Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate June 2001

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What an amazing story God has given to humanity in the Book of Jonah. A story short in pages, only totalling four in all, yet containing so many lessons for Jew and Christian alike. "It is a unique Book in that it is more concerned with the prophet himself than with his prophesy. The condition of his soul and God's loving discipline of him, instruct and humble the reader."� (George Williams/McDonald 1995:1125) Some may think it only a legend or myth but for believers of the Almighty God it is part of our history and heritage. Wonderfully written, intended as a satire, able to bring a smile to its reader yet teach and correct at the same time. Set at a time when Israel lived in fear of ancient Ninevah and its cruel might, it shows the character of a Sovereign God who loves all the world, not just His chosen people.

Jonah has a message for both ancient Israel and also for Christians today. It reveals how God desires missionaries to carry out His Will and preach repentance to the unconverted, that He will persist and persevere with unwilling spokesmen and in the end His Sovereign Will be done. In the ensuing pages the reader will discover how God is able to get His message delivered and at the same time teach His messenger important lessons.

Literature Character Jonah records one of the most amazing and memorable stories we have in Scripture. Who was Jonah? According to Hayford (1995:239), Jonah was the son of Amittai and a native of Gath Hepher, a village three miles northeast of Nazareth. Jensen, in his Old Testament Survey (1965:398) states that he had the ministry of a prophet to the people of Israel approximately around 770 BC. The name Jona or Jonas...