A rebellious prophet, a wicked city, a kid story, a fish story, a whale of a story! The Book of Jonah conjures up many thoughts when it is mentioned. It is one of the great stories of the Bible.
But lost in the familiarity and even playfulness of the story’s common perceptions is its true meaning. It is a story of a compassionate God on a mission to show His love and goodness to everyday people who do not know Him. The impact of the Book of Jonah is the realization that when God is on a mission, nothing will stop Him — even if He has to use a giant fish.
Should I Not Have Pity?
As we see with the citizens of Nineveh, all people matter to God. Because God is ultimately behind their greatness and their value and therefore has the right to forgive or punish them as He sees fit. What He asks of us is that we show compassion (pity) on others the same way He shows them compassion.
The God Who Never Gives Up
A lot of people view the “God of the Old Testament” as angry, vengeful and eager to punish. Let, what we will see in the book of Jonah is just the opposite. He is gracious and merciful, abounding in love, slow to anger, and ready to forgive. He is truly a God that never gives up on His enemies, His people, or you.
Your God Is Too Small
Our God — at least the God we so often conceive of in our own mind — is too small. This is not the God of the book of Jonah. When we truly begin to see how big and awe inspiring God really is, it will transform everything about us.
Outcry from the Grave
True rescue requires a death. The death of our pride, our actions, our rights, our willingness to be right, and, ultimately, our self. This is the outcry of repentance God wants. He then exchanges that death for the death of His Son, so that we can experience the deliverance, everlasting joy and fulfillment found in Him.
Who Is Closest to God?
God’s presence is the place to be — a place of love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and joy. But being in the presence of God has way more to do with His pursuit of us, than our actions towards Him. Ultimately, His eyes are always on those who need Him whether they know it or not.