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Most of us love happy endings! My girls when they were little loved Disney’s, ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ In the closing scenes the beast lies dying from a wound inflicted during combat with Gaston his enemy. Belle the beauty finally confesses her love for the beast and just in time gives him the kiss that breaks the curse. The beast is transformed back into a handsome prince and they live happily ever after. Beauty brought life to the beast, we could say.
But we don’t always get a happy ending. The original 1933 ‘King Kong’ Movie is heartbreaking! Having escaped from his chains Kong creates havoc and mayhem in New York searching for the object of his affections, Anne Darrow, played by the actress, Fay Rae. A climactic battle takes place between the air force and Kong as he hangs onto the top of the Empire State building. Kong is injured and plunges 1,000 plus feet to the streets below. In a very moving scene Anne Darrow watches Kong, as he lies dying. Kong’s heartbeat which you hear on the soundtrack stops and his eyes close. A Police Lieutenant says to Carl Denham, who captured the giant gorilla: ‘Well, Denham, the airplanes got him.’ ‘Oh no,’ says Denham, ‘It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.’
Well, these films are of course fantasy stories put together for our entertainment. But with Jonah we’re looking at the true story in history of one of God’s prophets. Now after all that’s happened so far – Jonah’s initial disobedience; God’s humbling of Jonah; Jonah’s going to Nineveh at the second time of asking; the Ninevites’ believing the message and being spared – surely you’d expect there to be a happy ending!
But it isn’t quite as simple as that – life often isn’t. Gordon Keddie says ‘There is something deeply disturbing, even unsatisfying about the last chapter of the book of Jonah.’
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