The more I read the book of Jonah the more surprising I find it.
- Jonah runs away from God and his mission. We’ve never seen a prophet do this.
- Jonah and his disobedience are the cause of the storm and yet he sleeps. The sailors figure out what’s going on and they show more fear of God than Jonah.
- The people of Nineveh repent immediately. That is rarely seen in the Bible, and it’s another slap in Jonah’s face.
- Jonah accuses God of being true to his character, and he doesn’t like it at all.
- God is sovereign over storms, fish, sailors, Nineveh, plants, winds and Jonah.
Maybe the most surprising thing as I read the book of Jonah again is that the book ends on a cliffhanger.
God asks Jonah a question and we don’t get to hear the answer. How will Jonah respond? Will he submit to this God who will have mercy on whom he will have mercy? Even mercy on people he hates? God’s actions were surprising to Jonah, and even repugnant to him.
Do I only love God’s mercy when he exercises it towards me and the people I love? If so, that God is only an idol of my imagination. It’s not the God of the Bible. He is extravagant in his grace. His aim is to spread his glory throughout the whole earth. He doesn’t delight in the death of the wicked. He extends mercy to those who least deserve it.