1. God came to Jonah and said, “Go
    Down to the city and say so:
I am not pleased with your doings,
    Soon you will fall into ruins.

2. But Jonah wanted to go hide,
    He ran away to the seaside;
Got on a boat that was ready,
    And off they sailed, sure and steady.

3. But then the winds started blowing,
    And all the men they were rowing;
When Jonah blamed it on his sin,
    Into the water they threw him.

4. Then came a fish and did swallow,
    So Jonah prayed in his sorrow.
After three days he came to land,
    He was spit out on the warm sand.

5. Then to the city with running,
    He went to give them God’s warning.
All of the people were sorry,
    And that’s the end of the story.


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This song was written for my son, to accompany a children’s book we had on the story of Jonah. It was designed so that each verse fit to one page of the book, so we could turn the pages as we sang the song.

But some comments from a friend of mine caused me to re-consider this story. There is a lesson in the book of Jonah that is not so clearly brought out in this simple song, and that is the message of God’s great love towards His enemies, and the lack of the church (as represented by the prophet Jonah) in partaking of that great love.

Jonah didn’t want to deliver the message to these heathen, because they were the enemies of the nation of Israel, and he didn’t want God to show them mercy. When Jesus came to the earth, the nation of Israel in His time had a similar attitude to the Gentiles. And in our time…? The Christians, and “Christian nations” of our day have had similar difficulties in relating to Communists, and more recently to Muslims.

Yet, in the story of Jonah, these heathen people, who heard God’s message for a only a brief moment, repented with such a repentance as was hardly seen in the all the history of the chosen people. What a rebuke to religious pride! Truly, there is no room for pride of the flesh in the work of God’s grace.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9

Do we have difficulty loving those who hold different religious ideas than ours, or who maybe even oppose us and act against us? It is a sure sign that we are trusting in our flesh, in our own goodness. God may still use us, if we will put aside our pride and do the work He commands us to do, but we will not be able to appreciate that work, nor share in the joy, until this barrier is removed by the gospel. Ephesians 2:14

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1 Comment on God Came to Jonah

  1. jeff says:

    Good thoughts Frank. Glad I could help in a small way.

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