Luke E. Ugwueye, Ugochukwu Ngana


The objective of Jonah’s dialogue with Judaic nationalistic view of Yahweh is to widen the spiritual horizon of his co-religionists. Jonah questions their religious and racist prejudices and finally makes them aware that God cannot be the monopoly or the property of any single religion or race. Jonah makes these important prophetic points about the nature of God without ever losing his sense of humor while creating his outrageous and outlandish story with its many separate plots. One outcome of the dialogue shows that no one has the capability at any point in time to run away from or stay outside God’s presence. To be outside God’s cultic presence means to be trapped more within his structural presence. The universality of God’s presence is an incontestable certainty. Another result of the dialogue reveals that God’s powerful deeds, salvation included, cannot be limited by what is customary in human behavior and tradition. Deliverance belongs to God. Deliverance was offered to Jonah, a self-conceited unrepentant Jew, irrespective of his vain proud attitude and why would it be denied self-reflective Assyrians, non-Jews, who actually are penitently self-flagellating. The study further discovers that obedience to God is the highest currency in prophetic service. Jonah’s experience in the belly of the fish did great magic in accentuating his lesson on obedience and understanding of the universality of God to all people. Obedience to God is maturity in spirituality that engenders, amplifies and teaches universalism, as opposed to bigotry and narrow-mindedness.


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