So three weeks ago we started a new woman's study called Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted and so far it has been great. I will tell you what the back of the book says.
They shock us; they shake us; they compel us to change. You can't escape life's interruptions, but you can change your perspective on them. Dive into the study of Jonah and discover that what you see as an interruption may truly be God's divine invitation to a life so much bigger than you can imagine.
If you have never taken a Priscilla Shirer study I really recommend that you do, she is so full of life and a pleasure to listen to.
Interruptions. They come in all sizes and shapes. All colors and shades. Good and bad. Though we wish to avoid them, every season of life seems to include a few - sometimes on either end of the same day. As we're coming up for air from the devastation of one, a fresh and exciting interruption takes our breath away, challenging us with new responsibilities, leaving us feeling inadequate and outmatched. Sometimes they make us wonder if God even cares. ~ Priscilla Shirer
Here are some things taken from http://www.ffruits.org/v03/jonah.html
The facts of the story are very simple. Jonah was commanded by God to go to the city of Nineveh and preach judgment, but Jonah ran away from God instead, and booked passage on a ship to Tarshish—an unknown city in the Mediterranean Sea. On the voyage to Tarshish, God caused a great storm on the Mediterranean Sea that caused Jonah to be cast into the sea. According to the Biblical text, Jonah drowned and even had seaweed wrapped around his head at the bottom of the sea. Yes, Jonah died in the sea! This is not only a rational and logical conclusion but a solid fact, for the Bible states unequivocally that Jonah died and descended into Sheol at the bottom of the mountains—NOT THE SEA. Sheol is the abode of the dead. The following Scripture passage confirms this sequence of events:
(Jonah 2:3-6 KJV) (3) For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. (4) Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. (5) The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. (6) I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
Verse 5 above emphatically states that the waves surrounded him and even took his life (i.e., soul) as he was in the abyss of the sea. Verse 6 clearly states that Jonah went down to Sheol at the “bottoms of the mountains” and the bars of the earth closed around him forever. JONAH WAS DEAD!
The following two verses provide some very significant details to the story:
(Jonah 2:1-2 KJV) (1) Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, (2) And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
It is very important to note that verse 1 has Jonah praying to God from the belly of the fish. This is after the three days that Jonah spent in Sheol, and Jonah has been resurrected in the fish’s belly. In Jonah’s prayer after three days, he relates in verse 2 how he cried out to God from the belly of Sheol (translated “hell”) because of his affliction, and God heard his prayer. Jonah states in the last part of verse 2:6 above “yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God”. This is an explicit statement that God brought Jonah back to life from “corruption”. The Hebrew word for “corruption” means the grave or the pit. God brought Jonah back from death.
The following passage of Scripture in Jonah is highly significant, for it shows that Jonah repented of his disobedience just before he fell unconscious and died:
(Jonah 2:7-10 NASB) (7) "While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer came to Thee, Into Thy holy temple. (8) "Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, (9) But I will sacrifice to Thee With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD."
If it were not for Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2:2-9, we would not know for sure that Jonah had died in the sea and descended into Sheol at the foot of the mountains. We would also not know that Jonah repented of his unfaithfulness just before he died. God heard Jonah’s cries up from Sheol and brought him up from the grave in the fish’s belly. At the end of Jonah’s prayer from inside the fish, God causes the fish to vomit Jonah up upon dry land.
The true Biblical facts about Jonah’s death, burial and resurrection point to an important sequence of events in the New Testament. Jonah dies because of sin, and his spirit descends into Abraham’s bosom in Sheol, where it remains for three days and three nights. His body is entombed in the grave of the great fish’s belly for the same three days and three nights. After three days and three nights, Jonah is resurrected inside the tomb, and he promptly exits the tomb when the jaws of the great fish are miraculously opened.