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READING: Jonah 1-4 -The Reluctant Prophet

VERSE FOR THE DAY: Jonah prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD! Isn’t this what I said when I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; I knew you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.” (Jonah 4:2)

The LORD sent Jonah on a mission to preach against Nineveh’s wickedness. Jonah booked passage to Tarshish in the opposite direction, running from God.

The LORD brought a great storm at sea; Jonah confessed to the sailors he was responsible for the storm. He said throw me into the sea, and the sea would quieten, sacrificing himself.

In the sea, Jonah was swallowed by a fish prepared by God. From the fish’s belly, he prayed. “I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me; yet You brought up my life from the Pit. As my life ebbed away, I remembered You,” running to God.

The LORD again sent him to Nineveh. Jonah obeyed and preached, “Forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” They believed God, proclaimed a fast, put on sackcloth, the king included. The city repented as Jonah preached, running with God.

Jonah, displeased at Nineveh’s repentance, sat under a booth he made for shade, watching. He told God, “I knew you are gracious, merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relent from punishing.”

The LORD caused a plant to grow over Jonah’s booth, giving more shade, pleasing Jonah. That night, God prepared a worm that damaged the plant, so it withered, and He sent a strong wind so Jonah wished to die.

“God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’” Jonah replied yes. God said, “You pity the plant. Should I not pity Nineveh, in which are more than 120,000 persons who cannot discern between their right and left hands?” Jonah was running ahead of God.

Someone compared Jonah with Israel.

  • Jonah was sent to Nineveh to teach them God’s nature. Israel was set among the heathen to show them God’s nature.
  • Jonah shuns his call and runs from God. Israel forgot God and goes after idols.
  • Jonah is reproved by a storm. Israel is called to repent by national calamities.
  • Jonah is thrown into the sea and is swallowed by a monster. Israel lived in the sea of paganism and was swallowed by that ideology.
  • Jonah prays in adversity. Israel turns to God in adversity.
  • Jonah remains in the fish three days to serve God’s purpose. Israel has adversity “three days” to serve God’s purpose (see Hosea 6:2).
  • Jonah is vomited on land at God’s command. God stirs up Cyrus to “vomit” out Israel.
  • Jonah is sent again to witness to Gentiles. Israel is restored to be the example to the Gentiles God wanted her to be.
  • Jonah’s preaching works repentance among the Gentiles. Israel’s Messiah works repentance among the Gentiles.
  • Jonah rejects God’s mercy to the Gentiles. Israel rejects the Messiah because of mercy given to the Gentiles.

Jonah provides a much-needed lesson to the church.

When God says to preach the Word, the church needs to preach the Word.

When the church obeys God, He gives the increase by His Mercy and Grace.



Father, I am amazed by Jonah’s audacity in trying to run from God. Yet, I see people running from You all around me, and I must confess that sometimes I also run from You. My prayer is that Your Spirit may fill me so that I will fulfill the mission You have for me, in Jesus’ holy Name, AMEN!;

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for me)

Father, I pray for all who read these words that we may each see the mission You have for each one of us and that each of us will run to You and with You, is my prayer for all who read these words, in His holy name I pray, AMEN! 

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