We can shake our head at Jonah’s response, but then we should probably look at the mirror. We, too, have had times in our life when we have been angry at God for one reason or another. Have we, like Jonah, ever been angry at God because of God’s mercy and grace?
Jonah seemed appalled that God changed his mind. Was it because now Jonah looked “bad” for delivering a false message? Nobody wants to look stupid, especially when doing work for God. I suppose that’s why a lot of believers keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to say the wrong thing or look unprepared when spreading the gospel. In reality, I’m sure the people of Nineveh were delighted that God had given them a reprieve. They didn’t give the messenger another thought.
Continue reading “Jonah 4:1-11 – Being Angry at God”
We don’t see people today wearing burlap as a sign of cleansing and repentance. But in Jonah’s time, it would have been amazing to see, even the king, listening and responding to the warning from God. What Jonah proclaimed was destruction. He didn’t give them an “unless.” That is, Nineveh will be destroyed unless you repent! But the people showed their respect, and their tears of sorrow melted God’s heart.
It was quite unexpected to see the people of Nineveh believing God’s word. I think of the Israelites who went on and on living their idol worshipping lives despite the efforts of Jeremiah, for example. He told them to repent because their worship of other gods angered the one true God.
Continue reading “Jonah 3:1-10 – Are You Ready?”
Our story continues, and we hear about what happened to Jonah after going overboard during the ferocious storm. Jonah does this in the form of a prayer. And he prays this from the belly of a fish! From the sounds of it, God’s rescue of Jonah was “just in time” using the fish to catch him and bring Jonah to safety.
Jonah prayed, and God heard him. “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me.” It didn’t matter that Jonah had turned his back on God and avoided doing what God had asked him to do. Jonah wisely realized that his only hope was in the very God he was running from. God was also faithful and did not let the rebellious Jonah die.
Continue reading “Jonah 2:1-10 – God Used What?”
The Book of Jonah may be considered one of the 12 minor prophets. Surprisingly, we’ll see that Jonah himself never gives an oracle from God like other prophets. Why, then, is it a prophetic book? Because the story or parable that we encounter does have a very important message for us, just as if God himself had spoken the words through Jonah. Reference is made to Jonah in 2 Kings 14:25, as well, identifying him as a prophet.
The story Jonah tells may also be familiar to you from Sunday School classes or Vacation Bible School skits. I’ll never forget using tuna to create the illusion of being inside a big fish! As you read through this short book this time, set aside what may be familiar and look deeper at God’s message for you.
Continue reading “Jonah 1:1-17 – Running from God”