Jonah's Mission

The book of Jonah is only forty-eight verses long. But it is rich and vibrant in spiritual lessons. Jonah was a man who ran away from his duty. Whether the Bible story about him is a chronicle of actual events or a simple parable, it brings us the great spiritual truth of God's infinite, ever-present love and law.

It starts out with the Lord's command to Jonah to go to Nineveh, the great, world-famous capital of the Assyrian Empire, and to call upon the Ninevites to repent of their wickedness, for, we are told, Nineveh was a very wicked city. But Jonah ran away from this unwelcome task and boarded a ship sailing in the opposite direction. Feeling safe and secure on the vessel, he went sound asleep.

However, a great storm arose at sea and lashed out at the little ship so that it "was like to be broken" Jonah 1:4; in pieces. The sailors, frightened at the force of the tempest, tried to lighten the ship, but there was no cessation of the storm. Frantically they called upon their gods to save them, but there was no reply. They even awakened the sleeping Jonah and told him to call upon his God for help. Jonah finally had to tell them who he was and who his God was, and of how he had disobeyed his God's command and had run away from his duty to carry out that command. In the end the sailors, exceedingly afraid, threw him overboard.

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Obedience: Shortcut to Harmony
September 14, 1968

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