The story of Jonah is well known to many people, even those that have never attended church or read the story. It’s application is clear…how often do we run away from God and what he wants of us? Our running never turns out very well, just like Jonah.
Jonah has also taken a lot of hits as to whether it is fact or fiction. I have always allowed myself to question, but after much thought and study, I have no problem with the validity of the story. Jesus seems to have no problem with it in Mathew 12. One thing that helped me was when I discovered that neither Greek nor Hebrew have a word to distinguish between a fish and a whale and if a whale is possible, this story is more than plausible.
The irony for me is when people use this story to give themselves license to disbelieve what God says in the Scriptures. It sounds like they use the story of Jonah to be a kind of Jonah of their own!
This blog was originally written by Pastor Doug Bartel of Hillcrest Church, starting in Spring 2009. Keep that in mind if you read anything that doesn't quite add up to the time of year.