Introduction Of The Book Of Jonah – On The Run

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Bible Trivia Q & A 20200119

Jonah

God extends His mercy to other nations

The story of Jonah, an unmerciful prophet

When reading the Book of Jonah, it is difficult to sympathize with this northern prophet.

He is nationalistic and xenophobic, and he just cannot be bothered to rub shoulders with unlovable people, especially the violent and oppressive Assyrians.

Because most people have felt as Jonah does at some point in their lives, this prophetic novella draws in its readers and makes them want Jonah—perhaps even secretly—to drown in the sea for his stubbornness and disrespect.

To be fair, Jonah does have a legitimate gripe against the very people God is commanding him to go and preach to.


Bullying Conquered Nations

For a long time, the Assyrians have aggressively built their empire on the backs of smaller nations such as Israel, which has been reduced to a vassal state.

The Assyrians appear to enjoy bullying conquered nations, deporting their chief citizens, breaking up families, laying waste to the land, and doing everything they can to erase their victims’ identities.

In 722 B.C., the Northern Kingdom of Israel will be decisively conquered by Assyria, so Jonah’s animosity toward the northern aggressor is understandable.


The Defiant Prophet

Regardless of Jonah’s personal judgment of Nineveh, it is consoling that the Eternal One has the last word: “Should I not have pity on that great city of Nineveh where there are more than 120,000 people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?” (4:11). This question drives the story line.


Fire From Heaven, Or Mercy

God will do whatever it takes to get Jonah to Nineveh with His message.

He’ll send a storm; He’ll even send a great fish to swallow His defiant prophet because God knows the people of Nineveh will turn to Him when judgment is proclaimed over their city.

But the story is not really about the men, women, and children (or even animals!) of Nineveh.

The story is about the unloving and ungracious prophet who prefers fire from heaven to mercy for his personal enemies.


Our Selfishness

It is difficult to read Jonah and not think about how we view ourselves and other people.

Do we want to keep God’s grace and mercy to ourselves—thinking perhaps we somehow deserve it—while secretly hoping others receive God’s unmitigated fury?


Jonah 1:4

The Lord calls Jonah to Nineveh, but instead he runs full speed to Tarshish, a great and wealthy city on the coast of Spain.

It is about as far to the west as most Israelites have ever ventured, while Nineveh is about as far to the east as most Israelites have ever gone.

Nineveh is a great city and the fiercest enemy of Jonah’s people, so Jonah is afraid and wants to be completely away from this calling and from anyone who may be inclined to go on this ill-fated adventure.

10 thoughts on “Introduction Of The Book Of Jonah – On The Run

  1. Hello there,

    Thanks for the review it was really helpful. The Book of Jonah is a book of the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible. It tells of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah son of Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission. 

    The primary theme in Jonah is that God’s compassion is boundless, not limited just to us but also available for them.

    1. Hello,

      You are most certainly welcome for this helpful Bible Study Session, and for considering it such, for utilizing a portion of your time for the reading and accurate comments.

      Thank you for your time.

      Have an Abundantly Blessed Day!

  2. Whenever I read about the story of Jonah, all that comes to my mind is the everlasting loving, nature of God, He can go the extra mile to get a sinner saved and it’s so amazing that even today He still has not changed from His consistent loving character which I think we all should emulate. 

  3. Hello there, 

    A big thanks for sharing this insightful and interesting article on the introduction of the book of Jonah on the run. I have a actually learned a lot from the story of Jonah entirely. 

    The story of Jonah brought me to the understanding that God will have mercy on whom so ever He wishes to, He should never be questioned and it also tecahes me about God being a merciful God. Jonah tried running from God’s will but he was always merciful. 

    1. Hello, 

      You are most certainly welcome for the sharing of such an insightful and interesting Study Session, thank you for considering it such, for your reading and comments.

      Stay blessed and stay safe! 

  4. Hello there,

    This is an amazing article that you have here. I enjoyed going through this article here on your website. 

    Jonah had a beautiful experience with God. It was in his walk with God to realize that it is not so much of what a man desires that happens to the man but the Will of God that it should be made perfect.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello, 

      Thank you for your response about this Bible Study Session being Amazing. I appreciate your comments, thank you for taking the time to share a few words with us. 

      You are most certainly welcome for the sharing of this information.

      Many Blessings To You My Friend! 

  5. Hello dear, 

    Thanks for sharing such amazing concise information with us all. 

    I was actually doing some research online when I saw your post, I must say, these has been the best articles I’ve seen today. I already saved these page so as to come back for future reference because your writing skills and the nice information has really helped me a lot, 

    Thanks for the info.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you so much for utilizing a portion of your time for the reading and specifically commenting on this Bible Study Session.

      It is always a wonderful thing to learn new stuff about the Holy Bible. I appreciate you finding these details to be much needed.

      Best Of Blessings To You My Friend!

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