The book of Jonah may be studied for many reasons, but a chief reason is for what it teaches about God's sovereignty. Sovereignty is a problem for some Christians in certain areas. There are areas in which it is not a problem, of course. For example, most of us do not have problems with God's rule in the area of natural law. Gravity is one illustration. God exercises his rule through gravity, and we do not have difficulty at this point. In fact, we are even somewhat reassured that objects conform to such laws.
The point at which we do have problems is that at which the sovereign will of God comes into opposition with a contrary human will. What happens at this point? God could crush the human will and thereby accomplish His own purpose with a ruthless hand. There are times when He has done this, as in the contest between Moses and Pharaoh. But generally God does not. So what happens in such cases? Does God give up? Does He change His mind? Or does He accomplish His purposes in some other way, perhaps indirectly? The answer is in the book of Jonah.
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