Destination: Jonah 1-4
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Our forty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet will take us to the well known book of Jonah. In this book, we will see what God can do in the life of a prophet, even one who is blatantly disobedient. Despite Jonah's defiance, God strongly redirects his path and brings him to repentance through a very unique situation. By the end of the book, we will see Jonah right back where he started and bringing God glory by doing exactly what He had originally asked of him. The key chapters to review are Jonah 1-4.
DESTINATION: Jonah 1-4
Jonah is different from other prophetic books. It narrates a prophet's
story rather than focusing on his prophecies. The only verse that
summarizes his message is 3:4. The book teaches the lesson that God's
grace goes beyond the boundaries of Israel to embrace all nations.
Jonah is a historical story, and is also mentioned by Jesus—the book is a
picture of His death and resurrection.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
793 B.C. During reign of Jeroboam II, Jonah receives call to go
760 B.C. Amos becomes a prophet
722 B.C. Israel falls to Assyria
In the book of Jonah, we see a classic example of what God can do in the life
of a prophet. Jonah was told to go and preach to Nineveh, but he chose to
be disobedient and flee to Tarshish. In spite of his disobedience, God redirected
his path and brought Jonah to repentance through a unique sojourn in the
stomach of a fish. As a result, Jonah preached to Nineveh, and repentance
was the result, which brought glory to God.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Tarshish (Jon 1:3)
- Jonah Forsakes His Calling (Chap. 1)
- Jonah's flight to Tarshish (1:3)
- The storm at sea (1:4)
- Jonah is thrown overboard & swallowed by the great fish (1:11-17)
- The Deliverance of Jonah (Chap. 2)
- The prophet prays (2:1-9)
- God answers (2:10)
- God Declares His Message to Nineveh Through Jonah (Chap. 3)
- The threat of judgment (3:1-4)
- City-wide repentance (3:5-9)
- Judgment averted (3:10)
- The Displeasure of Jonah (Chap. 4)
- Jonah's complaining prayer (4:1-3)
- God's searching question (4:4)
- The lesson of the plant (4:6-11)
– Believed by many to have been a seaport or region in southern Spain.
Joppa (Jon 1:3; see Acts 9:42)
– The only natural harbor in Israel south of Acco, and probably the closest one available to the fleeing prophet.
– Capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire; population 120,000 Jon 4:11).
PEOPLE OF INTEREST:
– Son of Amittai ("true to God"). His home was in Gath Hepher in Galilee. He prophesied during the days when Assyria was threatening the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
- was believed to be at the end of the world. So, Jonah was actually trying to get as far away as possible from God's will for his life.
- means "dove."
– God may have used famines in Assyria in 765 and 759 B.C. to prepare the hearts of the Ninevites for Jonah's evangelistic ministry.
– June 15, 763 B.C. God may also have used this natural phenomenon to prepare Nineveh for Jonah's message.