Sunday, November 26, 2023
Three verses into reading the Book of Jonah, and you know that it is a book unlike any other in the Bible. The Lord speaks to the prophet Jonah and tells him to go to the Assyrian city of Nineveh and speak against it. The first odd thing we notice is the command for an Israelite prophet to go speak to a gentile nation. While many of the prophets spoke out against the nations, they did so from the safety of their home country. Jonah was told to go to Nineveh and speak out against it.
But even more surprising than Jonah’s calling is his response—he flees to Tarshish away from the presence of the Lord. Not what we expect from a prophet!
The rest of the book continues this theme—storms at sea, giant fish (or sea monsters in some translations!), pagan kings turning to the Lord, miraculously growing vines (that wither just as fast as they grow!), and God’s concern for cattle. It is colorful and dramatic!
But we need to be careful when we read Jonah. To borrow the words of Old Testament scholar Daniel Timmer, we can get so caught up with the great fish that we miss the great God.
The great God truly is the hero of the Book of Jonah, and as Johnny shared last week, his love for the world permeates every verse. God is gracious and compassionate; He wouldn’t give up on Jonah, he wouldn’t give up on Nineveh, and He won’t give up on us.
Join us this week as we “dive in” to Jonah 1. See you Sunday!
Service times are at 9:00 & 11:00. If you can’t make it in person, you can watch live at those times.