When Jonah was born his parents were bitterly disappointed. They wanted a girl, and they wanted to name her Joan. When it turned out to be a boy, Jonah’s father said, “This is hard to swallow!”
Little did he know then how prophetic that statement would turn out to be.
One day God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the people living there to stop being bad.
But Jonah thought to himself, “Meh.” In order to get out of going to Nineveh, he went to the sea and hopped a ship to Elevenveh.
And as is always the case in biblical boating, a great storm arose. Everybody panicked and started throwing everything overboard which was standard procedure in any kind of emergency having to do with biblical boating.
While all this was going on, the captain went to find Jonah who was sleeping, so the captain told him to get his sorry self up and start praying to his god de jour ASAP.
Jonah (which is Noah spelled backwards, btw, weird huh?) told the captain that he was bff’s with the One True God.
“Great! Pray to him then!” The captain said.
“But um . . . “
“Uh . . . the One True God and I are kind of a on a break.”
“Yeah, in fact the One True God caused the storm because I didn’t do something He told me to do. I have a feeling the storm will stop if you throw me into the sea.
So the men immediately threw Jonah into the sea.
“I said I have a feeling I didn’t say for sure.” Was the last thing they heard Jonah say before he was swallowed up by a huge fish.
Apparently the One True God had sent the fish to keep Jonah from drowning because he hadn’t thought up the life preserver yet.
So Jonah stayed inside the fish’s stomach for three days and three nights which sounds horrible to us, but in biblical days would have been considered deluxe accommodations when you include the complimentary seafood continental breakfast.
After three days, God told the fish to spit Jonah out and then instructed Jonah once again to go to Nineveh.
Jonah told God, “Okay, okay.” I’m going already. Keep your shirt on!” (Jonah was one of God’s sassiest kids.)
So Jonah went to Nineveh and relayed God’s message that they better stop doing bad things or in 40 days they would be destroyed. And then he made that index finger crossing the neck gesture which meant “curtains” even in those days!
Well to Jonah’s surprise, everybody sat up straight and flew right. (People didn’t actually have wings in those days, this was just an expression.)
God didn’t punish the people because he loved them so. But Jonah thought God was too easy on the people. So God explained to Jonah that he was a loving God and didn’t want to destroy anyone unless it was absolutely necessary.
To which Jonah responded, “Whatever,” because he was, after all, one of God’s sassiest children.
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Until next time . . . I love you