Aaaand, we’re back!
Today we’re covering the final book of Jonah! Sorry about the delay – I’m just now starting to feel like myself again, but I’m back at it!
If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Chapter 3’s commentary so you’ll know what we’re talking about. And, if you haven’t been on the ride all this month, be sure to check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 as well.
Now, on with the study!
So, if you remember from chapter 3, Jonah just got finished telling the citizens of Nineveh that God was going to get them if they didn’t get themselves together.
You would think that the story would be finished there. The people are saved, Jonah finally did what he was told, and he can go back home, right?
Nope. That ain’t all, my friends.
What is the first thing Jonah does after ministering to these people? He gets angry and prays to die (verses 1-3)! Why?
Because the citizens of Nineveh were spared!
…yes, you read that correctly. The man who just helped over 120,000 people return to God was upset that He didn’t destroy them.
This idea really confused me at first. Was he just the type of person who liked to see others fail? Did he think that he stalled long enough and it was too late for God to save them? What was the problem? Why did he feel this way?
I have the Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, and the thing I love most about it is that is gives footnotes on the side, detailing what’s going on in the story, why certain things were said, what words mean, etc. And what my Bible detailed next to verse 2 was that “Jonah was deeply patriotic and put this above the souls of men and the will of God.”
Deep stuff, isn’t it? But it makes sense. Jonah was going to talk to the Assyrians in Nineveh, and he probably felt like he was committing treason because Palestine had been getting pushed around by them for a number of years. So in his mind, he was probably like, “What I look like trying to minister to the folks who have hurt and killed my people?” And that’s completely understandable. But, waaay in the back of his mind, He knew that he couldn’t run from his mission and that God was, and still is, a merciful God. He knew all this and still acted crazy before, during, and after!
Ain’t that crazy?!
Then he decides that he wants to wait around and see what becomes of Nineveh. He decides to basically camp out and wait to see what God does (verse 5).
I don’t know about you all, but I would have been afraid! I would have done what I needed to do and gotten my behind out of there! But that’s just me, though…..
So God was like, “You wanna play? Let’s play!” So He gave Jonah a tree to sit under to shade him from the sun! Jonah was all happy and satisfied until two things happened:
1. God took the tree away and sent a beating sun and a strong wind to shake him and bake him a little.
2. God didn’t do anything to Nineveh.
You know Jonah was too mad! But he knew he was wrong! God allowed him to save over 100,000 people from Judgement and all he could do was sulk! His mind wasn’t on the bigger picture! He was so worried about all the stuff in the physical that he didn’t even consider what was at stake in the physical.
Sometimes, there are going to be people in our lives who do us wrong or we just may not like that much. But that does not mean that they aren’t important to or loved by God. So if God gives you a word for that person or instructs you to do something for or with that person, we can’t trip. You never know how you can sow into a person’s life. This is what happened to Jonah. His people had been bullied for years by this city, but Jonah’s simple warning changed the whole city’s life! You don’t know what that could have done for his people! His actions literally altered the course of history, and Jonah knew it!
But he was mad the whole darn time about it and made sure God knew why! AND he was ready to go ahead and die with all that darkness in his heart! A mess. You were a mess, Jonah.
The story ends there, so we don’t know what became of Jonah after that, but at least we have the lessons to learn from.
So, to recap, what can we learn from Jonah in all four books?
1. Just be obedient. God doesn’t ask for much from us. Just at least try to do it and He has you. Stop being difficult.
2. Don’t be all in your own head. You don’t know God’s plans – God knows! So let Him lead the way. Don’t do stuff your way because you think it’s best. You’ll fail every time.
3. DON’T RUN FROM GOD. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.
4. Have mercy on others just as God would have mercy on you.
Aaaand, there you have it, folks! That’s Jonah! I hope you enjoyed this Bible Study – I know I did! I honestly wouldn’t mind doing this again, but we’ll see. You never know. 😉
Have a suggestion for a book to study next? Have questions about Jonah? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email! I’d love to talk with you!
If you’d like to nominate someone for the “Faith Features series, create a guest post, or have a question or comment you would like to share, don’t be shy! Get in touch with me via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Email; you can also simply comment below and I’ll make sure to get back with you!