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Jonah 1

Jonah 1

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I. Jonah was a prophet in Israel

1. Historically, Jonah was active during the time of king Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23-28). His ministry in Israel must have been marked by faithfulness and success

2. He may have been content to preach to the Israelites, but this unexpected calling was way outside his comfort zone

3. All his years of faithfulness were a thing of the past as he ran from God’s gracious but difficult call

4. He would receive God’s correction so that he would not wish God’s judgment on the Ninevites whom he hated

II. Why did Jonah try to get away from preaching judgment to Nineveh? His selfish motive is revealed in Jonah 4:2, as well as God’s declaration of compassion in 4:11

1. Nineveh was a city founded by Nimrod, recorded in Genesis 10:11-12. It corresponds to Mosul in modern day Iraq

2. It was called a “great city,” large in size as well as population

3. Assyria was a war-like state, noted for their cruelties

4. God’s judgment would come upon them if they didn’t repent of their wrongdoing

5. This time, they did repent but later generations would fall into gross wickedness and ultimately be destroyed by God in judgment. This is prophesied by Nahum, some years after Jonah

6. While God is full of mercy and willing to forgive, He is also a judge and punishes wrongdoing

7. The judgment of Nineveh is a precursor to the ultimate destruction of every person who does wrong into eternal hell, which is called the lake of fire and the outer darkness

III. God’s compassion to disobedient Jonah and the ignorant sailors should motivate us to draw near to God’s presence and to demonstrate His concern to the lost

IV. God’s compassion demonstrated in Jonah chapter 1

1. God pursues us, even in our disobedience

(a) God calls us out of our comfort zone

(b) God is sovereign over all human authority and freedom

(c) Ministry is difficult – We are faced with opposition and the obligation to be merciful

2. God pursues others, and He uses our lives and words to do it

(a) The storm was sent by God to correct Jonah’s attitude toward God and toward people who would be destroyed by their sin

(b) The sailors were caught in the storm and didn’t know how to deal with it. It was a frightening event in their lives, but it would lead them to know who the true God was

(c) Disobedience is costly

(d) The storm is a manifestation of the anger of God (Jeremiah 23:18-22)

3. God saves through the sacrifice of one man

(a) The sailors had no option but to cast Jonah overboard. One man perishes that others would be saved

(b) Their attempts to evade God’s method actually made matters worse

(c) Finally, they call out to the One True God, they trust His way rather than theirs, they’re saved, and they offer sacrifices to the One True God

(d) Jonah’s experience of being swallowed up by a large fish for three days is a sign of Jesus’ death as a sacrifice for many (Matthew 12:38-40)

4. Jesus is the greater Jonah (Matthew 8:23-27)

V. Take away

Because God is pursuing you and others through you, therefore “go” in the direction of God’s will, not against it

Speaker: Rudolph Lobo

Rudolph Lobo became a follower of the Lord Jesus while studying dentistry in Bangalore.  After joining a Bible-believing church, he developed a love for studying and teaching the Word of God.  Having graduated with an MDiv from Pastoral Training Seminary, Goa, his passion is to equip God’s people to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, to apply God’s Word to all of life, and to be His witnesses in the world.  Rudolph lives and ministers in Bangalore with his wife Rajani and two children, Ruth and Jonathan.