Jonah; actually reading the story for the first time

Ok, I am a Christian who believes the Bible, the holy Scripture is God breathed and extremely useful for teaching Jesus followers how to live our lives! I want this book and the stories contained in its pages to be formative in my life… TRUE!

Now to the book of Jonah…

(another quick fact about yours truly; I graduated college with a degree in religion / Christian ministries, I’m a “preacher / bible teacher” along with other titles. I have also (almost) earned a masters degree in religion (8 hrs left), starting seminary… bla bla bla…)

As for the book of Jonah, I don’t think I had ever read it!

At least not in it’s entirety until last night. Sad, I know! Now i knew the story, I could even recite certain sections that I had read and referred to before but the entirety of this HUGE book, all four chapters of it, I don’t believe I had ever read. I blame part of this on my late start in the Christian scene. A lot of people I know grew up in Sunday school, had the story read to them as they watched the flannel graph taking shape. I didn’t go to Sunday school until high school and didn’t really learn a lot of those OT stories until college.

Crazy enough but man that Jonah, what a story. Maybe it’s just a story, maybe it’s true, maybe it’s fictional, either way it teaches us the same lessons about life and following God.
I could go on and on with my exegetical insights from the story of Jonah but I won’t. I’ll just end with saying that the stories of the people in the pages of the bible are truly packed with good stuff. Ordinary, stubborn people being used by God to do some amazing things, often in spite of themselves not because of. This encourages me to follow God, to have the heart of David who despite his flaws and HUGE failures was still a man after God’s heart and was used to do some amazing things. OR a man like Jonah who doesn’t seem to understand his role in it all and is frustrated because God’s going to do what God’s going to do and seems to want to just be left alone. If I were honest I could admit to those feelings from time to time but as Jonah knows God is gracious and lucky for Jonah and me, God is still gracious, gracious to people like us!

Yea, GOOD STORY! I feel like I read something new, learned something new… it’s a little sad but it exciting at the same time.