The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.
1:2-3a "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish form the presence of the LORD.
When God clearly tells me to do something that I don't want to do - what do I naturally want to do? Avoid it! Negotiate another way around it - then I give in and do what I am told. In these beginning verses, Jonah was like us and wanted to avoid what He knew God wanted him to do. As always, God will get His work accomplished. (DRM 8/22/04)
1:6 So the captain approached him [Jonah] and said, "How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish."
When the storm came, the sailors on the ship
prayed to their gods and didn't get any results. Like in Paul's time, there were
many gods and many choices. (We have that today also.) So our God is one of many
in their eyes.
1:7 Each man said to his mate, "Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us." So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
The sailors on this boat had to be
God-fearing men. I can't imagine this happening today, as they would say it was
a "freak storm," or "mother nature." When a hurricane comes today, who thinks
that God has anything to do with its course?
1:15, 16 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.
Jonah was running away from the Lord God.
When the storm came on the sea, the other sailors called on other gods (v. 5) to
no avail. I'm still amazed that they could determine it was Jonah's fault, but
God worked that (v. 7) out also.
2:5 "Water encompassed me to the point of
This is part of Jonah's prayer from the belly of the "fish." The first two lines seem to relate to the time before the fish arrived, then the weeds seem to me to be a possible cause (besides God's direction) that Jonah was swallowed. I would think it would be easier to do God's will than to go through the ordeal that Jonah went through! (DRM 8/23/10)
2:6b But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God.
Jonah was inside the whale and was asking for forgiveness. We all know that we are sinners and are undeserving of God's grace. It's good to keep yourself humble and ask for God's forgiveness as we need Him in all parts of our life. (DRM 12/18/86)
2:7, 8 "While I was fainting away,
Jonah had run from the Lord God and now he
was in the belly of the fish. That's where he saw the light.
2:9 But I will sacrifice to Thee
This is the end of Jonah's prayer from the inside of the "fish." Jonah confessed here that he would do as he vowed - thus admitting that he should have done it before. I think the last sentence indicates that he will proclaim to the city as he originally was asked to do. I should learn that God will always be right - if I listen. (DRM 8/23/04)
3:1, 2 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you."
Clearly God gives people second
chances. The first time Jonah ran in the other direction, but after the whale,
he clearly was willing to do as God directed.
3:10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
God wants us to repent and turn from our sins. Jonah in verse 3 did as he was told - he learned from the fish not to refuse - and the King humbled himself in verse 6. God saw the obedience of all the people in this verse . and relented. The people truly did as He asked and received His grace. I should do this, when convicted. (DRM 8/24/04)
4:4 The LORD said, "Do you have good reason to be angry?"
Jonah was angry because
the Lord had compassion on Nineveh. God's question above should have been
responded, "NO", but Jonah didn't have the same compassion on the city.
4:5 Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.
Anticipation - what would God do?
If God controls you on the inside, you'll be genuine on the outside. (from Our Daily Bread, 6/4/12)
4:6 So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.
Jonah was a complainer when things didn't go
his way (v. 1), but also knew when God provided for him, like in this verse.
4:7 But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered.
Certainly we don't know why God chooses to do
all the things He does. In this case He explained Himself.
Father in heaven, like Your reluctant prophet, we are inclined to love only those who love us. Yet You loved us even when we cared only for ourselves. Please give us the grace to be more like Jesus than Jonah. (from Our Daily Bread, 12/19/16)
4:10 Then the LORD said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.
This is all about compassion. The Lord God
had compassion for the people of Nineveh when they repented of their sins and He
did not inflict the calamity He had planned (3:10).
4:11 (God said) "And should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"
to God about the mission that God had given him. Still, God provided for Jonah's
needs and took them away again, and still Jonah didn't appreciate his own
dependence on the Lord for his comfort.