Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Many a biblical prophet has been reluctant to accept their call. Jonah takes the cake. He responds to his call by doing everything he can to run from God. But there is a problem: God has called him, and God’s call pursues him. Mercifully, yes, but pursues him nonetheless with what appears to be a severe mercy.
To run from God is to pursue death, and God in his mercy will turn Jonah around so it is mercy indeed. But Jonah is chosen to bring life to his enemies. In fact, Jonah’s mission will ultimately result in the destruction of Israel. What kind of plan is that?
Jonah’s flight from God results in one of the most vivid scenes in the whole book. While Jonah flees the Lord, he begins a downward spiral into the hull of a ship and a deep spiritual sleep which endangers the unbelievers on the boat with him. His co-travelers are idol worshipping sailors who appear to be more righteous than Jonah himself. Jonah has to be lost in order for them to be saved, which may get to the whole point of the story.