Thoughts on Jonah


#1

Everyone remembers Jonah and the big fish, but it’s the WHOLE story that’s of interest. And perhaps the sign Christ is talking about as the only sign to be given.

Jonah resents God’s Grace ad Favor being applied to his 'enemies. So he runs from his mission of delivering the Gospel to Nineveh and is swallowed up by death and spit out to live again - i.e. the resurrection - the sign Christ was talking about.

The ‘resurrected’ Jonah returns to his mission - delivers the message of God’s Grace to the people of Nineveh and they are saved in response to hearing His Grace - as direct a message as can be.

Yet Jonah remains resentful of God’s Grace and His universal salvation of Jonah’s enemies. I call this the typical ‘religious’ reaction, a reaction that, of itself, seems universal as well, whether one is Christian, Muslim or Jew - all enemies are God’s enemies.

The WHOLE story ends with Jonah sitting under a scorching sun, shaded by a stick of a tree (his own dried up, miserable ‘gospel’), in abject bitterness and resentment at what God has done. And God leaves him there to pout until (I suppose) he remembers that he, too, was saved by Grace. Was God torturing Jonah, who CHOSE to be there? No way - Jonah could have found shade under THE Gospel - but chose his own…

It’s a divine comedy in some ways. How stubborn can one be without drawing a laugh or a snicker AT human stubbornness). Snicker at your own peril. Jonah was a human being like you.

I’m not one to beat an analogy to death, but this one is almost irresistible. Everyone will be salted by fire - so says my Lord - call it a scorching, mind-baking sun for Jonah - but fire nonetheless. All will be saved by God’s Grace and the Gospel - even the most stubborn religious hypocrite - who must be the worst among men - and the longest to sit under the ‘burning sun’ and repenting - and this was one of God’s ‘messengers’!

The Book of Jonah is a powerful testament to the comedic foibles of mankind in rejecting the universal quality of His Grace. Let every comedic knee bow… The resurrected will not hold resentment - only gratitude from every fiber of their resurrected body…when they finally kneel. Otherwise, sit and stew - God is much more patient than words can express. Love is like that. Meanwhile, heaven laughs - it’s a party after all!

Your comments?..


#2

Ran, I appreciate this much. True about analogies and beating them to death. However your right up my alley on the typology of Jonah.

Aug


#3

Well, people, like BA, want PROOF that God saves their self-construed enemies. They can read Jonah a million times and never see THEMSELVES as Jonah, or do, and miss the joke. Blindness, on this side of the veil, is relative, as well as a matter of blind interpretation. Another comedy for another thread…


#4

Ran, we once were people like BA. Patience is a gift of God which we need to excercise ourselve much more. If he is ignorant then sympathize. Remember that to ECT, literal interpretation is the only form of interpretation which matters. Sadly, they miss the point you raise but given time, hopefully we’ll change that by the power and love of God.


#5

Nah! In real life I would, but here? Hit him upside the head with a 2x4! And keep pounding away! Debate is not about sympathies - it’s a battle. Never give up your ground as the ‘nice’ thing to do. You’ve been in California way too long… If universalism is THE Gospel then fight for it - bleed - put your life on it - debate. High stacks. Let your yes be yes.

‘But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.’

I admit to many careless words, I am much worse than you, Gene. Ya got me. But I know this, God hates a coward…and by way of that, speculators - are you willing to die for the Gospel? Which Christ says is your duty. Opinions and fads are for wimps. I’m growing tired of your attacks on ME. Stick to the friggin’ argument at hand! Not to your Californian ‘Why can’t we all just get along’ stuff. Man up.


#6

One thing I think we all agree on is your are passionate Ran. I’ve always known that about you. Try to see the cup half full from time to time friend. It’s called encouraging. You know all too well I’m no different than you on patience. You’ve seen me fly off the handle and say careless words just as much. And when you come to my aid to encourage me with patience, kindenss, longsuffering…well…I hope you do.

My point was not to attack you but to try to help you see that we too were blind. God knows that about us and if we are to reach people then we need to do our best in explaining our thoughts and not get so wound up with “why cant they see what I see”. I never said backdown on your argument. I don’t understand why you see being patient and kind as being weak and broken. I say hold your argument and argue it but also remember that God was patient with us and we are to be patient with them. It’s not an attack, unless I attack myself because I too tend to be zealous; it’s as if you’ve forgotten our Tweb days :slight_smile:

Aug


#7

Gene, you know I love you, for having the courage to start this thing up. Always gird up your loins in debate - it’s not the place for ‘patience and kindness’. Debate is the place for ‘strength and truth’. Argue like your hair is on fire. The sharpest sword wins. Don’t be naive. If we (as a community of universalists) don’t come up with answers here for The Gospel - then let’s just party like the rest of dead! Stay focused on what you believe - not on what you hold as an opinion - which defies focus. There is a lot at stake.

Now back to the topic…let’s talk about Jonah


#8

I enjoyed your thoughts on Jonah, though I have always found it more sad than funny. :sunglasses:
Thanks for sharing,
Sonia


#9

Don’t be sad. He ends up playing cheap bars and singing “The Fish and Me”. It’s a nostalgia thing, but a living.


#10

AND of course…

Jonah is described as having the bars of the earth close around him FOREVER or 3 days whichever is longer… :smiley:

Mind you… have you seen how far inland Ninevah is? :laughing:


#11

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

“Sad” because I imagine myself in Jonah’s shoes. :wink: (When I read about Judas I get sick to my stomach… :confused: )

Sonia


#12

You have to admit that the book ends on a strange note. It’s like God just walks away shaking His head…he rescues Jonah from death and Jonah is now angry with Him. Amazing!

Chutzpah!


#13

Yes–very true! And it pictures the mindset of the ‘natural man’–very like the parable of the prodigal son. Both stories leave us hanging-- will he now ‘get it’ and get in line with the Father’s Way, or continue to hold on his own foolish and ugly unforgiveness? “The anger of man does not acheive the righteousness of God,” because his ways are higher than ours. We may insist on hating our enemies, but God loves them to righteousness anyway.

And for that reason, they will love him (for the one who has been forgiven much, loves much), while the older brother/Jonah, refuses to celebrate and sulks off in the outer darkness gnashing his teeth and weeping because of it. :wink:

Sonia