“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2)
God commissioned Jonah to go to Nineveh and call out against it. Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria, which was the greatest empire of that time. Although Assyria was not at war with Israel in Jonah’s days, it was a continuous threat ‘in the background’. Combined with God’s warnings that Israel would be invaded by a foreign army as a judgment of their sins, the Israelites did not expect anything good from the Assyrians.
Initially, God’s commission was to announce Nineveh’s downfall. That would actually be good news for Israel… But
Jonah knew the Lord. He knew that God is merciful. He knew that God does not take delight in the death of the wicked, but wants them to repent and to be saved.
Jonah had seen that often enough when his colleagues announced God’s judgments over Israel, with the goal to warn them. Therefore, Jonah was not happy with his commission. He did not want to warn his enemies of the destruction to come; he just wanted God to execute it!
Do you have ‘enemies’ for whom you resent or deny God’s mercy?