A story of God’s loving concern for all people, the very reluctant and stubborn Jonah represents Israel’s jealousy, for it’s favored relationship with God. and it’s unwillingness to share the Lord’s goodness and compassion.
Jonah knows that God’s love and forgiveness runs deep But when God directs him to go to their cruel enemies, Assyria and tell them repent from their sins, so God will not destroy them, Jonah heads in the opposite direction.
Jonah doesn’t want them to repent, because he knows God will forgive them. Jonah’s assignment is a tough one. The Assyrians are known for committing gruesome crimes against their enemies. Only a man with a death wish, or radical trust in God would obey.
Jonah goes far away from Nineveh at first, but God makes it obvious, what Jonah should do, by a fierce storm and allowing Jonah to be swallowed by a giant fish. After these event Jonah goes to Nineveh.
Once inside Assyrian’s great and powerful capital, Jonah preaches the message God gave him. A massive revival results, from the king and his noble mentor, and the commissioners, the Assyrians repent. God sees their repentance and relents from His anger.
Jonah is angry, he wanted God to destroy them and not save them. While Jonah is sitting on a hill overlooking the city, God tenderly gives Jonah an object lesson about His deep love and unceasing mercy. God is the God whose heart bends towards all people. The God of all creation takes time to explain His goodness to Jonah, to show him how deep His love is.
Jonah is an encouraging example of just how faithful the Lord is to us. Jonah was a prophet called by God to preach to the inhabitants of Nineveh, an ungodly and violent people. Jonah was not trying to fulfill the call of God; he was trying to run from it. So instead of sailing to Nineveh, Jonah boarded a ship to Tarshish. But something, disrupted the plans of Jonah, something that would eventually set him back on course toward the call of God.
If God was to tell us, to do something we did not want to do, would we do it and have complete trust in Him.