Jonah is a real person as attested by v.1. The Spirit refers to him as ‘the son of Amittai’ and as far as prophecies are concerned what we need know (as against the burden of Isaiah or Jeremiah) is that each of us is in ourselves a prophecy; our witnessing is in the light of the word of God . In the Gospel of Matthew we read Jesus saying,’You are the light of the world(5:14).’ We are thus drawn by the word to the Father of lights and to our Savior Lord who is qualified as the true light.
A prophet is one who chose light over darkness on the sole strength of faith. ‘Faith cometh by hearing… (Ro.10:17)’
So a prophet is not merely foretelling events as popularly understood but it includes living the Word. Consider this example from the Old Testament. Promise of God was with the Father of many nations. So God himself in a dream told Abimelech, the King of Gerar that Abraham was a prophet (Ge.20:7). Do we then need look for more proof than we are accepted in Jesus Christ as His children? Jesus has also compared us to salt, and it should convince that every one of us must work out changes in our innermost being so we do not lose the savor. Christian Living is that consistency from being born again. The quality of being living soul owed to the breath God breathed into Adam’s nostrils; likewise our soul with which we underpin our actions and how we communicate to the world must be clear and without dissimulation. The term ‘soul’ serves our purpose at the present.
God commanded Jonah in no uncertain terms to go to Nineveh but the prophet instead chose his own travel plans. God sent him to the east but he struck out to the west. Is he any different than Jesus asking us to follow him; instead how many are following mammon? Jonah’s life is a clear exposition of God’s wisdom vs. man’s wisdom. Jonah would be guided by his wisdom but what little did he realize why he chose to go his own way was his antipathy towards the great city. He would rather let God destroy it as some Sin city we all are familiar in our own time. In short Jonah still had lot of unresolved old nature not yet outed. Like little foxes they had escaped notice. It is by same rationale many servants of God build megachurches and seek fame, prosperity and it compensates their inferior and base nature. What business had Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the evangelical Liberty University to get involved with Cambridge Analytica and the scandal surrounding 2016 US presidential elections? Whosoever does not gather with the Savior scatters. Moral Majority and similar labels do not make the spirit of anti-christ go away.
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 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.
4 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.