You may remember the Sunday school stories, but if you read the real account of the prophet Jonah, you'll find that he is running away from God - not because he doesn't want to prophesy, but because he doesn’t want God to forgive and save his enemies. You are going to love this book as you journey through the frustration of Jonah into the whale to see God save the people Jonah hates.

DIVE | deep dive pt.1 | deep dive pt.2 



I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love

J 4:2



Welcome to our first prophetic book in our TYB schedule – the book of Jonah. We have changed writing style and are now into the books that describe the lives and messages of the Old Testament prophets. These men of God that brought the Word of the Lord to the people of Israel, most of the time warning them of what was to come if they did’t turn to God. Imagine that responsibility, God giving you a word for a whole city? I get super nervous when I have to give a word to a person let alone God asking me to go to a city. Let’s go a step further not only does he give you a word for the City but it isn’t even one of those words of blessing, you are going to be amazing, God is going to give you all you want prophecies that everyone loves to receive. He wants you to go to the city and preach against them. What a call, would you go?




Not many of the Old Testament’s have garnered more renown than that of Jonah. This is primarily due to the most sensational feature of the book - the whale (or, as some are swift to interject, the ‘big fish’). However, Jonah is not about a whale…not entirely, at least.

Jonah is one of twelve books categorized among ‘The Minor Prophets’. The word ‘minor’ relates to their length and is not intended to imply the inferiority of status. Jonah is one of the most unique among them, as all of the other books focus primarily on the t the Prophet’s oracle, whereas the book of Jonah focuses on the life of the Prophet in relation to God and to the people whom he was called to prophesy to.

Of course, given the stupendousness of the whale’s consumption of the Prophet, there have been questions asked concerning the historicity of Jonah. Many Christians consider it to be more like a parable or a fictional story with a moral (perhaps such as; ‘if you run from God in disobedience, He will go to great lengths to arrest you eventually’). I don’t believe that such moralizing is necessarily invalid (although, I would urge caution). However, generally, when the Bible intends for us to take something as parabolic, this is clearly indicated for us in Scripture.




How do we respond to God’s call on our lives? Some of the greatest biblical characters said, “Here I am!” (Abraham (Gen 22:1, 11); Moses (Ex 3:4); Samuel (1 Sam 3:4); Isaiah (Isa 6:8)). What a response! But before we think that all these characters are models of how to respond to God with zeal, and we ponder how we can live up to them we should pause and consider what happens next in their lives. Because, unfortunately, the eagerness to serve God is often lost when He reveals what that service entails (cf. Ex 3:11; 4:10-14; Matt 19:16-30//Lk 18:18-30; in this regard the prophet Isaiah is unique because he follows up his “Here I am” with “send me!”). Probably the most ‘humorous’ response to God’s plan is that of Jonah’s flight to Jaffa—Jonah doesn’t even respond to God’s call, he just rises and flees in the direction opposite to which he is called to go (Jon 1:1-3). What are we to make of Jonah’s response? This is where we must consider the history and geography of Israel, and draw upon another famous prophet, Isaiah, to glean insight into the rationale for Jonah’s response.