God's Attributes Through the Book and Life of Jonah

by Unknown Author

Creator:

1.) of the sea and land (1:19).
2.) of the great fish (1:17) "He prepared a great fish."
3.) of the billows and waves (2:3) "Thy billows and thy waves."
4.) of Jonah's shelter (4:16) "The Lord God prepared a gourd."
5.) of the worm that destroyed the gourd (4:7).
6.) of the wind (4:8) "God prepared a vehement east wind."

Omniscient-God knew:

1.) of the wickedness of Nineveh (1:2).
2.) where Jonah was running to (1:30).
3.) the fears of the fishermen and their superstitions (1:4-7, 10-16).
4.) how to get Jonah's attention (2:1-10).
5.) the heart of the king of Nineveh to be sincere (3:10).
6.) Jonah's anger and pride (4:1, 4, 9).

Omnipotent-God was:

1.) Master of the sea (1:4, 15).
2.) able to sustain life in the belly of the fish (1:17).
3.) Master of living creatures (1:17; 2:10; 4:7).
4.) able to destroy Nineveh at will (3:4). (Later it was destroyed, according to Zephaniah 2:13-15.)
5.) Master over life and death (4:3).
6.) Master of the plants (4:6).

Omnipresent-God was:

1.) present in the city of Nineveh (1:2).
2.) present in the ship (1:4, 15).
3.) Jonah tried to flee from the presence of the Lord but failed (1:3, 10).
4.) present with Jonah in the belly of the fish (2:4, 5).
5.) present with Jonah in his anger (4:1-11).

Eternal:

To be Master and Creator of all things mentioned He would have had to have been there from the very beginning. He must be eternal to be omniscient.

Truth:

1.) Jonah knew there would be consequences in disobeying God (1:9, 10).
2.) God was true to His word about destroying an evil Nineveh (Zeph. 2:13-15).

Justice-God:

1.) heard the cry against Nineveh (1:2).
2.) judged and pronounced judgment on Nineveh (1:2; 3:4).
3.) judged against Jonah's disobedience (1:4-2:10).
4.) judged Jonah's anger and pride (4:6-11).

Righteousness-God:

1.) saved the sailors (1:15).
2.) turned away Nineveh's punishment (3:10).
3.) did not forsake Jonah in his anger (4:1-11).
4.) taught Jonah a lesson (4:10, 11).

Love, Grace and Mercy:

1.) "I cried by reason of my affliction unto the Lord, and He heard me" (2:2) (love).
2.) "Yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption" (2:6) (grace and mercy).
3.) "Salvation is of the Lord" (2:9) (love, grace and mercy).
4.) God repented of the evil of which He said He would do" (3:10) (mercy).
5.) "I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful" (4:2) (mercy).
6.) "...And should not I spare Nineveh...?" (4:11) (mercy).

Immutable:

1.) His truth never changed; wicked cities would be destroyed. Cities that come in repentance He will spare. (3:10; Zeph. 2:13-15).
2.) Jonah's disobedience did not change God's message to Nineveh (3:1).

Sovereign:

1.) "They feared the Lord" pronounces Kingship (1:9, 16).
2.) The sailors prayed unto their gods but recognized Jonah's God as the one true great God (1:5, 6, 14, 16).
3.) Jonah cried "O Lord my God" proclaiming him Lord of Lords.
4.) The king of Nineveh recognized Jonah's God as being the supreme Monarch (3:5, 6).

Jesus Christ's Burial and Resurrection foreshadowed Through Jonah

"Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights" (1:17).

Compare: Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly: so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (see also Luke 24:6-8).

Salvation As Seen in the Book and Life of Jonah

Repentance:

Confession: "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy" (2:8).
Forsaking Sin: "But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I vowed" (2:9).
Turning unto God: "Salvation is of the Lord..." (2:9b).
Result: Jonah got a second chance (2:10-3:3).

Confession: "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed..." (3:5a).
Forsaking Sin: "Let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands" (3:8b).
Turning Unto God: "who can tell if God will turn and repent...?" (3:9).
Result: "And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and He did it not" (3:10).

Faith:

1.) Jonah's proclamation (1:9): "I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land...."
2.) The sailors' belief (1:16): "Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows."
3.) Jonah's faith that God would hear his prayer (2:2-9).
4.) Jonah's belief in God's word (3:30): "So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord."
5.) Nineveh's faith (3:5): "So the people of Nineveh believed God."
6.) The king of Nineveh believed (3:6-9).

Justification: (a change in a man's relation or standing before God)

1.) Jonah's position changed after his repentance (2:1-10).
2.) Nineveh's position changed after national repentance (3:5-10).

Prayer:

Sincerity: Jonah cried; (2:2) - Nineveh's actions followed words (3:5-8).
Simplicity: Jonah kept to the point of acknowledging God and repenting.
Earnestness: both Jonah and Nineveh showed it through their actions.
Persistence: both continued praying until they saw God move.
Faith: both believed that their situations could be changed by prayer.
Unison with others: a whole nation prayed in agreement.
Definiteness: both had a definite, single-minded goal and request.
Effort: Nineveh's all-out effort toward repentance.
Fasting: Nineveh fasted as a nation.