Jonah 2:1-3, 7-10
Exile is an important time, and people wonder several things.
• Is everything over?
• How did we get in exile?
• Has God deserted us?
Prophets and their messages become important now.
• Daniel’s message is about staying as God’s unique people in exile.
• Ezekiel’s message is about whether these dry bones will ever live again.
• Isaiah speaks about the hope that God is not done with the people.
• Jeremiah invites people to lament—to let go of the past to receive the new thing God is doing.
Jonah’s story is a way for Judah to retell its own story—the whole exile story.
• As Jonah had a call on his life, so, too, the people of Judah had a call on their life.
• As Jonah ran from his call, so, too, the people ran from their call.
• As Jonah was swallowed by a fish, so, too, the people were swallowed up into exile.
• As Jonah should have died in the fish, so, too, the people should have ended in exile.
• As God gave grace to Jonah and the fish spewed him out, so, too, the people were spewed back into the rubble of Jerusalem to rebuild it.
• As God was not done with Jonah, so, too, God was not done with the people of Judah.
Jonah 2:3: “You had cast me into the depths. . . . All your strong waves . . .” (CEB).
Jonah didn’t get himself into his situation by himself. God is up to something in all that happened to Jonah—even when Jonah is in the belly of the fish. God let him get into the fish’s belly as an act of grace.
Likewise, for Judah God is up to something in exile; it, too, is an act of grace.
Exile is not the last word in life.
• Sin doesn’t get the last word, but grace does.
• Evil doesn’t get the last word, but good does.
• Death doesn’t get the last word, but life does.