The story of Jonah takes place at the outset in the midst of this storm. And before we look at the storm, let’s go back to the beginning of the book, just briefly, and see the prophet commissioned, verse 1 and 2. “The Word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Amittai saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.’”
The prophet here is commissioned to go and cry against the city of Nineveh. The mandate is clear, unmistakable–preach a message of judgment, preach a message of warning. Tell them that God is going to judge them. Nineveh is the capital city of the Assyrian Empire. And this is his commission.
Now we all know his response. He goes the other direction. We read in verse 3, “Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa on the coast of Israel, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Now that was his response. His reaction is to get out, to run the other direction, to flee as far away as he can possibly go. He doesn’t want anything to do with going to Nineveh and preaching to the Ninevites. So he runs, absolutely the opposite direction that God told him to go. He has no interest in obeying God whatsoever.
Why? He’s a racist, basically. He’s a racist with a rotten attitude.
Watch and listen to the rest below…
Jonah: The World’s Greatest Fish Story
Those three truths then are the heart of the gospel, the heart of the gospel. God is the Creator of all of us. We have sinned against our Creator. Wrath and judgment has been pronounced upon us. But we have been given the gospel, which offers us forgiveness through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You really see the gospel in the heart of God in the story of Jonah. The Creator God, sinned against, warns about judgment and fully forgives those who repent and embrace Him.
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria