The book of Jonah, in the Bible, does not name its author, however, many scholars believe that it was actually written by the prophet himself. Clearly, some of the details of the story, his prayer in the belly of the fish or over the city of Nineveh for example, could have only come from the prophet himself.
I find that fascinating, don’t you?
If Jonah really did write the book that bears his name, it proves one essential thing: people can change!
In his story, Jonah thought that he knew better than God about everything- justice for the Assyrians, his Divine assignment, how plants should grow, fairness…the list goes on. Can’t you and I relate to that?
The book of Jonah does not put Jonah in a great light, he looks foolish and petty at every turn. It would have taken a pretty humble man to be able to write his story with this much honesty and resist the temptation to gloss over the parts that made him look bad. (But then there would be no book of Jonah, would there?)
This is such good news for us. All of us have faults. All of us fail. All of us have characteristics that God wants to change in order to make us more like Him and better fit to serve Him in the specific roles that He has called us to.
Yet, so often we think that we can’t change.
“I’ve always been like this,” a woman recently told me when her loved ones objected to her toxic behavior. “People need to just get over it.”
No! The answer is not to fall into defeat and self-pity. The answer is to do the work that allows God to change us.
If Jonah could change as dramatically as he did, you and I can too.