Jonah; a Didactic Story C. J. YangBook of Jonah is a book that Jonah used himself as an example to deliver God’s messageregardinga. The consequences of the people who disobeys God’s order (which caused him the suffering of deathful experience that God put him through).b. God’s mercy and acceptance of the people who repents and returns to HIM and His willingness of using him (us) again; Jonah’s spiritual prayer, his sincere repentant and vow for action, the salvation of his soul granted from Lord and being God’s messenger again.c. Also shows that God’s mercy in the people whom He created once they returned to HIM, both in Jonah and the people in Nineveh.The Disobedience of God’s OrderIn Verse 4:2, God order Jonah to “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, fortheir evil has come up before me.” Instead, Jonah“rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence ofthe Lord.”(Verse 4:3a) It is recorded clearly that Jonah purposely tried to escape from God’spresence. And it appeared again Verse 4:3c “to go with them to Tarshish, away from thepresence of the Lord”.The repetition shows the importance of this action; Disobeying God’s order on purpose.The Result of Jonah’s Disobedience; the Great WindIn Jonah 1:4-5 “But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempeston the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and eachcried out to his god.” Here it shows that it is the Lord who hurled a great wind. However, themariners separately prayed to “his” god. Here shows that our Lord is in control of the wind andwaves; not the mariners’ so-called gods.And in verse 7, the mariners casted lots and it really showed that Jonah was the cause of thestorm. Here it says that Lord also wanted the mariners to know that Jonah is the one whom Lordwas mad about; even the mariners were not the TRUE GOD believers.
The Repentance of Prophet JonahAfter the mariners hurled Jonah into the sea, we can learn what happened to Jonah and hisdeath experience to cause his repentance from Jonah’s psalm in Chapter 2.In this Chapter, itshows Jonah’s beautiful psalm describing his situation, his thanksgiving toward God and evenmore, his action (I will pay what I vowed).In verse 2:3, Jonah clearly said that it is the Lord casted him into the sea and waves passed overhim. At that time, Jonah already started to repent since he mentioned “‘I am driven away fromyour sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple” (Verse 2:4). God did not save himimmediately since he wrote in verse 2:5 “The waters closed in over me to take my life” and hesunk into the bottom of the sea since he mentioned “the deep surrounding me and the weedswere wrapped about my head”.Verse 6 can be treated as the death experience of Jonah. The door of the land is closed to Jonahand then his life was brought up from the pit (the death). In verse 7 Jonah spoke clearly that heremembered God even when he was fainting away and Lord listened to his prayer.Jonathan then stated the most beautiful and important message for us in verse 8, Voice ofthanksgiving, Vow to pay, and the Salvation comes from our Lord.Jonah returned to God and followed God order (2nd time) to call out the people in Nineveh torepent.God showed HIS Care and Mercy to HIS peopleThe people in the city believed God and repented from the greatest to the least of them. Thenthe word reached to the king, starting the repent order from the king to whole city of Nineveh.Verse 3:10“10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of thedisaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.”It shows that God is merciful God and will accept for all His people whoever repent and return toHIM.
God’s extra mercy and patience for JonahIn Chapter 4, it shows that Jonah is in deep anger since he dared to talk to God in an ironicalwayto say that “That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a graciousGod and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.“ (Verse 4:2) And since it is God who put him through his deathful experience before, he wouldbe like to be dead again instead of being alive “shamefully”.Here it shows that the close relationship between Jonah and God and also shows God’s love andpatience toward Jonah once he repented. God might show extra patience and love to Jonahsince it is HE who put Jonah through this unusual deathful experience and God is a merciful Godwho cares for our suffering (even though it is due to our sins and according to HIS will).Then Jonah sat and waited to see God’s response regarding his frustration toward God’s“unrighteousness” of NOT deploying disaster to the people in Nineveh; in verse 4:5c “till heshould see what would become of the city.” Just like a child, when we were mad with ourparents, we will sit down with our arms wrapping in front of our chest and with air inside ourmouth, waiting for the response from our parents.Then God used a considerate and real example to show to Jonah why He did what he did to thepeople of Nineveh through the birth and death of plant to show HIS love to all the people thathe created (Verses 4:6-7).“10 And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow,which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should not I pity Nineveh, thatgreat city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand fromtheir left, and also much cattle?”In here God clearly told Jonah that YOU DID NOT make the plant grow and still pitied the plant’sdeath. God IS the creator of the 120,000 persons in Nineveh, Certainly HE should and wouldcare for the life of these people.
Based on the analysis mentioned above, it can be concludes as follows:Book of Jonah is a book that Jonah used himself as an example to deliver God’s messageregardinga. The consequences of the people who disobeys God’s order (which caused him the suffering ofdeathful experience that God put him through).b. God’s mercy and acceptance of the people who repents and returns to HIM and Hiswillingness of using us again; Jonah’s spiritual prayer, his sincere repentant and vow for action,the salvation of his soul granted from Lord and being God’s messenger again.c. Also shows that God’s mercy in the people whom He created once they returned to HIM, bothin Jonah and the people in Nineveh.