Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Reading 19: Jonah Swallowed Up

Jonah 1:1-2:10

95 years after Elijah comes Jonah. Jonah's story is very famous throughout the world. God calls Jonah to go and tell the city of Nineveh to repent. Nineveh had a bad reputation and was a city in Assyria, the nation that would eventually capture and enslave Israel. This was the last place any Israelite wanted to go, let alone a prophet sent to tell them to change their ways. Jonah decided to go the opposite way and head for Tarshish.

Jonah thought he could run away from God and so he headed to the sea but there is no running from God. At sea a storm rocks the ship terrifying the experienced sailors. Much like Jesus during a storm (Matthew 4:35-41) Jonah is sleeping as well. Everyone is praying to their gods hoping for mercy but Jonah knows it is His God doing this and him running away is what has caused it. He tells them to toss him overboard but they wouldn't do it until they saw no other way. As soon as he is tossed overboard the storm stops and the sailors believe in God and follow Him.

Jonah is then swallowed up by the whale where he spends three days and three nights (sound familiar?) Jonah realizes his error in trying to run from God and reject the calling God has for him. He repents and God causes the whale to vomit him up onto the shore.

Jonah would go to Nineveh and call them to repent of their sins, which they surprisingly do. Jonah is not happy about that though. He was really hoping that God would destroy the city but God doesn't do that because they repented. God is merciful to those who seek forgiveness and repent of their sins.

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