His story is recorded in Hebrew, Christian and Islamic literature. All three religions consider him a prophet of God Almighty. He is remembered for the fish story more than his persuasiveness to the citizens of a city.

His story is told in the book of Jonah.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me" (Jonah 1:1-2).

And though the three days in the fish has become the most remembered of his exploits, it is his work in Nineveh that has elevated his stature. Nineveh was located on the east side of the Tigris River in Assyria and was one of the greatest cities of Mesopotamia. It was here that Jonah preached God's message: Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown (Jonah 3:4). And the people and their king believed God.

Then God saw their works; that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it (Jonah 3:10).

The book of Jonah leaves the glum prophet outside the city, but secular history notes that Jonah remained in Nineveh for the remainder of his life. He is said to have become the Spiritual leader to the citizens there. And when he died, the people built his burial tomb so he could always watch over the city he helped save. Over the centuries the tomb became a complex of buildings visited by pilgrims of all faiths.

On the west bank of the Tigris another city grew, eventually jumping across the river and encompassing the old city of Nineveh. The new city is now Mosul in the country of Iraq.

This past July, the militant group ISIS destroyed Jonah's tomb because according to them it had become a "place of apostasy."

Have you responded to God's call?
Jonah is not remembered for his birth place and burial tomb, but because he finally did what God directed him to do. And the people he talked to responded to God's call.

Have you responded to God's call? Let's talk about it at www.hopeforlife.org.

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