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The Book of Jonah
Bible Study-JOA-Chapter 1
Israel continued to disregard our Father and His commandments and His instructions. Yeah, they were prospering but only because the economy was good and even an idiot could probably make money in that environment.
So our Father decided that He was going to use the Assyrians to chastise His children and Jonah was commissioned to make that happen.
Now, Jonah loved his people and he did not want to see them taken into bondage and live a life that would be full of turmoil and hardship, so he decided NOT to do what our Father was telling him to do. He would simply go away, his people would continue living as they had been and life would be good.
But when our Father makes His mind up it takes a lot to change it. And He will change it if you approach Him in such a manner that befits the situation.
But here in Nineveh He’s not going to change His mind.
Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
Here comes the instructions from our Father that Jonah does not want to hear.
Jonah 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
This was the first and only time that a prophet would be sent directly to the pagan and Nineveh was a pagan city. Another part of our Father’s Plan was to humiliate Israel by having the people of Nineveh be converted by the first attempt of Jonah whereby many national prophets had spoken to Israel and all of them had been ignored.
The pagans responded to the prophet the first time; Israel has not responded after many prophets.
Jonah 1:3 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.
Gonna put his butt on a ship and be gone with the tide and the wind.
Jonah, like a lot of us, still thinks that he can make himself invisible to our Father simply by going someplace else, but what he doesn’t realize is that our Father IS ALWAYS SOMEPLACE ELSE. He’s everywhere at the same time.
It’s called OMNIPRESENCE.
Jonah 1:4 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.
Now, it’s pretty obvious that our Father can control the weather but does He control the weather today? In our daily lives?
The answer truly is an emphatic NO. The earth is not a dead planet, like the moon, it lives and breathes. Parts of it dies off while other parts regenerate and come to life again.
The changing weather patterns are simply a result of the tilting of the earth to the sun and the ever twirling high and low pressure systems, sometimes as big as the continent of the US. The air, the atmosphere, lives and breathes, it moves and undulates. At times it’s violent as different systems clash against each other and at times it is eerily calm.
I have seen the water in the Gulf of Mexico, while standing on the beach, so still and motionless that it looked like a massive mirror as far as my eye could see.
Our Father can use the weather as His tool but does He use it to affect or change the life of one individual soul? I guess the only good answer is: probably, if He decides to do so.
Jonah 1:5 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.
Jonah did not care. He went down into the bowels of the ship, laid down and fell fast asleep. Now, it didn’t say he took a snooze or that he caught a catnap or maybe rested his head for a bit…no, he fell fast asleep.
And he was willing to die for his people. He did not want these heathen pagans to find the Lord and repent of their sins because if they did the Israelites were going into bondage by the Assyrians.
Jonah 1:6 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.
What the heck are you doing sleeping, Jonah? We’re about to die and sink to the bottom of the sea…get off your butt, call your God by whatever name it is that you call Him and rectify this situation.
Jonah 1:7 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.
Now, the crew has figured out that Jonah is the reason that they’ve lost the cargo and will probably lose their lives this night if something isn’t done right now.
Jonah 1:8 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?
Lots of questions for Jonah, from the crew and we know the answers.
Jonah 1:9 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.
You’ll notice that Jonah said Hebrew and not Israelite. Why? Because Israelite was what they called themselves while they were among themselves. To the outside world they were Hebrew.
✡ Hebrew_OT:5680 `Ibriy (ib-ree'); patronymic from OT:5677; an Eberite (i.e. Hebrew) or descendant of Eber:
✡ Root Word_OT:5677 `Eber (ay'-ber); the same as OT:5676; Eber, the name of two patriarchs and four Israelites:
✡ Root Word_OT:5676 `eber (ay'-ber); from OT:5674; properly, a region across; but used only adverbially (with or without a preposition) on the opposite side (especially of the Jordan; ususally meaning the east):
✡ Root Word_OT:5674 `abar (aw-bar'); a primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literal or figurative; transitive, intransitive, intensive, causative); specifically, to cover (in copulation):
Generally, it means from across the river, the river in question being the Euphrates. The word was first used of Abram by the Canaanites because he had crossed the Euphrates River.
It can also mean someone from the East.
Jonah 1:10 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.
The cargo is lost, the boat is creaking and taking on water, the wind is howling, the crew is scared to death and, for the life of them, they cannot figure out why this man would do this to them.
Jonah 1:11 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.
Now they’re getting close to a solution.
Jonah 1:12 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.
This sounds like an excellent suggestion to Jonah because he wants to die anyway and drowning will do the job nicely.
Jonah 1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
The crew tried one more time to bring the boat to land to keep it from sinking but to no avail. It was useless.
Jonah 1:14 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.
These guys are so scared that they’re praying to Jonah’s God, our Father, and not their gods any longer!
Jonah 1:15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
So the crew says, ok, Jonah, up and over you go and as soon as they threw him overboard THE WIND QUIT BLOWING AND THE WATER BECAME CALM. Good grief. What now?
Jonah 1:16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.
What kind of sacrifice could they possibly offer at this point in time?
Jonah 1:17 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. KJV
The wind quit blowing, the water became calm and Jonah disappeared into the mouth of a great big fish.
We’re going to find out that the experiences of Jonah are a type of the Savior to come because the three days and three nights that he spent in the belly of the fish, our Lord would use that example nine times to show that He, too, would spend that amount of time in the grave.
What did He do when He was there for those three days and nights? I’ll tell you later.
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*** 13 December 2015 ***h