The Prophet Jonah was a citizen of Gath-hepher in Zebulun of Galilee and a subject of the Northern Kingdom. Jonah lived before and during the early reign of Jeroboam II. Jonah is first mentioned as being the servant of the Lord God of Israel in II Kings 14:25. This verse also records the fulfilment of a prophecy by Jonah. The son of Amittai, Jonah was the first Hebrew prophet or missionary sent to a heathen nation. In the Old Testament Book of Jonah, Jonah tells of the commission given him of the Lord, and his unwillingness to go to a Gentile city with God’s message. In verses 1-2 we read, “Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.”Jonah, a bigoted Jew believed that salvation was for the Jews, and for the Jews only. He did not believe that God’s love should extended to the heathen, a popular Jewish belief in that day. Verse 3.,tells of Jonah’s disobedience. “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” So Jonah went on a downward course as he tried to flee from the presence of the Lord. Jonah 1:4-7 “But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.” Jonah knew why the storm had came upon them but typical to human nature he didn’t confess until the lot fell on him, and he felt that circumstances were dire. Even these heathen seamen were shocked that Jonah would try to flee from the Lord. Jonah 1:12 “And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.” Not wanting to have innocent blood on their hands, the men still rowed trying to bring the ship to land. Finally, they cried to the Lord saying, ” We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life: for thou, O Lord hast done as it pleased thee.” Jonah 1:15 “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.” Jonah 1:17 “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” The Lord brought Jonah to the very point of death and to great agony to teach him that salvation is of the Lord. The Lord made Jonah an example unto us of what happens when one tries to run away from God or go against what God would have us do.In Jonah 2:1-9 Jonah prays to the Lord out of the belly of the whale.Jonah 2:10 “And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” Jonah 3:1-5 “And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” Jonah 3:10 “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”Jonah 4:1 “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.” Jonah didn’t think that the Ninevites deserved the mercy of the Lord. The very mercy Jonah had received in the belly of the whale. Jonah was angry because the Lord had mercy on the Ninevites. He had wanted the Lord to bring judgment on them because they were the enemies of Judah and Israel. Jonah 4:2 “And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” The Ninevites being forgiven pained him so much that he wanted die, this was the reason he had fled from the call the first time. It is almost unbelievable that a servant of God would feel this way. The Lord questioned Jonah about his anger and if it was right. So Jonah went out and sat on the east side of the city to see what God would do to the city. The Lord prepared a gourd that it would come up and shadow Jonah’s head and Jonah was exceedingly glad to be able the sit in the shadow of the gourd. But the next day God had a worm prepared to make the gourd wither. And when the gourd withered, the east wind blew, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah and he fainted. Then he wished again to die. And again, God questioned Jonah about his anger because of the withered gourd. And Jonah said, “I do well to be angry even unto death.” Jonah 4:10-11, says, Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? In verses 4-11 of this chapter, Jonah learns of the Divine grace and mercy of the Lord.Throughout the book of Jonah we see that however man may plan, and whatever he may attempt, it is God who is over all and working all things in such a way as to bring glory to His own name. In this Old Testament book we see actually workings in Jonah’s life that we might liken to the Holy Spirit’s working in the lives of believers today. When God’s word is not heeded, He begins to deal in a way to the fulfill His purpose and His will.