December 19th Jonah 1
A. Jonah does wrong
Jonah runs away for the Lord
1: 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. 5: Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6: So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7: And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8: Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9: And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 10: Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. 11: Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. 12: And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13: Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 14: Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. 15: So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 16: Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. 17: Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
B. Jonah does right
Jonah prays from the fish
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. 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. 7: When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 8: They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. 9: But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. 10: And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
B. Jonah does right
Jonah goes to Nineveh
1: And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2: Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3: So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. 4: And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5: So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6: For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7: And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9: Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10: And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
A. Jonah does wrong
Jonah angry with God
1: But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2: And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3: Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 4: Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? 5: So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 6: And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. 7: But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. 8: And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9: And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10: Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
In this OT book of only four chapters Jonah to describes his unusual life and ministry. (785-760 BC). Jonah shows the extent of God’s grace. Some people think that the message of Jonah is not prophetic but obviously Jonah was a Prophet to the city of Nineveh. His Mission was a total success much to the disappointment of Jonah who felt that God would destroy the city in spite of whether the people repented. It is said that in Hebrew he preached only three words and yet the people repented from the King on his throne to the poorest person. The main characters of the story are not the fish or the city or the plant, but God and how God moves in the life of a man of God and how obedience and compassion are required of all prophets. The messages of the book are... 1. Salvation is by faith. 2. Repentance can avert judgement. 3. God sometimes gives us another chance. 4. God is good and gracious. 5. While God is the God of Israel he also is the God of the Gentiles who turn to him. 6. Sometimes preaching works. 7. God’s prophets are not always nice people.
In chapter one Jonah describes his call to be a prophet to Nineveh but Jonah takes ship to go completely in the opposite direction. He sets out for Spain. He paid his fare and set out - away from the presence of the Lord. However the Lord sent a great wind into the sea, so that the ship was likely to be broken up. The seamen were afraid and finding Jonah asleep they wake him to tell him to pray to his God. Jonah rose but did not reveal that he was the cause of the storm. The seamen decide that one of them is at fault so they cast lots to find out who it is. The lot fell on Jonah. Then they asked him what he had done. What was his job and where had he come from. He confessed it all. He said l fear the God of heaven (The name of God when speaking to Gentiles) they ask him what he had done and what they should do about it. He says throw me into the sea but they are afraid to kill him. In the end they prayed that God would forgive them and they threw him into the sea. Immediately the storm stopped. The seamen were now even more afraid and worshipped the Lord. The next thing was that the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the fish for three days and nights. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord out of the belly of the fish. His prayer is eloquent fluent and full of promise. He gets to the point in which he says salvation of the LORD. So far this is an object lesson on Israel’s relation to the Lord of their rebellion and of how the Lord will use even the most drastic means to turn them around. The fish vomited Jonah into dry land. Then we heard wonderful words. ‘The word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time’. The Lord is always prepared to give men of God and Israel who he loves, a second chance. So the Lord sends him to Nineveh and he is the most successful evangelist in history. Nineveh is a very great city and they all respond favourably to the lord and they turn to the Lord. his message is simple in Hebrew it read ’40 days’ ‘Nineveh’ ‘overthrown’. The whole city repented and sat in sackcloth and ashes and they fasted and cried desperately to the Lord and they turned away from their evil ways. God heard them and forgive them. This did not please Jonah one bit. He was furious with God. He said l knew you would do this because you are a God of great kindness, merciful and patient – now he said kill me – get it over. Then the Lord said to Jonah are you doing the right thing to be angry? Jonah went to sit on a hill to see the destruction of Nineveh. There he made a sort of arbour with a bush to protect his head from the sun. Then the Lord prepared a gourd a plant with large leaves to give him protection from the sun and it grew up quickly over him. Jonah was very glad of the bush. Then the Lord prepared a worm that ate the plant so that it withered and died. When the sun rose up hot Jonah fainted in the heat. And he said to God that it was better had he died. Then the Lord asked him why he felt sorry for the bush and angry at its withering. Then the Lord put to him this simple logic which shattered his childishness he said you have pity on this plant which grew up in a day and withered in a day but you had not thought of kindness to the people of the city of whom there are 60,000 children. Jonah like all men of God was complicated; he was rebellious, obedient, successful and childish. But the Lord loved him and went to great lengths to teach him better things.
- Why does Jonah run away?
- What does Jonah eventually do right and how successful is he?
- In what way had Jonah not got a right heart?