Digging Deeper

Jonah

The book of Jonah is not only one of the most fascinating books in the Bible but one of the most often misrepresented. What I mean is, Jonah has long been known as the man swallowed by a whale. Children’s stories and coloring books, all sorts of cute little stories and yet the profound symbolism is unparalleled. For starters the Hebrew translation does not specify a whale, in fact the Hebrew word for whale is specific, same as in the English language. We have a word for fish and a word for whale, which I just modeled in my writing. “Great”, is a modifier to influence the noun its describing. Simply a very big or great fish. But that isn’t all. The concept of the largest recorded revival in history begins not in Nineveh, but on the merchant vessel in which Jonah boarded to escape from God. We see God using the most stubborn of men to reveal His glory at times and the result is, in spite of Jonah, a great turning to the Lord in hope and worship. Over the next several weeks we will be talking about this fishy tale, not as a metaphor, or some sort of cute story that is made up to entertain children or capture the attention of adults, but as a literal event in history. So be sure and stay caught up on our latest sermons, and better yet make sure you join us each Sunday. I will leave you with one final point. If you are reading this and believe that the fish is the star, you may want to consider the significance of the mariners throwing Jonah overboard in an effort to save themselves. I hope you don’t miss the significance of Jonah being offered in exchange for the safety of the mariners, and this is just the beginning. You may also want to give a reading over the four chapters and watch for anytime the word, provided, prepared or appointed is used. Depending on the translation will typically use one of these three words. Hint: you are looking for four specific uses of whichever word your translation uses.