16th of Tamuz, 5784 | ט״ז בְּתַמּוּז תשפ״ד

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Home » Old Testament » Jonah » Lesson 5 Ch2

Lesson 5 Ch2


THE BOOK OF JONAH

Lesson 5, Chapter 2

Before we continue in Jonah chapter 2 when we examine Jonah’s Psalm or prayer of Thanksgiving that consumes the bulk of the chapter, I want to speak to you about a principle that is embedded in what we’ve studied so far in order for us to notice something not only interesting, but vitally important to our understanding of Yehoveh, God of Israel. As I have mentioned, the Book of Jonah is far more about what God is really like than what Jonah is really like. What I want to highlight, then, is the notion of the power of our sincere repentance to God when we break His moral code, thus offending Him, and then noticing how He responds to it.

One of the elements of Jonah that makes this little book so perplexing to many Bible scholars is this strange mix of how God deals with Jonah versus how God deals with Nineveh, and then Jonah’s reaction to it all. What, I think, contributes mightily to the muddle has to do with God’s decision to send Jonah to Nineveh in order to give them the opportunity to repent so that God might show these gentiles compassion and mercy; something that Jonah thought was reserved only for Israel…God’s chosen and set-apart people. But, beyond that, it seems to me that despite 5 centuries of their growing familiarity with their God, Jonah and Israel had an incomplete understanding of just how the quality of repentance actually worked, and it is reflected in their doctrines and teachings prior to the 8th century B.C. before a better understanding of it seemed to be emerging. Let me explain.

Jonah was wrestling with a fairly new doctrine in Israel that seems to have come about very late in the 9th or very early in the 8th century B.C. Before I go further with this discussion I want to give much credit to the renowned Bible scholar David Noel Freedman for his outstanding research on the subject of Jonah and repentance. The new doctrine I speak of could be named in English: “the God who repents about the evil”. In the biblical Hebrew it was called niham ‘al hara ‘a. So, how did this new theological understanding about repentance come to light? Clearly humanity does not have the capacity to understand very much about the mind of God…even though so much about His mind and perspective is written for us in the Holy Scriptures… without much passing of time in between new revelations of understanding that seem to surface at irregular intervals. Unlike the largely discredited theological notion of Dispensationalism that Darby introduced in the mid-1800’s (which much of the Church today, amazingly, still hangs on to), whereby it is God who progresses by changing the way He administers His justice…even changing the rules of the game at times in different eras…in fact the reality is that the Bible shows us that it is humans who seem to progress from era to era in our understanding God’s never-changing mindset. These profound revelations that seem to come to us suddenly and unexpectedly are probably a direct result of a perfect timing that God wills according to stages of Redemption History…a schedule that only He knows and controls… or perhaps it happens when He determines that His worshippers have had sufficient time (and usually we’re talking centuries) to really ponder God and what we know about Him thus far. So, in the 8th century an additional understanding of God seemed to emerge as it concerns the idea of repentance and divine justice.

Prior to that time, Israel’s sages and Prophets saw the emphasis of justice in God’s mind as punishment or retribution for each of humanity’s wrong doings (and especially since Mt. Sinai, as such wrong doings concerned God’s chosen, Israel). The new understanding was that repentance can be equivalent to, or has equal value with, punishment or retribution. That is, it may be possible for a sinner to escape divine retribution or the requirement to pay a penalty for their trespass, with a sufficient level of sincere repentance. Let’s take a moment to clear -up any misconception on the biblical principle of repentance. The bulk of Roman Western Christianity (which is referring to virtually all the denominations of Christianity that gentiles of the Western world are familiar with and subscribe to) go by a doctrine that explains repentance as primarily, if not purely, a change of mind (or heart) in order to receive God’s forgiveness. No change of our behavior is required for forgiveness. And, while not recommended, we can legitimately go right on living as before we knew God and His Son Yeshua as Savior, and remain united with Him in good stead and expect no reaction from God for continuing in our sinning. However, up until gentile Christianity invented this erroneous self-serving spin on the notion of repentance, it was fully understood that, biblically, to God the only way repentance was considered as sincere and acceptable was with a real tangible change in our lives…in our behavior…from bad to good. So, this means that to the Israelites of the 8th century that if one determined to change their behavior to be in tune with God’s will, then this represented their repentance, and this new behavior COULD (but did not necessarily guarantee) that God would pardon an offender without divine punishment of some sort. In the older Hebrew traditions and doctrines…prior to the very late 9th century B.C… we find a different view among the Hebrews about who gets punished because we find different thinking (a different understanding) about what it is that propels God to act in response to those who sin against Him. But what is common throughout all those eras…that is, it is an understanding that had become embedded and basic and the foundation upon which all later understanding would come…is that each person, even each nation, gets what they deserve. And God had previously set down an offense versus punishment guideline in the Torah based on the foundational principal of proportionate justice. That is, the level of punishment reflects the severity of the crime. That’s true not only in the oldest of the Holy Scriptures, but it’s also an underlying dynamic of the New Testament. As we learn, everyone must stand before the great judge to account for our actions during our lifetime.

Let’s consider an example as with the case of Sodom and Gomorrah. The people are thoroughly evil in God’s eyes (with sexual immorality as clearly the primary display of their wickedness). God debates with Abraham about those who must be punished…some or all residents of those ancient cities. No part of their bargaining session deals with repentance. That is, an opportunity for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to repent and STOP being so wicked is not offered. The only question is, how many righteous people must be in the city in order for the city to be spared? Can the righteousness of the very few righteous people perhaps override the evil of the bulk of those populations? To some extent, God goes along with Abraham’s proposal, yet nothing is mentioned about the possibility of repentance so that those 2 cities might survive.

In another case example that came several centuries after Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses pleads with God when the people of recently redeemed Israel worshipped a golden calf they had built. What process occurred to arrive at the directive God issued to Moses to have many of those calf-worshippers killed for this grave offense? Very interestingly, Moses intercedes and actually asks God to repent from what He planned on doing to Israel for their horrible evil.

CJB Exodus 32:12 Why let the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intentions that he led them out, to slaughter them in the hills and wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger! Relent! Don't bring such disaster on your people!

Moses continues by asking God, “If you are agreeable, forgive them. But if not, then wipe me out of your book.” Moses, although innocent, expressed his willingness to bear the sin of the calf-worshippers on his shoulders as a substitute. God and Moses continue to discuss what to do. God’s response is that the commandments He just recently gave them will not be broken without punishment, and that determination is His alone to make; Moses gets no say in the matter. Your job, Moses, is not to bear their punishment, it is only to point out which persons led and participated in this unforgivable sin of building and worshipping that calf, so that God inflicts their just due (death) upon them, but the innocent will not be affected along with the guilty.

The concept that repentance of the sinner just might produce a corresponding divine repentance (a change of God’s response to a trespass against Him) is really not something that Moses nor the people of His era yet understood was actually very much part of God’s eternal substance, character and mindset. The Book of Jonah, which explains a newer progressively understood truth about God and His nature, actually supports this new doctrine in Israel of reciprocal repentance: if you sincerely repent by changing your behavior, God will repent (in the sense of relenting from what He had planned to do to you). But…and this is where Jonah gets it so wrong…repentance is open to everyone…not just to the people of Israel…and this includes those hated Ninevites. If even they will hear God’s warning and act (they will repent), then they have as much right to the possibility of God’s repentance of His intentions to punish their sins harshly as does Israel. Jonah simply cannot accept this. He is opposed to this concept at every level of his being.

Here's the thing: God’s true worshippers know more…or can know more if we care to inquire… about His mind today than did Moses, or Jonah, or Paul. Much history has passed that has allowed us to ponder what we know about God (thanks to those same people I just mentioned) and to add to that understanding as we ever-so-slowly become humanly capable of absorbing it. The advent of Christ was really where this notion of ‘repentance by us can bring on God relenting of our just dues’ was fleshed out further, if not to its ultimate reality, in the form of Salvation in Yeshua. At the bottom of this truth was that despite our sincere repentance, a price…a debt…was still owed to God. The good news was that with true and lasting repentance (proven by a permanent change in our behavior), God would kick the can of retribution down the road so that all of His stored-up retribution would be placed on one person’s shoulders to bear…and it wouldn’t be on our shoulders. Those shoulders belonged to no less that God’s only begotten Son, Yeshua of Nazareth. Prior to that, it was known that a price had to be paid for forgiveness of sins and that price was paid in the form of the Sacrificial System laid down in the Torah, mainly in the Law of Moses. But, the ancient Israelites’ understanding of that system was incomplete and narrow. They viewed the Sacrificial System much like we view fines for traffic violations. That is, we certainly don’t view paying a $300 fine for speeding as “forgiveness” but rather we view it as the penalty that we must pay to our local government for our offense. It is a cost we each must bear for our lawless behavior. For the Israelites, sacrificing those countless innocent animals on the Temple altar was the “fine”…the penalty… they paid. They didn’t quite get it that it was really the poor innocent animal that gave its life that was the payment for what the guilty Israelite rightly owed to God as punishment for their offense. Yet, the Holy Scriptures, especially Prophets like Isaiah, explained the idea of an innocent sacrifice of a living creature as a substitute for the punishment we each owed to God for our sins, as opposed to it being a fine. Jesus Christ is that universal substitute, but only for those who trust in Him.

In our era, yet another new understanding about God’s mind has come about. It is that while someone else (Yeshua) did pay the price for our offenses against The Father, that doesn’t mean that we now have a get-out-of-jail-free card. We HAVE obligations if we hope to maintain that pardon we received through the punishment that Yeshua received on our behalf. The performing of our obligations to The Father is the evidence to Him of the sincerity of our repentance, and these obligations are based on our actions and behavior according to the rules and laws set down in God’s moral code: the Law of Moses.

Any new understanding of almost any kind takes time to proliferate among populations of people. Here’s a modern-times example: only in the last decade or so has the field of Quantum Physics finally become accepted as real and not some kind of voo-doo pseudo-science. The way that sub-atomic particles of the Universe operate, as explained by Quantum Physics and as opposed to the way that Classic Physics says, has actually always been so; nothing about the actual operation of the Universe has changed. But, this new understanding is only fairly recently discovered and it disputes what had been taken as immutable fact. Naturally, as humans are wont to do, only a handful of brave physicists believed what they were seeing enough to want to act upon it. The bulk of physicists denied it all because it was counter to their established scientific doctrines…it was heresy. Over time the truth of what Quantum Physics revealed became undeniable and so it has progressed from outlier (and virtual heresy in the world of science) to mainstream acceptance as fact in the world of physics.

We can, today, use Quantum Physics as a good analogy to the rise of what is typically called Hebrew Roots; a movement of God worshippers who have a new understanding of something that has always been. Those of us who have discovered these ancient truths about God have not found something that is new and progressive that has never before existed; but rather we have rediscovered something that is old and has always been so. Yet, the bulk of our brethren…followers of Jesus…still refuse to acknowledge the reality of it because it flies in the face of centuries of their doctrine. So, to them, it is heresy. We must be patient as more each day open their minds to this next step of understanding that I think is happening because we have entered the final phase of human existence as we know it. This is not something to get frustrated or to hyperventilate about; it is simply the way humans are wired, have always been wired, as we’re finding some new things about how God is wired…and has always been wired. And, as much as this new understanding is entirely to our benefit don’t ever think that our knowledge as adherents to this new understanding is now complete. There’s so much more understanding to come and we need to be open to it.

Let’s continue with our study of Jonah in chapter 2.

RE-READ JONAH CHAPTER 2 all

God uses animals from time to time to bring about miracles, or to help advance a narrative, or to help explain a purpose. Here in chapter 2 God directs a whale…or some kind of enormous fish…to intervene into the affairs of humans. In a later chapter Yehoveh will even use a simple plant.

Jonah now rests in the belly of a giant sea-creature. Swallowed alive, rather than as a punishment it is actually a means of rescue. In fact, I would argue that the relationship between Jonah being entombed in the whale for 3 days and nights and Yeshua being entombed in the ground is more than the same amount of time they shared. Both have to do with acts of resurrection, but in different ways.

Verse 3, the opening words of Jonah’s Psalm, which is a prayer of Thanksgiving, are “ Out of my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me”. By no coincidence, this is also the word-for-word opening of Psalm 120. I don’t want to be remiss in pointing out that in the original Hebrew the word “lord” (adonai) is not there; the word that is there is Yehoveh, God’s formal name. Especially considering the era, and how the pagan sailors onboard the ship that Jonah had been on, also called out to their gods, it is important to the ancient Israelite hearer or reader of the Jonah saga to be clearly informed that it was the god Yehoveh whom Jonah called out to, and who heard Jonah, and not some other god.

Jonah says that his situation is actually being in the belly of Sheol. In yet another Psalm we read this:

CJB Psalm 86:13 For your grace toward me is so great! You have rescued me from the lowest part of Sh'ol.

The ‘lowest part of Sheol’ is in the lowest circle of the Universe as the ancients envisioned it. All the dead, righteous or unrighteous, eventually wound up in Sheol. Because Sheol is said to have a belly (a metaphor), and it is parallel to the belly of the great fish (a reality), then we must understand that Jonah is not exaggerating; to his own mind he is dead (or as good as dead) and buried (entombed inside a whale). So, for a Hebrew Sheol is not only the grave in the ground, it is also the portal to a netherworld of the dead. They didn’t really make such distinction between the two things. This tells us something important: Jonah sees himself as dead. How else could he possibly have understood his situation? There is no way a human being could be swallowed by a whale and be alive and breathing inside its belly. So, he didn’t think he was really still alive; rather he was experiencing the mystery of death that still allowed for conscious thought (which is exactly as the ancients thought of existence in the netherworld). If we can grasp this, then the remainder of his Psalm of chapter 2 resonates better within us. Death is his perspective. Therefore, that he realizes that he is going to be delivered and revived is not that he is going to avoid death, but rather it is that he IS dead and is going to experience resurrection.

This scenario puts Jonah’s experience much closer to that of Yeshua’s, doesn’t it? So, for me it was surprising to realize that this point of view about death and resurrection was not the rather predictable perspective and interpretation from a Christian, but rather it is the more widespread interpretation of events by ancient Jewish scholars and Rabbis. In fact, this understanding runs counter to the teaching we read in the Book of Job.

CJB Job 7:9 Like a cloud dissolving and disappearing, so he who descends to Sh'ol won't come back up.

Here in Job, the idea is that once-dead, always-dead. The grave is a one-way street. There is no reversing the procedure and going from death back to life. Once a person dies, his circumstances change immediately to a permanent condition. But whereas Jonah speaks of a hope, Job saw none.

Back in Jonah, verse 4, Jonah says that he understands that it was God who hurled him…that is, God cast him out of the ship with violence and into the roiling sea. This was not accidental. It’s almost as though Jonah thought that it was actually God’s will that he should have drowned along with the crew but somehow he avoided it, and so now God tries again to kill him…but this time by having him literally thrown into the waters. In fact, in the next few words Jonah speaks about being engulfed by the sea waters. He invokes the words of another Prophet when he says that the billows and the waves passed over him. That is, he indeed felt the sensation of drowning and assumed that was his fate.

CJB 2 Samuel 22:5 "For death's breakers were closing over me, the floods of B'liya'al terrified me,

Verse 5 says that Jonah assumed he had been banished from God’s sight. The Hebrew word translated as banished in the CJB is garash and it means to be expelled, or forced out, or driven away. That is, it is a purposeful, if not violent, act of forced separation. This made sense to Jonah. Because of his rash and rebellious act of trying to run away from God rather than doing His will and going to Nineveh, Jonah felt his death was the logical and deserved punishment… kind of a final dismissal from the Lord’s presence in proper portion to the seriousness of his offense. Because of the beliefs in that era about death and where a dead person goes when they die (Sheol), it was assumed that certainly a dead person would never again be in the Lord’s presence. Thus, when we read this verse, for an Israelite to be cast away from God automatically included never seeing, let alone visiting, the Temple in Jerusalem again. At the end of verse 4, when Jonah says “but I will again look upon your holy Temple”, it is with the realization that what he first thought was his eternal fate, was not to be so. Further, being forever separated from God and Temple also means that worshipping Him and praising Him are no longer possible. While it may seem that his life has come to a close, permanently, with those devastating consequences that accompany death, that is not what is going to happen to him.

It’s important for us to pause and think for a few minutes about the impact of what is being said. I have mentioned in other Torah Class lessons that there exists no statement, example, and really no mention of a concept of dying and going to Heaven in the Old Testament. So, in addition to putting a lie to the common Christian belief that Jews think they are trying to work their way to Heaven by obeying God’s rules (as opposed to accepting Christ’s offer of grace to get to Heaven), nothing of that sort is true. Death, whether as a righteous God worshipper or not, brought with it generally similar results and none of it was very pleasant. What Jonah assumed was happening at his death is what Israelites generally thought from time immemorial and was still the belief right up through Christ’s day. Why? Because for the most part, everyone in the Middle East thought more or less the same thing…and they greatly feared it. This is why when Yeshua declared that there was an eternal life with God that didn’t essentially involve imprisonment underground, which also meant being apart from God…the more pleasant imprisonment in Abraham’s Bosom far superior, of course, to being sent to the highly unpleasant Place of Torments…but still being in captivity…His followers were ecstatic and thought that this was one of the most wonderful outcomes of their Messiah’s advent. Further, as you heard, even if a person was counted as righteous and placed into Abraham’s Bosom, because death was inherently unclean in ritual status, then there is no possibility of being in holy God’s presence because it would defile His perfect holiness.

Therefore, what Paul teaches (absent from the body, present with the Lord) is exactly the opposite of what Hebrews had believed to be the case in his day and going back as far as Abraham…and for the most part, still to this very day. It is hard to overstate what a truly amazing relief and hope that a follower of Yeshua was told to expect after death rather than what they had been believing. Indeed, it did remove the sting from death. On the other hand, since this hope was reserved strictly for those who trust in Him, then you can also imagine how much this belief caused a jealous or angry separation between Believers in Yeshua and all other Jews. And, this too remains to this day.

Verse 6 continues to explain the deep-sea drowning experience of Jonah. He was trapped, seaweed wrapped around him and weighing him down, unable to breath, and nothing but a liquid atmosphere of seawater all around him. Terrifying. He was dying and he knew it. We of course don’t know how long he was below the surface, or how far down he had sunk, before that great fish arrived. The following verse says that he was sinking fast, even down to the base of the mountains. The base of the mountains was, to the ancients of his day, considered as the very bottom of the ocean, and that’s what he meant by those words.

When the Psalm continues and Jonah speaks of the bars of the earth that are behind him forever, it is meant to contrast with the bars of Sheol. Therefore, because the Hebrew word is eretz, the better translation is land or soil. Land equals life above ground; Sheol equals death below ground. We don’t read in the Bible of anything about doors or bars that protect passage into or out of the realm of the land, but we do read about the “gates to Sheol” and the “gates of death” that close to imprison the departed without means of escape back to the realm of the land and the living. And, we have to take this much more literally than metaphorically because indeed this is how ancient people thought of it. Therefore, the next phrase has to be taken as probably Jonah’s happiest realization (or at least it should have been). Because for him, it means nothing less than resurrection from the dead.

In verse 7, Jonah comes face-to-face with the most outstanding of Our Lord’s so many wonderful attributes: His grace. Jonah realizes that his rescue, his “resurrection”, is going to happen, and it is going to be caused by the same God who hurled a deadly storm against him a few hours earlier. This is a great place to highlight that grace was not a New Testament creation that began with Yeshua. Grace is, and has always been, an attribute of Yehoveh and it is foundational in how He relates with mankind. But it also is important that we cease trying to characterize God (and Jesus for that matter) as having only one overriding characteristic: love. Over and over in the Bible, we see several facets of God’s nature revealed. If we want to boil it down to the most fundamental then it must be grace and wrath…opposites. Sometimes we might be able to say mercy and wrath, because grace and mercy are so closely related. Jonah is experiencing wrath, and then grace, within hours of one another. Jesus Christ, in His time on earth, came with a mission of grace. When He comes next, it will be with a mission of wrath. So, when we insist that God is love and only love, it describes a God who doesn’t exist. It also says we have a God who doesn’t hold us accountable for our behavior and choices….with the reasoning that love and accountability cannot co-exist. Yes, of course love is another of God’s great attributes, but it doesn’t negate His wrath as part of His justice.

Jonah says that as he felt his life ebbing away, his mind recalled the Lord. That is, as he is in the midst of a literal life or death struggle, when of course all of one’s focus would be on self-preservation, His mind turned to His God, Yehoveh. How often we hear of people in near-death experiences speak about their lives flashing through their minds; or remembering their parents or some such thing. While it happens in a few seconds, it feels like it is all happening in slow motion. It truly is an experience that we can call “remembering”, and I think that’s how we ought to understand what Jonah is saying here. There is another Psalm that has such a similar thought, that I think it might cement this perspective.

CJB Psalm 143:1 A psalm of David: ADONAI, hear my prayer; listen to my pleas for mercy. In your faithfulness, answer me, and in your righteousness. 2 Don't bring your servant to trial, since in your sight no one alive would be considered righteous. 3 For an enemy is pursuing me; he has crushed my life into the ground and left me to live in darkness, like those who have been long dead. 4 My spirit faints within me; my heart is appalled within me. 5 I remember the days of old, reflecting on all your deeds, thinking about the work of your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to you, I long for you like a thirsty land. (Selah) 7 Answer me quickly, ADONAI, because my spirit is fainting. Don't hide your face from me, or I'll be like those who drop down into a pit.

Jonah’s, as did David’s, mind…in the midst of imminent tragedy or even death… suddenly remembered his long experience with God and God’s revealed nature, and this gave them both hope and comfort.

Because God was pictured as living in the Temple in Jerusalem, then Jonah pictures his prayer (this Psalm) as being heard by God as He sits in that Temple. The issue is not WHERE God hears prayers, but rather it is that God is willing to hear from this rebel Prophet when, because of the size of the offense, a God with attributes other than those of Yehoveh might justifiably turn a deaf ear to Jonah’s plea. So, verse 9 offers a contrast between Yehoveh and the foolish gods others worship. That is, these other gods of men’s folly can not offer the grace and mercy of the God of Israel because that’s not their nature. Jonah, oddly enough, is showing a deep-seated loyalty to Yehoveh by means of turning to him at this desperate moment. He is responding to the attribute of God’s grace through worship and prayer. Continuing in verse 10, Jonah makes it clear that he gets it that a person receiving God’s grace cannot sit back in passivity and figure that now that he is relieved from his anxiety and danger, he can just continue on as before. If our repentance and acceptance of His grace is real, then we will continue to return thanks to Him through a newly reformed obedience, and through an ongoing attitude, and acts, of gratefulness. Therefore, Jonah is saying that not only will he give thanks now, but he will continue to give God thanks by following through with his vows, and by sacrificing as he should.

The final words of praise to God say: “Salvation belongs to Yehoveh”. In Hebrew, it is the poetic form of what we translate as salvation that he speaks. He says: “yeshu’atah”, when the usual form is “yeshu’ah”. These two terms carry the same meaning. However, Christians have the knee-jerk reaction to this as thinking of the saving kind of salvation that Christ offered; that is not the sense here. Rather, we would be better off to translate this as “deliverance”, as in rescue. What Jonah is professing is that Yehoveh is the ONLY deliverer…there is no other. There is no other god that can offer, and there is no other source of, deliverance. We must also include in this understanding that Yehoveh controls, or is in charge of, deliverance. He will decide who receives deliverance and who does not. Jonah has been offered deliverance, and he happily accepts it!

The final verse of chapter 2 leaves this poetic Psalm and returns to regular narrative prose. All the while (3 days and 3 nights) that Jonah had been thinking, sorting out, and praying the great fish had been, under God’s direction, swimming towards shore. The idea of an animal recruited by God to serve a human in a life-giving way happens a few times in the Bible, as with Elijah.

CJB 1 Kings 17:2-4 2 Then the word of ADONAI came to him: 3 "Leave here, turn to the east, and hide in Vadi K'rit near the Yarden. 4 You are to drink from the stream, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there."

In the context of the event of Jonah’s adventure, we read now that the whale spewed him out just as earlier he had swallowed him in. It is a reversal of the action. Using the word “vomited out” is not the best choice because it gives us the impression of Jonah being set on the seashore in a very nasty kind of way as he might deserve. Where he was deposited, exactly, we don’t know. It could have been right back in the same coastal area he departed from or he could have been deposited up the coast closer to where he would now go: Nineveh.

To wrap up today’s lesson I’ll say only this: Jonah deserved death, but instead he received mercy. That is exactly the position of all humanity. God offered Jonah grace and mercy but on God’s terms; not some way that Jonah was allowed to determine. This is also the way it is for all humanity. God has provided us with one way…His way… for us to avoid the eternal death that we deserve. We cannot create other options, nor wait for other possible options to suddenly appear. The Father’s way of deliverance for us is to trust in His Son, Yeshua. Our only other option is to choose death.

We’ll being Johan chapter 3 the next time we meet.