1 Jonah 1 vs 1-3
Introduction to Jonah (Mutiny’s Beginnings)
Opening Question - Have you ever been asked by God to do something that you did not want to do? I had that happen once when I had to welcome a boy named Mike Adams into my Sunday School Class.
– 12 Minor Prophets, Jonah is only Narrative. (Written During the Assyrian Reign (765 BC)
– Is it a Parable or Historical Fact?
4 Reasons It is Historical -
1) We know from Kings that Jonah was a real Prophet.
2) The book is closely related in form to the historical books of the OT.
3) Jesus himself refers to the story as fact (Matt 12:39-40: Luke 11:29-30) Read further Matt 12:38-45, Luke 11:24-32.
Matthew 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (NASB)
4) The details of the book are too vivid.
3 Reasons it cannot be a parable –
1) Parables are most always accompanied by an interpretation and application. (Jonah has neither)
2) Parables are applied to a specific situation and make one appropriate point (Example - Nathan to David -"you are the man" 2Sam 12:7)
3) Parables do not identify as historical, the participants in the story, as Jonah as identified.
Allegorical? – Jonah means “Dove”; The whale represents “Babylon”.
“jonah swallowed by a fish? I’ believe it if Scripture said Jonah swallowed the fish! It’ not difficult to believe if you believe in a God of miracles.” (Billy Graham)
Jonah 1:1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. (NASB)
1) The Person – Jonah (Vs. 1)
2 Kings 14:25 - He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which He spoke through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher. (NASB)
A) Son of Amittai.
B) He prophesied that the Northern Kingdom of Israel would expand.
C) From Gath-Hefer - 2 Miles north of Galilee.
2) The Place ("Arise") (Vs. 2)
A) The Assyrians – They would siege a town, destroy it, and leave inscriptions that told haw they tortured the people in those towns. They were known for leaving piles of skulls when they left an overtaken town. They flayed people alive and also buried people up to their necks and let the buzzards finish them off. (Impaled on a post, Decapitated peole) (SADDAM TODAY)
B) Ninevah - The Ninevites, who worshiped the fish god Dagon. Ninevah was built by Nimrod (Genesis 10:11). (Talk about VeggieTales) According to the historian Strabo it was far larger than Babylon. Nineveh was large and, like Babylon, was protected by an outer wall and an inner wall. The inner wall was 50 feet wide and 100 feet high. Before Jonah arrived at this seemingly impregnable fortress-city, two plagues had erupted there (in 765 and 759 b.c.) and a total eclipse of the sun occurred on June 15, 763. These were considered signs of divine anger and may help explain why the Ninevites responded so readily to Jonah’s message, around 759. Nineveh rivaled Babylon for beauty and splendor with its royal palaces, temples, broad streets, public gardens, and impressive library containing more than 26,000 clay tablets—one of the largest in the ancient world. It was destroyed in 612 b.c. by a siege of Babylonians.
Nahum 3:1-6 1.Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims! 2 The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots! 3 Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses— 4 all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft. 5 “I am against you,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame. 6 I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle. (NIV)
Illustration - It would be like God coming to you and saying I want you to go to Iraq, to the base of operations for Al-qeda, and share my love with Osama Bin Laden. (Do you have any enemies that need Jesus?)
3) The Proclamation (Vs.2)- "Cry against it" - "Announce my judgment (NLT)"
A) The Jews were to be a blessing to the whole world.
B) Jonah's response - He ran. He honestly thought he could run from God. (Christians today run from the Evangelism only 97%)
Theological Nugget - The Omnipresence of God
Psalm 139:1-18 - 1 For the choir director: A psalm of David. O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. 3 You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know! 7 I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you. 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!
Omnipresence - God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with his whole being, yet God acts differently in different places. (Grudem)
Solomon says in his prayer to God, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27). Heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain God; indeed, he cannot be contained by the largest space imaginable (cf. Isa. 66:1–2; Acts 7:48). While the thought that God is everywhere present with his whole being ought to encourage us greatly in prayer no matter where we are, the fact that no one place can be said to contain God should also discourage us from thinking that there is some special place of worship that gives people special access to God: he cannot be contained in any one place. (Grudem)
What about you? How big is your view of God? How much is He involved in your life? It’s easy to mutiny against a small, distant or impotent god. But when we start to realize just who the LORD really is, our rebellion becomes a much more serious matter.
Some of you today have been running from god for a long long time.
Illustration - Like those cop shows where people try to outrun the police.
If you are so far from God right now, I want you to know that you have come to the right place for restoration. We want to encourage you this week to restore your relationship with God, or if you have never begun a relationship with God we want to encourage you to begin one. You are in a safe place.
Illustration - Story of Kelly-Ray. She had gotten involved in drugs, drinking, going too far with her boyfriend, cursing, even making fun of Christians. Welcome Back.
Tonight in Jonah we see the beginning of Mutiny. As we follow the trail of Jonah this week we will encounter both rebellion and revival, arrogance and adventure, mercy and mutiny. We will discover together where mutiny ends, and where mercy begins.
And as we study the story of Jonah we will discover a treasure that is beyond compare in all the world. It is a treasure that I pray you will all leave here with. It is the treasure of Mutiny's end.
God has brought you here this week to speak to you. If the LORD speaks to you this week, will you flee from Him like Jonah? Or will you listen and obey?