Anybody who has spent any time in the church can tell stories of flat-out ridiculous attitudes and actions they have seen in the lives of God’s people. There is nothing new under the sun. The book of Jonah exposes in a sometimes humorous way the foibles of the faithful in ancient Israel. Against the backdrop of human folly shines the brilliance of divine faithfulness. Such is the message of the book of Jonah. We need not, however, study the whole book to get this message. It is found in Jonah’s name.
Anyone who has ever attended a Sunday school class knows that Jonah was the man who was eaten alive by a fish and then vomited out three days later. But that’s about the extent of most people’s understanding of this Old Testament prophet and the book that bears his name. And that’s too bad, because Jonah is a Bible character worth knowing, and the book he wrote is not only rich in theological content, but is extremely relevant. Jonah was a Hebrew prophet who lived about 750 b.c. However, unlike other Hebrew prophets, Jonah was called to minister to …