Friday, August 22

Sin Brings Storms

Friday August 22, 2008
Jonah 1-4
"But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD..." Jonah 1:3

Phoenician port in Spain (Tarshish)

Jonah was the son of the prophet Amittai of Gathhepher (a city north of Palestine). Jonah is a historical person. 2 Kings 14:25 His hometown is given, along with the name of his father, and the king he served under (Jeroboam approximately 800-780 BC).

The book of Jonah is one of the three Old Testament books most hated by Satan. Jonah (in type form), predicts the death and resurrection of Christ.

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40

The fish here is not the hero of the story, neither is it the villain. The book is not even about a fish. The fish is an incidental part of the story in Jonah, as is the gourd, the east wind, the boat, and Nineveh.

The essentials are Jehovah and Jonah – God and man!

I found it most interesting that nowhere in the original Old and New Testament language does it say a whale swallowed Jonah. The Hebrew word for fish is dag, and refers to a great sea monster.

Had He chosen, God could of used a whale!

The Princeton Theological Review (1927), tells of two incidents, one in 1758 (a sperm-whale near the Falkland Islands), and the other in 1771, in which a man was swallowed by a whale, and vomited up shortly thereafter with only minor injuries.

I have broken Jonah 1-4 into three parts;

Jonah Protesting Chapter 1
This demonstrated God’s patience.
It demonstrates the command of God – “Go” Vs.2
It demonstrates the hand of God – “Blow!” Vs.1-4
The action of the mariners – “Throw!” Vs.13-17

Jonah Praying Chapter 2
This demonstrates God’s pardon
Jonah was at the point of death – “Out of the belly of hell [sheol]” Vs.2
The backslider is often forced to wear a strange halo – “…the weeds were wrapped about my head.” Vs.5 the seaweeds dragged him back – as sin does!
Jonah mentions a scientific fact; The Bible, indeed, is the very Word of God – “…I went down to the bottoms of the mountains;” Vs.6 This was totally unknown by human resources in that day. He speaks of the mountains which rise from off the ocean floor. How did he know that, other than seeing it for himself?
Jonah renounces his sin, remembers his vow of service, and re-consecrates his life to God – Vs.8, 9 “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”
Jonah’s prayer ending is a 5-word summary of the entire Bible – Vs.9 “…Salvation is of the LORD.”
Jonah is vomited up which demonstrates God’s power over all the creatures He created. He is then vomited up on dry land by the fish – Vs.10 “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”

Jonah Preaching Chapter 3
The Warning – Vs.1-4 Nineveh was 60-miles in circumference. It could, within its walls, grow corn enough for its population of 600,000. Hanging gardens were filled with rich plants and rare animals – a picture of prosperity and indulgence!
The Mourning – Vs.5-9 this chapter record the greatest revival in all recorded history.
The Transforming – Vs.10 “…that they turned from their evil way;” God repented of the evil – that is, God changed His previously intended course of action.

Jonah Pouting Chapter 4
He lamented over a city; sitting on a hill outside Nineveh, and hoping the city would refuse his previous message and be destroyed!

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah17:9

He reluctantly acknowledges the grace, mercy, and goodness of God
God reasons with Jonah
Jonah learned under a gourd Vs.5-11 A gourd is a plant.

An interesting observation is the comparison between God speaking to Jonah, and God speaking to the fish; God repeated himself to Jonah whereas, he spoke once to the fish – and it was done!

How many times does God have to repeat Himself to me? How many times have I turned a deaf ear to His words?

I Love You,

1 comment:

Leanne said...

I thought the fact that God only had to tell the fish once yet He had to repeat himself to Jonah very convicting. Not only did it make me think about how many times God has to repeat himself for me to obey and the grace he gives me until I "get it" but how many times my dear husband has to repeat himself. How many times he hears "Just a minute", "Wait just a second", "I'll be right there." "I'll do it later" all of the creative ways I say no. and "You are less important than whatever it is that I am working on." Very convicting and alot to think about.