Jonah like many of the other prophets had a specific call to ministry and when I read through his story I begin to see how his response to Gods calling is very different than the other prophets. The example or trend that I have seen so far through the Minor Prophets has been God calling men to a specific task and each of those men have been obedient to that call and do what God has asked.
The story of Jonah throws us a curve ball when we read that Jonah refuses to obey the command from God to go the city of Nineveh and preach a message of destruction because of its wickedness, Jonah then attempts to run away from God. Through the very memorable events of the storm and Jonah being tossed into the sea and swallowed by a giant fish we begin to see even through his disobedience how God is using him to reach the lost. Take a look at 1:16, “At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him”. I think we often overlook what happened with the sailors on the boat, they are introduced into the story as men who cried out to their own gods and here they are have witnessed the power of God at work and their lives are changed, I think this is important to note, this was God working through Jonah.
Through Jonah’s journey we begin to understand how much God loves us no matter how far we turn. Jonah eventually does make it to Nineveh and God continues to use him not only to turn the people towards Him but also to use Jonah as an example of His love and compassion. God gave Jonah a second chance because He loved him. I am encouraged because God has called me and sometimes I feel like running the opposite way because of fears and inexperience, but God promises to be with me and I know He loves me. I am also encouraged that through Jonah’s story we see that God answers prayer, he answered the prayers of the sailors, the prayers of Jonah and the prayers of the Ninevites. God is Good.