Categories: Sermons

Meditate On This: Jonah

The first church camp that I ever attended focused on the book of Jonah. Since then, I have been fascinated with this weird and challenging Old Testament book. The book begins with the namesake literally running away from God. And to make this even more complicated, it is not the fear of God that motivates Jonah to run away but his extreme hatred for the Ninevites.

This attempted escape leads the reader on an amazing and comical adventure of Jonah being thrown out of a boat, swallowed by a large fish and then ultimately vomited onto dry land by the same fish. If that wasn’t enough, Jonah then gives likely the most reluctant sermon that has ever been delivered to which his audience repents!

It’s easy to focus on these elements and skip what God does in the final chapter of the book. It’s weird, there is no other way to put it. It literally ends with Jonah and God arguing over God’s compassion. It is easy to remove ourselves from these stories and claim that we would never do anything like that. But if we are honest with ourselves, we do it all the time. Sometimes, like Jonah, we get annoyed with God’s compassion to those we feel are undeserving. You see, the story of Jonah is a helpful reminder that even though we may not like someone, God does. And because God cares about everyone, we should to, even if it makes us uncomfortable.