Jonah 1 Outline
– Jonah attempted to escape from God’s calling
Jonah 1 Summary
It happened that God asked Jonah to visit Nineveh and tell the people that they are doomed unless they repent from their sins. Jonah did not want to obey the Lord so he decided to take a ship and escape to Spain. When the ship was halfway in the voyage, there was a strong sea storm. The water rose so high that it nearly flooded the whole ship. The sailors were frightened so they prayed to their gods for help. They threw away some of the ship cargoes to prevent the ship from sinking.
About this time, the captain found out that Jonah was sleeping below the ship deck. The sailors gather together to ask their God who caused all the trouble and they found out it is Jonah. After that, the sailors asked Jonah whether he is the one responsible for the sea storm. They also asked where he came from and who his people are. He replied that he is Jonah, the son of Amittai, who worship the Almighty God that made the heaven and earth. When the sailors learned about this, they were afraid because Jonah already told him that he is running away from the Lord. When the storm gets more violent, they asked Jonah what they should do.
Jonah suggested that they throw him into the sea so that the storm will calm down. Indeed, they throw Jonah into the sea and the storm immediately calmed down. As soon as Jonah was thrown into the sea, God sent a big fish to swallow him. Jonah remained in the big fish for three days and three nights.
Jonah 1 Bible Study
1. Don’t hesitate to do what God tell you to do
When God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, Jonah did not listen and took a ship to Spain instead. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, which is the enemy of Israel. Assyria and Israel used to engage in battle constantly. Jonah knew that God will relent from his anger if the people listen to his message and stop sinning. Just like Jonah, many people did not heed God’s calling. It can be anything that God called you to do. For example, he may ask you to do something for someone. When you hear God asking you to do something, you should not ignore that voice. It is wrong to give excuses and promise to do it later. If God ask you to do something, you must take action and do it immediately.
2. Don’t run away from God’s calling
Running from God’s calling isn’t good. If you try to run away from your calling, God will somehow use someone else or a situation to turn you back. In Jonah’s case, God caused a fierce sea storm to happen and sink the ship. The strong sea storm caused the captain and sailors to become panic and pray to their gods. After casting lot, they discovered that it was Jonah who caused the storm. After asking Jonah, they learned that he is running away from the Almighty God so the sea storm happened. Jonah thought he can hide away from God by sleeping at the deck below and sailing away to Spain.
However, his escape from God’s calling put him and everyone on the ship in danger. Even when we stubbornly deny God,
God will never give up on us. God will never take revenge if you decide to disobey him and not heed the calling. God will not abandon you when all things are in a mess. God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah so that he won’t be drowned. He did this to give Jonah a chance to repent and seek forgiveness from him. The next time you think of running away from God’s calling, you should think of the story of Jonah and not repeat the same mistake.