Book of Jonah
I. Some basic factors:
A. Gath-hepher is Jonah's home town.
B. Nineveh is a city of 120,000 people
(It would take 3 days for a person to walk around it's perimeter with a
person walking about 20 miles per day).
C. It is about 500 + miles to Nineveh
D. It is about 60 miles to Joppa from
E. It is about 2,000 + miles from Joppa
to Tarshish located on the tip of Spain.
F. We don't know at what point on the
trip the storm came, Jonah was thrown overboard, and the large fish
G. We don't know what kind of big fish
swallowed Jonah, but possibly a sperm whale, a great white shark, or
some other unknown species..
H. We don't know exactly where the fish
traveled and vomited out Jonah on shore.
I. We do know that Jonah was in the belly
of the fish for three days and three nights.
Several things to see in the book of
A. When Jonah ran from God he went down,
down, down, down, down, down, and down.
1. He went down to Joppa.
2. He went down into the ship.
3. He went down into the sides of the
4. He was thrown overboard down into the
5. He was swallowed by the fish and went
down into the belly of the fish.
6. He was taken by the fish down to the
bottom of the mountains in the sea.
B. God kept on intervening throughout
the book: Jonah 1:1-2, 4, 16, 17, 2:10, 3:1, 10, 4:4, 6, 7, 8, 10-11.
C. We can see that God desires to show
goodness even before we
III. Why did God speak to Jonah to
to preach to the city of
A. We should understand that Nineveh
was a very evil city.
B. The Ninevites were the enemy of God’s chosen people.
C. From Jonah perspective, God could have justifiably destroyed the
city because of it evil
- D. However, in God’s goodness, He wanted to warn them so that
could repent, turn from evil ways, and receive the grace of forgiveness.
E. In contrast, Jonah only saw the Ninevites as evil. Therefore, Jonah,
though being a committed prophet of God, ran from God and from the word
IV. Even in the midst of Jonah’s
rebellion to God, God
continues to intervene in the life of Jonah.
A. God sent out a great wind that could
have destroyed the ship and the pagan mariners, but God was not out to
destroy the men on the ship or Jonah. The storm was meant to arrest
B. In desperation and by the instructions of Jonah, the shipmen threw
C. God stopped the storm to show His goodness to the mariners that they
might seek God and to worship Him.
“Or despisest thou the riches of his
goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the
goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
D. Furthermore, even in Jonah's rebellion and suicidal actions, God
prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and to save him from drowning in
E. After three days in the belly of the fish, Jonah realized the
goodness of God toward himself and gives thanksgiving to God and renews
his commitment, at least to some extent.
F. God also shows His goodness by intervening to cause the fish to
vomit out Jonah on dry ground.
G. With God still having His goodness in mind toward the Ninevites, He
again commissions Jonah to go and warn the Ninevites and giving them
days to repent..
H. Jonah respond by only preaching the judgment of God's and the
of Nineveh, but says nothing whatsoever about God's goodness (mercy
I. However, the
Ninevites, not even
knowing of God's goodness, repent of their evil deeds.
J. God in His goodness also shows His GOODNESS toward them and does
not destroy them.
K. However, Jonah failed to accept the goodness of God which God showed
to the Ninevites. The result was that Jonah became very angry and
complained to God.
L. Jonah even says that he knows of God's goodness.
"And he prayed unto the LORD, and said,
I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my
country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou
art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness,
and repentest thee of the evil" (Jonah 4:2). If he knew
it, why didn't he preach it to Ninevah???
M. Jonah in his despair and anger asks that God would just take his
life. Suicidal thoughts are
often the result of anger turned inward to self.
N. Again, God
intervenes to show His goodness to Jonah by confronting
him and asking Jonah if his anger is doing him any good, but Jonah
doesn't respond .
*** When we don't see and respond to
God goodness, we may well respond in anger toward God, toward others,
or toward self.
O. Next, Jonah isolated himself and sat down outside the city that he,
likely, might still see God destroy Ninevah.
P. Again, God, in His goodness, has a gourd vine to grow up over the
head of Jonah to give him some shade.
Q. Jonah is glad for the goodness of the gourd vine for himself, but
remained angry that God had showed His goodness toward Ninevah.
R. Again, God intervenes to cause a worm to eat the gourd vine and
also brought a very hot sun and East wind upon Jonah. Again, this is
not to destroy Jonah, but to teach him about the importance of God's
S. Jonah, not fully seeing the goodness of God, became even more
angry and even more wishing
T. God reasons with Jonah by asking the question of
why shouldn't He show His goodness toward the many people in Ninevah
and much cattle which are much more important that the goard vine.
U. This is the end of the book. However, it raises the question to us,
"Are we receiving the goodness and are we willing to share that
goodness with others, even our enemies?"
V. Some Scriptures to consider:
he said, I will make all my
goodness pass before thee, and
I will proclaim the name of the LORD
before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will
shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy" (Exodus 33:19).
now, O Lord GOD, thou art
that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness
unto thy servant" (II Samuel 7:28).
and mercy shall
follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the
LORD for ever" (Psalms 23:6).
loveth righteousness and
judgment: the earth is full of the goodness
of the LORD"
"Oh that men would praise the LORD
for his goodness, and for his
wonderful works to the children of men!"
(Psalms 107:8). (This statement is repeated in verses 15, 21, and 31 of
he satisfieth the longing
soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness"
goodness, and my fortress; my
high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who
subdueth my people under me" (Psalms 144:2).
how great is his goodness, and
how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and
new wine the maids" (Zechariah 9:17).
I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full
of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one
another" (Romans 15:14).
the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)"
also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of
this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with
power" (II Thessalonians 1:11).