The Lesson from Jonah
Text: Jonah 1
During the reign of Jeroboam II, the third generation from Jehu, Israel reached the zenith of its power and influence. Let’s note some of the words of the prophets proclaiming the Word of God to the nation –
Hosea 4:6-7 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
Amos 2:6-8 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes; That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name: And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
Amos 4:1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.
Amos 6:6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
They had begun to worship their accomplishments instead of the God of the Universe! Of course we know that God eventually judged them and scattered them throughout the world. Today we want to look at another prophet of this era. One that was involved from the beginning, when they were not so powerful and prosperous. As a matter of fact, he was the one that prophesied to Jeroboam II that they would become an empire! His name was Jonah and he was God’s man for this time. He proclaimed “Thus saith the Lord”
2 Kings 14:25 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher.
Israel had become powerful. They had subdued their enemies, but they still had enemies. Among these were the Ninevites. God determined to bring judgment on this people and He called upon His prophet to deliver them the message.
I. The Commission. 1:1,2 Notice there was no condition for repentence in the message.
II. The Contempt 1:3 for –
A. The will of God. “…rose up to flee…”
(He tried to put himself in a position where he could not fulfil God’s will)
2 Chronicles 9:21
For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships
of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
The Greeks called this area the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ and they believed it was the end of the earth.
B. The souls of men.
1. Those of Nineveh.
2. Those of Israel. Those who he claimed to love.
3. Those in the ship. Jonah brought his storm into their lives!
III. The Constraint. 1:4
IV. The Consequences of rebellion 1:5-17
A. He was callous. 1:5,6
B. He was convicted. 1:7-10
C. He was cast off. 1:11-17
He did not know God was going to save him. He was resigned to die for his sin.
We need to learn the seriousness of God’s will. He intends for His people to obey. We are not to live
1. When Jonah received the command of God to go to Nineveh, he turned to go in the
a. Tarshish 1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chronicles 9:21. Most likely a city on the coast of Spain.
b. The ‘edge of the world’. Note the description of the Straits of Gibralter by the Greeks.
2. Jonah escape seem to be successful.
a. He was on the road to destruction and yet –
b. God did not seem to hinder his escape.
c. He became confident that God did not care – “and he lay, and was fast alseep”.
1. The master of the ship losts his cargo.
2. The sailors on the ship lost their nerve, feared for their lives, and lost their living.
3. The people of Nineveh were without the message of God.
4. Jonah was alseep.
How easy it is to justify ourselves in our actions – when in actually, we have left our first Love!
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