FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Talking About Jonah

Written By: Scot Butwell - Dec• 03•16

jonah

D and I have been reading through the book of Jonah during our quiet times on the weekends, and it’s amazing how much the story of Jonah and a whale relates to D’s life and to mine, too.

One of the commentaries I read called Jonah the world’s worst missionary ever because of his disobedience to God and his hate for the people God sent him to preach to—the Ninevites.

Most people know the story of Jonah, but in case you are unfamiliar with it, God tells Jonah to go to the city of Ninevah, but he flees to a ship going to Tarshish in the opposite direction.

Jonah’s plan to run away fails when God sends a great storm, and Jonah tells the crew to throw him overboard because he realizes his disobedience is the main cause of the raging storm.

So the crew tosses Jonah overboard, the sea suddenly becomes calm as Jonah sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and this is where God steps in to save Jonah’s life through a whale.

Think about it: if man can create missile that fires 2,000 rounds of ammo in a minute then God is more than capable of redirecting a whale’s traveling route to swallow a prophet.

So the wale spits Jonah back onto dry land after he spent three days in the belly of the whale, giving Jonah a second chance to deliver God’s message to the people of Ninevah.

As crazy as Jonah’s story is, and as preposterous as it sounds, it has parallels to D’s and to my life; first, we both sometimes disobey God, just like Jonah and every human being does.

Romans 3:23 says, “we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

In my life, sin is simple everyday stuff like being rude to L, and in D’s life, it’sharboring a grudge against a classmate, which we’ve discussed frequently during our quiet times.

We’ve talked about how Jonah was angry that God forgave the Ninevites for their sinfulness, even after God had had spared his life and forgave him, despite his disobedience to God.

jonah-2

Jonah wanted God to destroy the Ninevites all along, and as I listen to D talk about the petty wrongs done to him by his peers, he sometimes has the same vengeful attitude as Jonah.

I look for applications from bible stories to D’s life, so I asked him, “Do you ever feel hate toward anyone?” It was a leading question since D had just told me about a classmate he hated.

“Yes, I hate…” he said, rattling off how he hated a girl who told him not to put bunny ears behind her friend’s head and then he mentioned a few boys.

So I asked him what he would do if a classmate did something to him or a friend of his that he didn’t like, and I explained that the girl he hated was just telling him what she didn’t like.

I think D got the point and, maybe, talking about Jonah’s hate for the Ninevites will teach him to show mercy to others people instead of harboring hate and resentment.

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