I'd been thinking about Jonah and wanted to jot some thoughts down, but what ... the title which occurred to me surprised me.

The title, from Jonah 4:2, sums up Jonah's testimony.
Is that what you immediately think of when you think of Jonah?
If Jonah was a bad guy why did Jesus draw a parallel between himself and Jonah? cf Matthew 12:38-41; Mark 16:4; Luke 11:29-32

We first encounter Jonah in 2 Kings 14:23-27 during the reign of one of the many Kings of Israel who the Lord describes as evil.

In the books of Kings & Chronicles we get mesmerised by Elijah and Elisha but there a number of other prophets in those books who popout from behind a bush for a sentence, with signs following, and then disppear. Amazing times of God speaking.

Generally these prophets did not have have a good word to say, calling the Kings and the people to turn back to the God of Heaven who had brought them out of Egypt.

Amongst those prophets I refer to was Jonah, but he was different - he spoke of the international border being restored, and we are told why - 'the Lord saw the affliction of Israel'. Jonah knew the graciousness and compassion of God.

Then we come to the book of Jonah, and God gives Jonah a task to do. Jonah's reaction was not one of simple disobedience on that one point, but of running away with the plan to start a new life somewhere else. I guess Jonah was part of the prophetic community we read of elsewhere (cf 1 Samuel 19:18–24; 2 Kings 2, 4:38–44; Amos 7:14) and he wanted to get away from it all. I wonder if there were other things going on in Jonah's life which contributed to this. Had he not read Psalm 139:7-10?

He found a ship and had money for the fare - both matters God could have easily 'tripped him up on' and wrecked his plans! No conclusive evidence of where Tarshish was, one extreme view suggests Cornwall - that would suggest an expensive trip and hence the relevance of having money for the fare.

The story of the storm reminds me of another disaster at sea recorded in Acts 27. That was a natural event which God, through Paul, had warned them about and could have been avoided. With Jonah we see God's direct intervention with surprising results. Looks like the ship was manned by an international crew with each one having their own god - no Hebrews. Jonah fell into a deep sleep - how - heavy dose of sleeping pills or a reference to Genesis 2:21? Suggests Jonah had little concern for what was going on around him - he had got away! On questioning Jonah did not 'deny his faith', even though his was 'living in sin'. The response of the crew suggests that even though they did not worship the Lord, they knew the God of the Hebrews was someone to be reckoned with..

Finally the crew relented and threw Jonah overboard and the raging sea grew calm. Reminds me of another storm in Mark 4:41. Speaking of Jesus ... they asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”. On the boat, after Jonah left, there was 'revival', the crew sacrificed to the Lord and made vows to Him - implies they dispensed with the gods referred to earlier. Reminder that the Lord is not just the God of the Hebrews but of the whole earth - John 3:16 For God so loved the world ... They were 'saved' by the 'death' of Jonah.

Then we come to the fishy story ... I'll skip that, but we have just seen one miracle with the storm, why would you doubt this? I am reminded what Jesus said in Matthew 22:29 "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God". Ouch!

Finally Jonah ends up on a sea shore someplace, not on the seafront of Nineveh - its not near the sea ... unless you want to add another miracle, but nothing in the text suggests that and the beginning of chapter 3 suggests maybe a time of preparation and then the journey. The word of the Lord came to Jonah again, no new message, not even a message but the promise that the Lord will give him the message to proclaim.

Finally Jonah gets to Nineveh. We read in Jonah 1:1 that the Lord told Jonah to preach against Nineveh, here the Lord gives more detail - a timeframe 'You have 40 days left'. Unlike Daniel later (Daniel 4:27) no mention of "put your house in order, maybe the Lord will relent", although that could be implied ... but what caused their reaction, how did Jonah come to the attention of those with access to the King? Did Jonah's fishy testimony have something to do with it? Was something going on politically, economically, militarily which had got the people 'edgy' (such as Russia / Crimerea)? But then looking at today's world the pandemic did not turn the nation to prayer - no spontaneous gathering in public spaces or standing on doorsteps in prayer and worship (cf the 'revival' of Jonah 1:16) or are we in the days of Revelation 9:20-21?

No mention that Jonah got an audience with the King, but when the Lord saw their reaction he had compassion and the threat was averted.

Jonah was upset by the outcome and we get a bit more information of the background to Jonah's reaction in Jonah 1:1-3.

Jonah's death wish ... as a prophet was he seeing what would happen in the future? The Assyrian empire, of which Nineveh was the capital, were masters of brutality! Later they overran most of the Middle East, took Israel into captivity and almost took Judah - Jerusalem was the only city they besieged that they failed to capture (2 Kings 19:20-37). I'm reminded of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44, Jonah was angry. Are anger and compassion opposite sides of the same coin?

Is there connection between prophecy and intercession?
Are prophets (as opposed to those who prophecy Acts 2:17-18; 1 Corinthians 14:3) intercessors?

The Lord's final word on the matter in Jonah 4:10 "should I not be concerned" - reminds me of 2 Peter 3:9; Luke 9:53-55;

Mentioned the word 'revival' in this ... wondering while typing it 'what does that mean'?
Then came across a comment that 'Jesus did not come to bring revival but the Kingdom of God' - places a rather different emphasis!
See British Isles Council of Prophets - Conversation 208