Jonah is an incredibly familiar story to us all. It’s one that children learn early in their Sunday school classes. It’s told over and over as a reminder to not run from God when he asks us to do something. But most of the time, when we hear the story, we only hear about Jonah 1-4.
More often than not, the 5th chapter – and perhaps the most important chapter is left out. It’s hard to know what to do with a story that ends on a weird note. It’s hard to explain to children Jonah’s bad attitude in light of the Ninevites repentance.
The story of Jonah intrigues me. It’s a weird one. Who asks to be thrown into the ocean? Who, when swallowed by a large fish, finds repentance in their heart and then follows God’s plan?
It’s such a strange story.
One I often wonder why we focus on it with kids.
But really, that’s a digression from the point of this post.
Running From Mercy
Anthony J. Carter has written a new book, Running From Mercy: Jonah and the Surprising Story of God’s Unstoppable Grace. Because I’ve been fascinated by the book of Jonah for so long, I grabbed this book and dug in quickly. And this book rocked my world.
Carter walks the reader through this familiar book of Jonah. But if you think you know this story, I think you’ll still find yourself learning and understanding this book in an entirely new way.
You might find you are more like Jonah than you thought!
In the pages of this book, I found myself shocked to see so much of my broken heart reflected in Jonah. More than that though, I was able to see and understand more about God and his grace and mercy than I ever knew before.
By walking through the story of Jonah, small chunk by small chunk, Carter gives you an in depth look at how God’s grace and mercy apply when we turn our backs on God and in our rebellion turn away from Him.
Carter takes you deep into the story of Jonah, through God’s gracious pursuit of us, in a way that makes you stop and ponder as you go. I still find myself considering new things about God and his grace though I finished this book over a week ago.
This is a book that will stick with you. And one I’m betting I’ll read again and learn new things as I go!