The book of Jonah is about a prophet in 8th century B.C., who was commanded by God to warn Nineveh in Assyria of its great evil. Check out the great miracles found in this book!
1 – “the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea” 1:4
Jonah received God’s calling to preach to the city of Nineveh. Jonah hated the Ninevites and he didn’t want them saved because at that time, the Assyrians were the most brutal nations of the world. They were feared by many. Jonah tried to run away from God and His command to preach to the city of Nineveh by getting onto a ship to Tarshish. But God created a storm that was so violent that the sailors were even afraid. Jonah had a negative attitude and would rather die than go to Nineveh. How can Jonah represent God with such a bad attitude? God’s act against Jonah was to turn him around and restore him so he could fulfill God’s purpose and though the sailors paid the price for Jonah’s rebellion and foolishness, their souls were saved because they recognized that the Lord is the supreme Creator of the universe.
2 – “the lot fell on Jonah” 1:7
The sailors tried everything they could to save the ship. The sailors used the casting of lots to deal with each person until the end result revealed the guilty person – Jonah. This practice meant the discerning of the Lord’s will which is found many times in Scripture. As Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” Once Jonah was singled out, the sailors interrogated him, asking him “Why have you done this?” as they couldn’t understand why he had taken the storm so lightly and ignored the seriousness of the situation. The sailors had more concern for one man than Jonah had for them or for city of Nineveh.
3 – “the seas ceased from its raging” 1:15
The calming of the storm was proof to the sailors that Jonah had been right telling them that if they threw him in the sea the sea would become calm. They learned that God actually control the seas. The sailors’ character exhibited their recognition of the Lord’s sovereign will and power.
4 – “the Lord had prepared a great fish” 1:17
God created a great fish, a special creature for the specific purpose of rescuing Jonah and providing a place for his training in humility and submission and to accomplish His will. Jonah arrived in Nineveh through the specially prepared fish.
5 – “to swallow Jonah (alive)” 1:17
This great fish was specially prepared to swallow up Jonah. God used the great fish to redirect Jonah to his original mission which is to preach repentance to Nineveh. God’s plans would not be stopped by disobedience.
6 – “The Lord spoke to the fish…it vomited Jonah onto dry land” 2:10
Although scripture did not say Jonah died while he was in the fish, it seemed like he did. Jonah cried unto the Lord out of the fish’s belly, out of the belly of sheol—the place for the dead. God didn’t let up until Jonah was ready to honor Him. The Lord heard Jonah’s prayer and answered. Jonah found himself on dry land – chastened and a different man.
7 – God saw their works…they turned from their evil way” 3:10
Jonah went to the city of Nineveh, and the entire city turned to God. If the city of Nineveh had not accepted God’s Word, they would have been destroyed. But they accepted God’s message, they believed God, and they turned from their wickedness.
8 – “the Lord God prepared a plant” 4:6
This plant was prepared in the same way that God prepared the fish. This plant provided shade, a time of rest for Jonah and he was very grateful for it. However, Jonah still had a rebellious attitude. He still didn’t have any mercy in his heart.
9 – “God prepared a worm” 4:7
God prepared a worm (just like He prepared the great fish and the plant) and the worm destroyed the plant. No matter what, God had always provided to Jonah, even with the shade, but since Jonah didn’t let up with his attitude, God created the worm.
10 – “God prepared a vehement east wind” 4:8
God prepared a hot, scorching wind. The shelter (plant) Jonah made for himself would not protect him from God’s control, His sovereignty over creation.
There are a few miracles in Jonah that relate to my own personal walk. Because of my disobedience, He’s prepared certain things to happen in my life, such as being laid off from work. Each time, it changed the direction where I was heading. I wasn’t living right with God. Through the great fishes in my life, God provided a u-turn. God got my attention and He put me in check. Only after the big fishes came into my life did I start to listen to Him. As Jonah was concerned about his issues and not God’s, I did the same. Our loving God has also provided a shade for me at times, yet I still fall back with the same attitude. He has my future in mind and He knows what’s best for me. As I continue to learn patience and humility, I will look for further instruction from Him.
Tell me how it relates to your own walk – I’d like to know!