Salvation Belongs to the Lord (Jonah)

  • Wendy Lin

You’re looking at some studies on the book of Jonah. Did you just think about a big fish? Or perhaps a whale? The aquatic creature that swallows God’s rebellious prophet is perhaps the most memorable feature of the book of Jonah, but there is much more to uncover and understand.

In these 6 studies, Wendy Lin will take you beyond the fish to explore Jonah in its historical and theological contexts. Salvation Belongs to the Lord will help you grow in your relationship with God by knowing him better, discovering the depths of God’s desire for all people to accept his salvation.

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Table of contents:

  1.  Jonah: Full of surprises (Jonah 1:1–3)
  2. A mighty tempest (Jonah 1:4–16)
  3. God’s complete sovereignty (Jonah 1; Mark 4:35–41; John 6:66–69)
  4. God’s merciful salvation of Jonah (Jonah 1:17–3:3)
  5. God’s merciful salvation of Nineveh (Jonah 3)
  6. God’s extensive care (Jonah 4)
  7. For the leader

Before you begin

This series dives into the book of Jonah. As we unpack it, we’ll discover numerous surprises, because Jonah contains some odd elements. Some actions of this disobedient and angry prophet seem so far-fetched that they are almost amusing: trying to physically run away from God, being swallowed by a fish, and getting angry about a plant. For many people, the only thing they know about this book is the fish, but it’s just a minor character. As one writer has said, “Men have been looking so hard at the great fish that they have failed to see the great God”.*

It’s also brief and succinct—the whole story can be read from beginning to end in less than ten minutes. There are few superfluous details, and things we would like to know more about (like the fish!) are not expanded on. What is recorded is included for a reason, and through these details we’ll discover what God is teaching us through the prophet Jonah.

As we explore this short but important part of God’s word, we will come to understand more of our great God. We will see how he is completely sovereign, how he extends his merciful salvation to all who will receive it, and how he deals graciously but firmly with his rebellious prophet. We will see afresh what God considers important, and we will be challenged about whether our hearts align with his heart. We will see how the Lord Jesus Christ compared himself to Jonah, and we will discover what lessons he wanted us to learn from this enigmatic Old Testament prophet. God willing, we will proclaim, as Jonah did, that “salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

* G Campbell Morgan, The Minor Prophets (1960), quoted in LC Allen, The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Eerdmans, 1976, p 192.