to the North and would be prosperous and successful under his reign (2 Kings 14:25). It’s fun giving good news to those you love.
But then one day God spoke to this prophet and said, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” Jonah knew exactly what “calling out against” a city meant. It meant Jonah had to give some exceptionally bad news to some exceptionally bad people. Who had both attacked and oppressed Israel for decades.