When the book of Jonah comes to mind, you likely immediately think of the fish that swallowed him up. This is a familiar book, and if you grew up in church, it is one that you probably learned of early on in Sunday school classes. But even more significant than the fish that swallows Jonah is the God who appoints the fish.
Jonah was a prophet in Israel who was greatly concerned over the condition of his people. We have reason to believe he took great zeal in being a prophet to his people. And yet in the book of Jonah, he is called to go to a different people. He is called to go to the people of Nineveh; he is called to go to the Gentiles. Nineveh is a Gentile city that is actually known for its rebellion and sinfulness. But one of the great themes we see in this book is that God is merciful to the Gentiles. Christ would come as the Savior of both Jew and Gentile, and in this book we see that even in the Old Testament God shows mercy to both Jew and Gentile.
God commands Jonah to go: “Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.’” But the text goes on to detail Jonah’s fleeing from God and His call. He believes he can run away from God.
What we see throughout this chapter and the book however, is that God is sovereign. God is not finished with Jonah, and in His sovereignty He pursues him, and He shows mercy to him. That mercy comes through discipline, but Jonah is shown the grace of God. Believer, the God who is sovereign in salvation in this book is also sovereign over your salvation. If you are His, it is because He has pursued you and brought you to Himself. Will you join us for worship at 5 PM this Lord’s Day evening at The Commons at St. Andrews Church as we begin our study of this great book? For directions, click here, or contact us for more information. You can also join us at FacebookLive@RiverCityARP or on YouTube.