JONAH, PSALM 109
Jonah’s story is a microcosm of Israel’s history. God chooses Jonah for a vocation that, as the story unfolds, is clearly meant to benefit a people ignorant about YHWH. Instead of choosing to accept this call from God, Jonah runs and tries to ignore God’s voice. No matter, God chases Jonah, just as God pursues Israel. Though Jonah halfheartedly proclaims Nineveh’s need to turn to God, Nineveh benefits from this less than joyfully delivered message and turns to God. Just like God takes Israel and blesses Babylon and Media-Persia through the faithful Jewish exiles, so the Lord uses a reluctant Jonah. Still, Jonah is dissatisfied with his role and the way God uses him to bring Nineveh to repentance. Israel would often have disdain for their neighbors instead of a Holy love to see the wicked come to repentance. At the end of the story Jonah is still running from God, while God still chases. This ending prepares us for the day Jesus would tell a group of people seeking miracles that the only sign they would see is the one from Jonah. What was that sign? When Jonah preached, Nineveh repented. So Jesus was saying, not that God in flesh stands before the people of Israel, they should now repent and turn to Jesus like Nineveh did with Jonah. God, in Jesus was chasing wayward Israel, like God had chased Nineveh and Jonah. Praise God that he is the King that pursues us over and over again.