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Jonah of the Bible

Jonah, whose name in Hebrew means 'dove', was a prophet of God from approximately 793 to 753 BC.

The story of Jonah, in the book of the Bible named for him, shows that even prophets sometimes run away from what God wants them to do. It is a story that shows God's love and compassion.

The mission:
"Jonah, go preach to the people of Nineveh! Tell them that they will face judgement if they don't repent."
Jonah's reaction:
He hated the Ninevites. He thought no one deserved God's favor less than they. He decided to ignore God's leading and to run in the opposite direction. He boarded a ship and set sail. God sent a violent storm to get his attention. The sailors were frantic and fighting to keep the ship afloat. On the ship, Jonah knew the storm was from God and told the sailors to throw him overboard.
In the water, Jonah was swallowd by a great fish. Three days in the belly of the fish gave Jonah time reflect on his rebellion and to repent. He prayed and asked God for help. He had decided to follow God's command. Jonah 2:1-9

God's mercy:

Jonah's hard-heart:
Even though he had had personal experience with God's compassion and mercy, he was still angry at God's compassion for the people he hated. God is patient. At the end of the book of Jonah, He still has to teach this reluctant prophet about his own self-centeredness.

Even God's chosen prophets have a hard time living up to His love.
It is not easy to see the world from God's perspective or to understand that God loves all people. It is not for us to judge who deserves to hear His word. His love and forgiveness is for everyone. No one is beyond redemption. The gospel is for all who will believe and repent.

God is in control and He will use all things, even natural disasters to get our attention. His word is always true and He always has mercy when we repent.

Learn about other people of the Bible.

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