The book of Jonah opens like an adventure story of modern movies.
Our hero Jonah denies his holy task, jumps onto a ship to get far away from the presence of God. As the vessel sails, a storm arises and all his shipmates (who worship a myriad of other gods) together receive an indication that the unusual phenomena was stemming from Jonah. Jonah fesses up, agrees to be thrown overboard, and the storm lifts. Then Jonah gets swallowed by a big fish. End of scene 1.
I have so many questions, despite it being an exciting story.
Why was only Jonah called for this? Bearing in mind another bible reference that God can raise up 7000 others if one fell.
How many times can Jonah say No, before that calling shifts to someone else?
If Jonah obeyed on the first call, how would the book read? Would Nineveh still have responded in repentance?
If I lived back then, and was on that ship too, would I have joined in throwing him overboard? The value of life must have been much different back then.
What immense longsuffering patience our God has, to let this play out. Starting with men who worshipped other gods, to getting a defiant prophet to bring a message to a nation which is seen as an enemy of Israel. Was the end goal to be used as a reference by Jesus? That’s a crossing of a reference from the Old Testament to the New Testament, into our time now, to be read and reflected upon. Time was surely measured differently.
My last question here is how much time left do we have, to close the bigger loop of this story?