Relevant Bible Teaching "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
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Jonah 1
Jonah 1
 
 1The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,
 2"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."
 3But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
 
Jonah, a prophet of God, is told directly by God to go and preach to Nineveh (perhaps the largest city on earth at this time) to repent of its wickedness. They are to be warned of their impending doom because God has had enough of their evil deeds. Jonah’s job is simple: get up, go to Nineveh, and preach. But he disobeyed and headed as far away from Nineveh as he could get. There was no way he was going to go to Nineveh. He chose rather to go to Tarshish, and he paid a fare to get on a ship headed that way. His purpose was to flee the presence of the Lord, which obviously is impossible. Jonah’s heart was so hard that he wanted to not only get away from doing what God had told him to do, but he wanted to get away from God Himself. Yet God would not give up on Jonah. God would make it clear that He cannot be escaped.
 
 4The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.
 
The book carries a strong theme of the Lord orchestrating events purposefully for the purpose of compassionately pursuing Jonah, trying to show him enough kindness that he might repent. God’s kindness and mercy was in the storm and wind which He brought about on the sea. He never left Jonah, nor did He ever forsake him (cf. Hebrews 13:5). God used difficulty to reach out to Jonah. Many storms of life may be understood as God trying to teach us something about the condition of our hearts. These are refining means of God that demonstrate His kindness to us, though they are not fun in the process.
 
 5Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.
 
The sailors were greatly afraid, feeling as if they were going to perish. They cried out to their gods hoping for a rescue. Yet nothing happened. They tossed their precious cargo overboard in hopes of saving their ship and their lives. Jonah, throughout all of this, was in the bottom of the ship asleep. He was so content and happy to not be doing God’s will that even God’s thunderous approach couldn’t awaken him from his spiritual and physical slumber. But God wasn’t done yet. Even this stubborn and selfish heart of Jonah was worth God’s time of humbling and breaking. 
 
 6So the captain approached him and said, "How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish."
 
The captain of the ship found Jonah and awakened him. He asked him how he could possibly sleep through his own death, as it was. Yet Jonah would gladly have died only to not have to do God’s will. These unsaved men ask Jonah to call upon His God Whom they do not know and do not fear. Yet they have enough faith to believe that perhaps Jonah’s God can save them since their gods have proven worthless. They are humble and seeking help from God Whom they do not know, while Jonah is mocking the God He does know. 
 
 7Each man said to his mate, "Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us " So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
 
Apparently Jonah refuses to answer them, so they go about trying to divine who is responsible for this calamity coming upon them by casting lots. The lot, by God’s providential hand, falls to Jonah. Now they know that he is their problem, and they go to him again. 
 
 8Then they said to him, "Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?"
 9He said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land."
 10Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, "How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
 
They go to him and question him about why he might be guilty. They want to know what he does and where he is from. He tells them that he is a Hebrew who fears the one true God Who made the very sea that is about to devour them. He told them that he was running from the presence of God, and this brought great fear into the hearts of these men, though it should have done more so in Jonah’s heart. They wondered, if he knew a God Who actually revealed Himself to him, why he would despise such a God. They had heard enough to believe and fear.
 
 11So they said to him, "What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"--for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.
 12He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you."
 
Things grew more stormy and the sea became more fierce because no action had yet been taken. They asked Jonah what they could do to calm the storm. He, wanting to die and realizing that God’s discipline would follow him and leave these men alone, said to throw him into the sea. 
 
 13However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.
 14Then they called on the LORD and said, "We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased."
 
The men, however, did not want to throw him into the sea for fear of being guilty of murder. Thus, they tried to row back to land, making one last effort to preserve themselves apart from divine intervention. But they could not get back to land, for the sea was growing still worse. They called out to the true God of Israel and asked to not be held accountable for casting him into the sea, believing surely that he would die as a result. They rightly understood that God had done what He had pleased to put them in this predicament on account of Jonah.
 
 15So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.
 16Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.
 17And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
 
So they threw Jonah into the sea, and immediately the sea stopped its raging. Obviously, the sailors understood this to be a divine work, and they feared Jonah’s God. Even in Jonah’s disobedience, God worked good out of the situation for His glory, causing unbelieving, pagan men to call upon the name of the Lord and to fear His name. They even offered a sacrifice to God and make commitments to Him. Some serious faith and repentance was at work here. Yet Jonah did not perish because the Lord had compassion, appointing a fish to swallow him. God, in full control of all things, preserved Jonah’s life in the stomach of a fish where he was for three days and three nights. He did not immediately repent despite the repulsive smells and the acid likely eating at his skin. This was one stubborn man, and God knew it would take some ultra-humiliation such as being underwater in the belly of a large fish. But God wasn’t done with Jonah.
Jonah 1
 
 1The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,
 2"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."
 3But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
 
Jonah, a prophet of God, is told directly by God to go and preach to Nineveh (perhaps the largest city on earth at this time) to repent of its wickedness. They are to be warned of their impending doom because God has had enough of their evil deeds. Jonah’s job is simple: get up, go to Nineveh, and preach. But he disobeyed and headed as far away from Nineveh as he could get. There was no way he was going to go to Nineveh. He chose rather to go to Tarshish, and he paid a fare to get on a ship headed that way. His purpose was to flee the presence of the Lord, which obviously is impossible. Jonah’s heart was so hard that he wanted to not only get away from doing what God had told him to do, but he wanted to get away from God Himself. Yet God would not give up on Jonah. God would make it clear that He cannot be escaped.
 
 4The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.
 
The book carries a strong theme of the Lord orchestrating events purposefully for the purpose of compassionately pursuing Jonah, trying to show him enough kindness that he might repent. God’s kindness and mercy was in the storm and wind which He brought about on the sea. He never left Jonah, nor did He ever forsake him (cf. Hebrews 13:5). God used difficulty to reach out to Jonah. Many storms of life may be understood as God trying to teach us something about the condition of our hearts. These are refining means of God that demonstrate His kindness to us, though they are not fun in the process.
 
 5Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.
 
The sailors were greatly afraid, feeling as if they were going to perish. They cried out to their gods hoping for a rescue. Yet nothing happened. They tossed their precious cargo overboard in hopes of saving their ship and their lives. Jonah, throughout all of this, was in the bottom of the ship asleep. He was so content and happy to not be doing God’s will that even God’s thunderous approach couldn’t awaken him from his spiritual and physical slumber. But God wasn’t done yet. Even this stubborn and selfish heart of Jonah was worth God’s time of humbling and breaking. 
 
 6So the captain approached him and said, "How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish."
 
The captain of the ship found Jonah and awakened him. He asked him how he could possibly sleep through his own death, as it was. Yet Jonah would gladly have died only to not have to do God’s will. These unsaved men ask Jonah to call upon His God Whom they do not know and do not fear. Yet they have enough faith to believe that perhaps Jonah’s God can save them since their gods have proven worthless. They are humble and seeking help from God Whom they do not know, while Jonah is mocking the God He does know. 
 
 7Each man said to his mate, "Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us " So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
 
Apparently Jonah refuses to answer them, so they go about trying to divine who is responsible for this calamity coming upon them by casting lots. The lot, by God’s providential hand, falls to Jonah. Now they know that he is their problem, and they go to him again. 
 
 8Then they said to him, "Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?"
 9He said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land."
 10Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, "How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
 
They go to him and question him about why he might be guilty. They want to know what he does and where he is from. He tells them that he is a Hebrew who fears the one true God Who made the very sea that is about to devour them. He told them that he was running from the presence of God, and this brought great fear into the hearts of these men, though it should have done more so in Jonah’s heart. They wondered, if he knew a God Who actually revealed Himself to him, why he would despise such a God. They had heard enough to believe and fear.
 
 11So they said to him, "What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"--for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.
 12He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you."
 
Things grew more stormy and the sea became more fierce because no action had yet been taken. They asked Jonah what they could do to calm the storm. He, wanting to die and realizing that God’s discipline would follow him and leave these men alone, said to throw him into the sea. 
 
 13However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.
 14Then they called on the LORD and said, "We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased."
 
The men, however, did not want to throw him into the sea for fear of being guilty of murder. Thus, they tried to row back to land, making one last effort to preserve themselves apart from divine intervention. But they could not get back to land, for the sea was growing still worse. They called out to the true God of Israel and asked to not be held accountable for casting him into the sea, believing surely that he would die as a result. They rightly understood that God had done what He had pleased to put them in this predicament on account of Jonah.
 
 15So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.
 16Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.
 17And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
 
So they threw Jonah into the sea, and immediately the sea stopped its raging. Obviously, the sailors understood this to be a divine work, and they feared Jonah’s God. Even in Jonah’s disobedience, God worked good out of the situation for His glory, causing unbelieving, pagan men to call upon the name of the Lord and to fear His name. They even offered a sacrifice to God and make commitments to Him. Some serious faith and repentance was at work here. Yet Jonah did not perish because the Lord had compassion, appointing a fish to swallow him. God, in full control of all things, preserved Jonah’s life in the stomach of a fish where he was for three days and three nights. He did not immediately repent despite the repulsive smells and the acid likely eating at his skin. This was one stubborn man, and God knew it would take some ultra-humiliation such as being underwater in the belly of a large fish. But God wasn’t done with Jonah.