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The Book Of Jonah
(Jonah, God, (Ann Patterson))


THE BOOK OF JONAH Jonah learns an important message from God that applies to all humanity. God loves, God teaches, God is merciful. The story of Jonah takes place in the sea, in Nineveh and under a shade tree when Jonah needs one. The other, most significant place is in the body of a whale or big fish. In 4 short chapters the story of Jonah is told. Whether it is true or a story, an allegory, to teach a message, is unknown. God spoke to Jonah and told him to go to the great city of Neneveh and tell them of God?s love and blessings to those who would choose to be faithful to Him. Jonah didn?t like the idea of going to Neneveh so the very next morning, he decided to take flight and go where God couldn?t find him. He found a ship that was going across to Tarshish. While he was on the ship, a big storm suddenly thrashed the boat until it almost broke into pieces. The sailors were afraid and dumped the cargo overboard. They found that Jonah had gone below deck and had fallen sound asleep. The sailors called on their god for safety. The captain of the ship demanded why Jonah did not pray to his god for their safety. He told him; perhaps your god will not let us perish. The soldiers gambled to find out who had jinxed the ship. First, they demanded to know some things about Jonah who told them that he was a Hebrew (Jew) and that he feared the God whom he was running away from. With that, the sailors were even more frightened so they decided that he was the cause of their calamity since they knew that he was fleeing to hide from his god. He then told them to just throw him into the sea and maybe the storm would stop.They heard him but did not want to throw him to a sure death. They worked harder to keep the ship afloat. But the sea became even stormier. Their fear rose up in them that Jonah?s failure to serve his god was the reason. Even though they had called to their god and got no help, they decided to talk to Jonah?s Lord, God. They picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea. When Jonah was in the very unsafe water, he did not drown. God sent a whale or big fish that opened his mouth wide and swallowed Jonah. While in the stomach of the whale or big fish, Jonah called out to God and repented of his wrongdoing, running away and asked God to let him do what he had been told to do. He said to God that God had brought up his life from the pit and that now he wanted to keep his vow and do God?s will---go to Nineveh and tell the people of God?s love and integrity to save their soul from sin and death if they turned to Him. As soon as the vow was renewed, the whale or fish vomited and threw Jonah on dry land. Then he heard God?s word again to go to Nineveh and proclaim the good news as God would tell him what to ay. It was a 3 day walk to Nineveh and wherever he went, the called out God?s message that in 40 days the city would be overthrown by someone?s army. As people heard him, they rushed to tell others and the message got to the King who wasn?t very happy about such a message. The King commanded that all the people turn away from their widked ways and violence and call on God. He told them that God just might allow that to happen and he did not want the city?s takeover to happen in 40 days. Because hey turned from their wicked ways and turned to God, he did not allow their city to be sacked. That made Jonah angry. He figured that God could have done that without him. Jonah says that he knew that God was gracious, compassionate and slow to anger because of his great loving-kindness. However, he stayed angry at God. Jonah said that he just wanted to sit down and die. So he tried that. He went to sleep with some kind of shelter to wait and see what would happen to the city. God surprised him the next morning by having a tree grow miricaliously fast to provide shade over Jonah?s head. That made Jonah extremely happy. But, God had a special lesson to teach Jonah. The next morning when Jonah wokeup worms hadattacked and killed the tree, therefore, Jonah had to deal with scorching sun and wind and become weak. Jonah again whined that he just wanted to be angry and die. He did not die. God told him that He would be compassionate to the 120,000 persons in Nineveh who didn?t know their right hand from their left hand.

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