Jonah—an object lesson for today

One opinion concerning the book of Jonah is that it is merely a traditional story. Another maintains that it is purely allegorical. Some Bible scholars see the author as drawing a parallel between Jonah and the Jews of that day, rebuking them for being stiff-necked about their God-appointed commission and intolerant toward those to whom they were to carry the Word of God. Whatever view we adopt, the account serves well as an instructive story, for there are various aspects of Jonah's experience that are as apposite as ever.

First, there is Jonah's willful disobedience to the divine command. By shirking his allotted task to go to Nineveh and trying to flee from God's presence, didn't he show his ignorance of God's omnipresence and of the impossibility of evading His will?

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes, "The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice, and God's will must be universally done." Science and Health, p. 202. Don't we all have to find this out? Jonah's evasive tactics were useless, for eventually he was compelled to perform his missionary role, in accordance with divine decree.

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Closing the gap
January 23, 1984

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