Communities and individuals always overestimate their own importance and abilities. This illusion is reinforced by the self-serving narratives we create to bolster confidence in ourselves and in our institutions. Nations, religions, ideologies, communities, families—everyone—down to the last individual, is compromised by this dangerous lie. Jonah disobeyed the word of the Lord, yet, when questioned about his identity, he boasted, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.” (1:9) Soon after, Jonah (who supposedly feared the Lord) had to be forced to obey the same, against his will. Did God listen to Jonah’s prayer, or simply endure it? Did Jonah repent—literally, did he choose to “turn” and go in the correct direction—or was God forced to turn him around?
The story of Jonah follows the storyline of the Bible: the word of the Lord is for all nations and acts on everyone’s behalf, despite ourselves. No one is exceptional. No one is good. In fact, in God’s eyes, we all look the same, no matter who we are, where we are from or how we see ourselves. Is Jonah different than the Ninevites? Perhaps, in this way alone: God did not need to force the Ninevites to obey his word, and he only had to ask them once.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Jonah 3.
Episode 217 Jonah 3; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Smooth Lovin” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/