The Book of Jonah

by Joanna Pierce on February 28, 2019

Revelations of Jonah

The outline of of the Book of Jonah depicts Jonah’s flight from the voice of God, prayers for deliverance, sermons to Nineveh, and then closes with his pity party. However, the book of Jonah is not truly about Jonah himself, but reflects the heart of God and His feelings toward the prodigal. God never gave up on the city of Nineveh and didn’t give up on Jonah.

We’re All Jonahs

We’re all very much like Jonah. We all disobey and do things in opposition to what God instructs us. This is why we need God’s grace in our lives every day. God wants to bring us back to where we should be in our life.

Our Personal Nineveh

One sentence changed Jonah’s whole life when he was commissioned to go to Nineveh and preach God’s destruction (Jonah 1:1–2). God didn’t have a message of prosperity but judgment because the city was wicked and steeped in idolatry. These characteristics of Nineveh (as well as others) fed into reasons for why Jonah didn’t want to go.

Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh, but when we look at our lives we have our own personal Ninevehs. These are places we don’t want to go because they take us out of our comfort zone. Our Ninevehs bring danger and discomfort for us. Our Ninevehs are people that we don’t like or those who persecute us. No matter the Nineveh, we need to show others mercy because God is willing to show mercy. God will ask us to go to our own personal Nineveh. What will our answer be when He asks us to go?

Disobeying God

Jonah ran from the Lord and headed in the opposite direction (Jonah 1:3). There was about a 2,500 mile gap between God’s call and Jonah’s desire. He wanted to get as far away as He could because He knew God was going to destroy the city. We need to be careful that we don’t keep such a distance from people that we lose our love for the lost.

When Jonah disobeyed God, he walked through a downward spiritual progression. Jonah went down to Joppa (Jonah 1:3), down into the hold of the ship (Jonah 1:4), down into the sea (Jonah 1:15), and down into the belly of the whale (Jonah 1:17). When we make the decision to disobey God, the further we’ll move away from Him. This greatly increases our  risk of not being able to return upward to our Heavenly destination with our Lord and Savior.

Drivers of Disobedience

When Jonah went to Joppa there just happened to be a boat available for him (Jonah 1:3). When we choose to run from God, Satan will always provide the transportation and means for us to aid in our disobedience. Outside of the devils aid, our flesh can also always find an excuse and justify our actions. We must be careful on how fervent we are in our disobedience because at some point, God will let us fall deep into sin and give us over to a reprobate mind. However, if we become conscious of our disobedience and repent, God will restored us to Him.

Overall Lessons

In sum, there are three main lessons we can learn from Jonah’s disobedience. Every time we step out of the will of God, it’s a downward step. We will get away quickly, but we’ll recover slowly. Lastly, Satan can work through circumstances just like God can. Jonah knew the will of God, but he didn’t want to do it. The most important lesson we can learn is if God calls us to do a work, we need to go. We never know what our Nineveh will be, and God will call us to it at one point in our life. No one can hide from God!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on February 27, 2019 with Guest Speaker, Brother Koonce