God sends Jonah to Nineveh, but he runs away the opposite direction by boat.
God sends a storm.  The sailors pray while Jonah sleeps.
They cast lots which God points to Jonah.  He asks them to kill him by throwing him overboard.

God sends a fish to preserve Jonah in its belly for 3 days and nights.
Jonah prays, repenting, thanking God for saving him, and saying that salvation is up to Him.

The fish spits Jonah onto land.  God sends him to Nineveh again.  He goes and preaches doom.  They believe God and repent, every one of them.  God relents.

Jonah is mad Nineveh isn't destroyed.  This is why he ran away the first time - he didn't want God to have mercy on Nineveh!  He sulks outside the city, and God gives him shade by growing a plant.  The next day God takes it away, and iin the heat Jonah is back to complaining, and even asking for death.  He stubbornly stays mad when God questions him about it.

How this is about Jesus

  • He also slept through a storm, but the wind obeyed HIM afterward (Mark 4:35-41)!  Indirect assertion of the divinity of Christ, there.
  • He was in the heart of the earth 3 days and nights, like Jonah was in the fish (Matthew 12:40).
  • He also brings a message of repentance.


  • Jonah is thankful for his own salvation (2:2) and comfort (4:6), but upset that God would be kind to others.  He doesn't want to lift a finger to bring others to God.  This is very convicting!
  • Everything obeys God in this book, except Jonah.  The storm, the sailors, the lots cast, the fish, the plant, the king, people and animals of Nineveh.  God will see His purpose done whether we obey Him or not.
  • God says the plant is like Nineveh: why be mad if I don't take it away, when it provides shade for many, and there are many to pity within her?  Envious hoarding of God's grace for yourself is insanity.

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