One of the hardest tasks of the preacher is to take a well-known part of Scripture and make it fresh for people again. This past weekend at Eastbrook, I tried to do just that as I preached on Jonah in our series on the minor prophets, “God in the Ruins.”
Unlike all the other minor prophets, Jonah tells a story about the life of Jonah instead of collecting messages from that prophet.
The prophet Jonah is mentioned one other place in the Bible in 2 Kings 14:25 as a prophet in the northern kingdom during the reign of Jeroboam II. This tells us that, if taken at face value, Jonah’s story would have taken place chronologically during the 8th century BC, at a similar time as Amos, during the 40-year reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BC).
Because the story of the book of Jonah is told so dramatically in the book of Jonah, there is a lot of debate about its genre: is it historical, is it a parable, is it a real story told in an imaginative style. Regardless of the outcome on those issues, the message of the book is clear:
We can run from it or we can receive it, but the mercy of God is greater than we understand.
You can watch my message from this past weekend and follow along with the message outline below. You can also engage with the entire series on the minor prophets here or download the Eastbrook mobile app for even more opportunities to connect.
“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” (Jonah 2:2)
God’s Mercy and Running Away (Jonah 1)
God’s Mercy and Rescue (Jonah 2)
God’s Mercy and Repentance (Jonah 3)
God’s Mercy and Rebuke (Jonah 4)
God’s Word for Us from Jonah