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“And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city...” Jonah 4:11.

We’ve been studying the great little book of Jonah this summer in Cambridge. You know Jonah, right? It’s the little, little book between Obadiah and Micah that chronicles a season in the life of a very reluctant prophet by the same name. When you think about the story, it doesn’t reflect well upon its supposed author. But those four short chapters hold great insight into so many great themes: the character of God, justice and mercy, missions, calling, and so on.

But there is this one phrase that caught my eye and my attention: that great city. When referring to Nineveh, upon whom God’s judgment was to be exacted just a little bit over a month’s time, we find it modified three times by “great city.” Upon further study, you will find that Nineveh was, in fact, an important city in the Assyrian kingdom. It was its capital. But when you read the text, it wasn’t necessarily a descriptive modifier, but additionally, there is a sense of ownership to the modified phrase, in such that it could be read, and perhaps, should be read as “Nineveh, a great city to God.” I’d encourage you to go and read Jonah again, with that in mind. See if that changes your reading of Jonah for you. It did for me.

Jonah wanted God to execute His righteous judgment upon a city of great sin. God held off execution (for another 100+ years, actually) because God had plans, and it involved Nineveh to some degree. Jesus mentioned and included the men of Nineveh as part of those who would “stand up and condemn” this generation of scribes and Pharisees, to emphasize their evil and wickedness!

This phrase, “great city to God” got me thinking about my view of the work at Harvard Law (specifically) versus God’s long view of His work. Am I aligned to God’s long view plan? Jonah wasn’t. I want to be! We all should.

As you partner with us in prayer for this coming year at Harvard Law, would you pray that the Lord would open up our eyes to see this “great city” with a long view for revival? Pray with us that we might be bold with the Message of the Gospel in the coming year, so that many would repent and “turn from their evil ways.” If Nineveh, having committed great sins that instilled God’s judgment, could experience revival, I believe a place like Harvard can as well.

“Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; ... Salvation
belongs to the LORD!" - Jonah 2:8-9

I invite you to pray with us for an amazing year of revival!

Justin Yim
Ministry Director
Christian Union at Harvard Law School

Please note: if you would like to receive regular updates on how to pray for Christian Union's work at Harvard Law School, please email prayer@christianunion.org.