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The Book of Jonah

Bible Study-JOA-Chapter 2

Chapter 2__Prayer & Thanksgiving

     There’s no earthly reason why anyone should be intimated by these twelve Minor Prophets, other than somebody telling them that they’re too hard to understand and that it’s best to let someone with religious authority tell you what’s in them.

     Our Father had these books written to US, YOU and I. And do you know what the good part really is? These prophets didn’t run around telling people how important they were; they didn’t dress as though they were royalty, they didn’t demand that they be treated special.

     Nope, Obadiah walked behind his sheep every day, sometimes stepping in a warm pile of recently manufactured manure, no doubt. He simply cleaned his sandal off, as he had done a thousand times before, and kept on walking.

     He probably had a good dog that helped him keep these rascals together. That ‘ole dog kept him company for weeks on end when there was no human contact as they wandered through the desert looking for food for the sheep to eat.

     Amos was another shepherd who also tended to the Sycamore Trees. They were good, honest people, like many of us today. The Holy Spirit provided the words for them to say and they expected nothing in return.

     So, when somebody tells you that you aren’t smart enough or privileged enough to read ALL THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE, that you need to listen to them or come to THEIR church, because salvation can only be accomplished THROUGH them or their church, you tell them to go straight to hell and you go back outside and tend to your sheep.

     Jonah, verse 1.

     Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,

     Wow. All he wanted to do was get away so that our Father could not use him to preach to the Ninevites and when he jumps off this ship in the middle of a storm, he lands right inside the mouth of a huge fish. That HAS to ruin your day.

     Jonah 2:2 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.

     But while he’s inside this fish what does he do? He prays to our Father!

     Jonah 2:3 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.

     He tried to get away from serving our Father and it took a fish to snag him and stop him.

     Jonah 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

     He’s beginning to come around, he’s about to let the Holy Spirit change his heart.

     Jonah 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

     This obviously tells us that he went to the bottom and that the water was not all that deep because the weeds wrapped around his head, probably making him feel trapped.

     Jonah 2:6 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.

      This is the grave. He was brought back to life exactly as the Lord would be after His death on the cross. This is why Jesus used this example so often when explaining things to the Pharisees.

     I’m sure that there have been times when our lives have hit the bottom and we felt that things would never get better or change for the better but they do and they will. Sometimes it takes a very long time for that to happen, maybe even a lifetime?

     Just remember that 100 years compared to billions of years is nothing. If we love our Father we should be able to do that time standing on one foot! But we make each little thing in our lives so terribly important to us and we listen to other people far too often and at times it’s a real struggle to figure out exactly what’s best for us.

     Jonah 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

     Do you think that your soul might faint within you after going through something like this? Now, pay close attention to this next verse.

     Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

     Let’s reword this into today’s language: those people that listen to religious lies give up the right to expect unmerited favor from our Father.

     Where would you get religious lies? From your local church, your local preacher who teaches traditions made up by religious systems….where else? And the really sick part is that you go and search them out! You try to find them so that you can listen to them!

     "We need to find a good church to go to every Sunday".

     Been there, done that. For many years my ex-father-in-law was the pastor of a local Baptist church. I didn't care for what was taught there, by him, but try overriding the wishes of his daughter, my wife, at the time.

     "We can't go to a different church! How would that look to the congregation if the pastor's daughter wouldn't even go there!"

     Others, who don't have a personal stake in the church, may say: 

     “Hey, let’s go to that new church over at that abandoned strip mall behind Wal-Mart’s. I hear they got a pretty good gig going on over there.”

     Do you know who gives you mercy or unmerited favor and why? Jesus Christ gives you that unmerited favor because He died on the cross for the sins of all men, women and children and to receive this unmerited favor all you have to do is repent of your sins through His shed blood and it’s yours. It cost YOU nothing! It cost HIM plenty!

     And yet you turn your back on Him and go to some party that Satan is giving over at some abandoned strip mall? Yeah, that’s you. Looking for that religious high.

     Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

     Today, I will spiritually sacrifice to Him with thanksgiving. I will thank Him for sacrificing His life for mine.

     Jonah 2:10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. KJV

     Now, this wasn’t done on some deserted section of the beach where no one would see it because that would defeat the entire purpose. There had to be some Ninevites or Assyrians present when our Father caused Jonah to come out of that fish.

     Understand this as well: the Ninevites worshipped a fish god by the name of Dagon and when this particular fish vomited out a live, walking, talking human being, it took very little for these people to believe in our Lord after that.

     Let’s go to the New Testament and see how our Lord would use these events to explain to the people that He might be crucified and die a physical death but in three days and nights He would return again in a spiritual body.

     Ref: Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

     Pagans. No faith. Always needing a sign.

     Ref: Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

     A sign has already been given to you…..have you not read it?

     Ref: Matthew 12:40 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.

     I’ve done a work on the meaning of the three days and three nights and if you want a deeper understanding I would recommend that you read it. Well worth the time. Not my words but His Words.

     Ref: Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. KJV

     These few people believed on the Father after seeing Jonah come out of this whale and Jesus Christ Himself would give that opportunity to the entire world if they would just believe and follow Him.

     The whale burped, out came Jonah, and our Father picks it up from there in the next chapter.

 

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*** 14 December 2015 ***

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