Who was Jonah in the Bible?
Here's the answer:
Jonah was a prophet of the Lord. He was sent to Nineveh.
Jonah was a unique prophet. He was stubborn and sometimes didn’t obey God. When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach the truth about Him, He did everything possible to run away from God. Jonah hates the Ninevites and doesn't want to go. Despite his efforts to run, nobody can run from God or the purposes God has for their life, including Jonah.
He boards a ship and a storm starts. Jonah knows the storm is because of him. He tells the other passengers and asks them to throw him overboard. They don't throw him overboard. Rather, they try to row back to land. The storm only gets worse and then the men decide to throw Jonah into the sea.
In the sea, Jonah calls out to God. Even in the depths of the sea, God hears Jonah and answers his prayer. He orders a large fish to swallow Jonah and he brings him to shore.
Jonah now obeys the Lord and preaches to the Ninevites. The Ninevites are receptive and repent of their sin. Jonah thought God was going to destroy them and becomes upset when He doesn't. God reminds Jonah that Nineveh is a large town with many people in it. God loves all these people, even the Ninevites.
"But Jonah ran away from the LORD. He headed for Tarshish. So he went down to the port of Joppa. There he found a ship that was going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board. Then he sailed for Tarshish. He was running away from the LORD" (Jonah 1:3).
"From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said, 'When I was in trouble, I called out to the Lord. And he answered me. When I was deep in the place of the dead, I called out for help. And you listened to my cry'" (Jonah 2:1-2).
"Jonah obeyed the LORD. He went to Nineveh. It was a very large city. In fact, it took about three days to go through it. Jonah began by going one whole day into the city. As he went, he announced, 'In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed.' The people of Nineveh believed God’s warning. So they decided not to eat any food for a while. And all of them put on the rough clothing people wear when they’re sad. That’s what everyone did, from the least important of them to the most important" (Jonah 3:3-5).