Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amit?tai, saying, “Arise, go to Nin?eveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.
But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god; and they threw the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you
sleeper? Arise, call upon your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we do not perish.”
And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And whence do you come? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them, “Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. Therefore they cried to the LORD, “We beseech thee, O LORD, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood; for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.” So they took up Jonah and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows. And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
1) What is the purpose of the “Prophet” in the Old Testament? What made their ministry unique?
2) The “Word of the Lord” came to Jonah. How does Jonah “hear” God’s word, (e.g., audibly, mentally, spiritually)? Is it still possible for us to hear God’s word in the same way?
3) Why did Jonah run from the Lord’s presence and flee to Tarshish? (I.d., to the opposite end of the earth). Are there times when we try to run away from what God has called us to do? And if so, why?
4) In what way does our Lord use this same story of Jonah in the Belly of Whale when speaking about Himself and His ministry?
5) On what Feast Day is the book of Jonah read in our Church in its entirety?