Perhaps one of the most well-known Bible stories is Jonah and the Whale. "The book of Jonah is one of those unique Old Testament stories that easily transfers to children’s Sunday School. This has resulted in a cottage industry of Jonah-themed Bible materials for children, whether flannel board materials, coloring books and, of course, the creation of the first VeggieTales movie, which grossed $25 million in box office sales" (Professor Roger Nam)
This is one of those stories that I thought I knew, but when I read it as an adult, I found a very different story from the one I remembered. As I remembered the story, the whale (better translated as fish) was a major character. And yet, Professor Nam points out, "The book of Jonah mentions “fish” for a total of two times. “God” is used 14 times; “LORD” is used 21 times. Even “sackcloth” is mentioned three times."
As we prepare to hear the story of Jonah in worship this coming Sunday, I invite you to open your Bible and discover this story again, hearing God's word, not just the popular story we remember. You may just be surprised!