Summary: The book of Jonah has been attacked because “there is no fish big enough to swallow a man whole;” but the book is quoted or cited 9 times in the NT, with ne’er a doubt to its authenticity.
1)Jonah’s disobedience 1:1-3.
• Jonah had a wrong attitude toward the will of God. Obeying the will of God is as important to God’s servant as it is to the people. We are not told Jonah’s motive, but we do have Nineveh’s history.
• They were powerful, vicious; burying enemies alive, filleting them alive, or impaling in the sun to die. They were feared, hated enemies of all their neighbors. They were pagans far from God.
• Nineveh was to the east, Jonah went west. Moses, Elijah, & Jeremiah all felt like giving up, but God wouldn’t let them. It’s in doing the will of God that we become more like Christ.
2) Jonah becomes a curse instead of a blessing 1:4-10.
• Jonah had done his all. Now God’s part began. He had let him have his way, as He often deals with those who rebel against Him. He lets them have their way up to a certain point.
• Jonah lost God’s voice. The word of the Lord had come to Jonah, but now God was speaking to Jonah through the sea, the storm, & even the great fish instead of visions & His Word.
• Everything in nature obeyed God except His servant! Everything obeyed God, except Jonah. God even spoke to Jonah through the heathen sailors; because his conscience no longer listened to Him.
• How easily, how quickly, Jonah went from prophecy fulfilled in 2 Sam 11, to disobedience & running away from Israel’s God; as though God were only God in Israel, & not the whole world.
3) Jonah suffers for his impenitence 1:-11-17.
• He went to sleep in the ship’s hold while the storm raged. The sailors called on all their Gods. The ship’s captain went down & got him up to call on his god. Why didn’t he do this on his own?
• The men trusted the God who could control the dice. He brought everyone troubles instead of blessings, nor was he living up to his calling as a prophet, for he had no message for them from God.
• Jonah had to confess his sin to the sailors. God who created the sea was punishing His servant & that’s why they were in danger! They still were not ready to throw him overboard, but they had to.
• (v. 14) Then they called on the LORD & said, “We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life & do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased.”