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Jonah 1 - Going Down

God not only faithfully draws you back to Him, but He often does so in humorous ways!

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Jonah 1 Summary

We recently preached through the book of Esther in our Sunday morning services, and we learned that Esther is one of two Biblical books designed to be funny. Jonah is the other. This book, which tells the true story of a wayward prophet, is told in a poetic way. Unfortunately, much of the humor is built off of puns and idioms that don't seem as funny when translated into English.

The first chapter is built off of two key words:


After God's Word comes to Jonah, instead of immediately aligning himself with it, Jonah instead begins a downward spiral away from God:

  • v3 - He goes down from the hill country to the port city of Joppa, and once there goes down onto the ship;

  • v5 - On the ship, Jonah goes down below deck, and there he lays down to sleep;

  • v15 - The sailors, having discovered the storm was aimed at Jonah, throw Jonah down into the sea;

  • In 2:6, Jonah will sink down as far as possible, to the roots of the mountains.


There's a whole lot of hurlin' going on in this opening chapter:

  • v4 - The LORD hurled the storm onto the sea;

  • v5 - The sailors hurled the cargo into the sea;

  • v12 - Jonah asks the sailors to hurl him into the sea;

  • v15 - The sailors reluctantly hurl Jonah in.

Dig Deeper

Jonah's name feeds the humor and meaning of this book as well. In Hebrew, the word yô·nāhʹ also means dove, a bird the prophet Hosea uses to describe God's people:

Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense (Hosea 7:11).

So right in the first verse of this short poem, we learn that this story is not just about a disobedient prophet, but rather it shows how Jonah's individual rebellion represents all of God's stubborn people, who constantly run away from God's call.

But there's one more thing about Jonah's name... his 'last' name: Běn (son of) Amittai. Jonah's father's name means my faithfulness.

So we can understand Jonah's full name to be:

The Silly, Senseless Son of My Faithfulness

This is who we are as God's people: Silly, senseless people, constantly wandering away from our God, who yet remains ever faithful to us.

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our faithful Father, who has a sense of humor;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you heed the Word of the Lord, and not run away from it.




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