Sermons In Jonah

Written by Serena Berger
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Sermons in Jonah take on one of the stories that many consider among the most apocryphal in the Bible. Conversely, this dynamic story may be one of the most effective Biblical tales to tell young people, as it is likely to keep them engaged to learn. This is a short Book, yet Sermons in Jonah abound because of the story itself, and what is left out of the tale.

The Basic Story for Sermons in Jonah

This Old Testament Book focuses on Jonah, son of Amittai, whom God called upon to preach, but who ran from the Lord instead of doing his bidding. Jonah ran away on a ship, and God besieged the ship with terrible weather and dangerous waters until the sailors on board decided to throw Jonah overboard (knowing that he had angered God) to save themselves. Instead of allowing Jonah to die, God sent a big fish (in some translations, a whale) to swallow Jonah and keep the man in its stomach for three days. During that time, Jonah prayed to be given a second chance, which he was.

Jonah then went to Nineveh, where God had wanted him to go in the first place, and told the people that they must change their ungodly behavior, or they would be destroyed in 40 days. The people believed Jonah, and earned a reprieve through fasting, prayer, and penitence. Jonah (in one of the least-explained passages in the Bible) becomes angry with God's compassion and says he would rather die than live.

God tells Jonah that of course he wants the city to thrive as there are many people there and much potential for greatness. The Book of Jonah concludes without telling us how Jonah responds to God's words to him. Sermons in Jonah may address the reason for this omission, as well as the mercy of the Lord.


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