The biblical Jonah is a man of faith. He knows God, and he believes in God’s love, mercy, and compassion. Jonah never doubts God’s love or his relationship with God. He even witnesses to the sailors with his message about who God is.
Jonah is having a deep theological debate with God. Jonah believes that God is completely wrong in wanting to save the people of Nineveh, and so he decides that he must disobey God.
But God wants us to have mercy on everyone, not just on those whom we deem worthy. The theme running throughout this story is that God’s great mercy extends to all those who repent. And the story has a larger message as well: God’s purpose for us is to rediscover God’s vision for the whole creation and understand our own role in carrying out that vision. God’s vision is that all of creation will experience the “shalom” of love, mercy, justice, and wholeness. When we are obedient to God’s will, we are participating in that ultimate vision.
This message is excerpted from the 2002 Women of the ELCA resource “Called to obey God: It’s not easy being Jonah,” written by Cynthia E. Cowen.
Special note: The Daily Grace app will soon be retired. To avoid interruption, those who read Daily Grace in the app are encouraged to subscribe to receive Daily Grace via email.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.