A Place Of Grace
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  • You Have My Surrender
  • Great Are You Lord
  • Our book today is not a letter rather it is a narrative (A Story)...

    When we study or even read something the genre that we are reading helps to dictate how we approach the understanding of what we are reading...
    Letters are more personal and offer insight or instruction
    Epistles are giving instruction or teaching
    Poetry is descriptive in nature and uses examples imagery (Taking us under His wings)
    ILLUSTRATE Mackenzie’s card
    Narrative is in story form (Jesus often used narrative)
    There are key characters
    Lessons taught through example or contrast
    Some narrative will also be found in historical portions (information about, but not to be duplicated)
    Jonah is a narrative book, historical in the fact that these things did occur, but not part of the historical books of the Old Testament.
    The narrative style itself is Satire… unique as we see irony and wit and humor exposing not only Jonah but Israel as well.
    It is like our story of the tortes and the hare… The rabbit should win but due to the perseverance of the tortes and the cocky attitude of the hare the tortes wins the race
    For us today, looking at Jonah may be like looking in a mirror in some areas. There are lessons to be learned
    Jonah is a prophet and grouped together with what have been called the minor prophets
    Minor pertaining to their size not significance or importance (10 Minutes to read)
    Jesus references this book in his ministry and teaching
    This differs from the other books of prophecy in that it is
    It is found in your old testament portion of the scriptures.
    The Old Testament books were written for Israel.
    That being said… they are NOT to be dismissed by us today and are pertinent for our Biblical understanding and our understanding of God and His Grace.
    I pray and hope each of you read the book of Jonah at least once if not several times this week. (Maybe even in multiple translations)
    Jonah is best and easiest to understand when you have read it in its entirety first! … with that done let’s begin to look at it in overview and a little closer having done the first part.

    Brief Overview

    God calls Jonah to Nineveh (Chapter 1)
    Jonah runs away (on a ship)
    Storm comes
    Jonah goes overboard
    Fish swallows Jonah 3 days
    Jonah prays (chapter 2)
    Jonah goes to Nineveh (Chapter 3)
    Jonah preaches
    Nineveh repents
    Jonah sulks & is angry (Chapter 4)
    God has final word

    AIM / Context:

    Author’s Intended Meaning
    Author is most likely Jonah, this book bears his name as with other prophetic books
    Audience is Israel in the time of Jereboam (a very bad king)
    We will apply this book
    Key Characters...
    Great Fish
    God… who serves as the key figure in this narrative (We will close looking at Him)

    Irony of Obedience

    A man of God… or a prophet of God
    One who is to express God’s will, His Word, and be an example
    As any Hebrew would read the narrative of Jonah, they could quickly see themselves
    God’s chosen people
    Intended to be a light to the nations Exodus 19:4-6 (Priest are mediators between man and God) Christ is now our High Priest
    Exodus 19:4–6 NASB95
    ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
    Jonah and Israel were to be that mediator between man and God… directing people around them to God!
    But Jonah flees! Go to Nineveh… NOPE the opposite to Tarshish Jonah 1:1-3
    Jonah 1:1–3 NASB95
    The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
    Jonah knew Psalm 139… You cannot flee the presence of the Lord, He is everywhere always, Omnipresent!
    Israel… Obey my voice/keep my covenant… NOPE do the opposite follow their lustful hearts, their own desires
    The ones who knew better to obey and follow God… Disobeyed and rejected His Word!
    But… Consider the irony:
    Pagan sailors … have a true repentant hearts towards God! Jonah 1:14-15
    Jonah 1:14–15 NASB95
    Then they called on the Lord and said, “We earnestly pray, O Lord, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O Lord, have done as You have pleased.” So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.
    The Fish… did as God directed, swallowed Jonah and spit him out where God wanted
    The People of Nineveh…
    These are evil, wicked, mean people. They were ruthless! Scary and very intimidating!
    No thanks to Jonah really, they repent in ashes and sackcloth, their hearts cry out to God for mercy Jonah 3: 7-9
    Jonah 3:7–9 NASB95
    He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. “But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. “Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”
    Even the cows, plant and Worm… God’s creation obeys better than His people or His prophet!
    Oh the sad day when the man or woman of God is shown up by livestock!
    What example of obedience does the world around you see?
    Well known atheist Penn Jillette (from the Penn and Teller magic show) stated this:
    “I’ve always said,” Jillette explained, “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe there is a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward. “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Jillette then offered this example to illustrate his point: “If I believed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe it, that that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point that I tackle you, and this is more important than that.”

    God’s Deliverance

    God delivers the sailors
    God delivers Jonah from the sea
    Jonah is grateful but not repentant
    Almost ask not from mercy but merit/expectant (I’m special God)
    We need to approach this deliverance like those in Nineveh or as Paul who states: 1 Timothy 1:15-16
    1 Timothy 1:15–16 NASB95
    It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
    God delivers Nineveh
    They ask based on God’s mercy not merit
    Jonah is grateful for his own deliverance BUT desires non for others (especially his enemies)

    Contradictions for Thought

    Look at what we see in this book that seems contradictory to what it should be… what do we learn from this???
    A prophet of God disobeying God
    A preacher angry with the success of his message and ministry
    By far Jonah sees initially anyway greater response to his message
    Jonah 3:4 this was his message… (5 words in Hebrew!!!)
    Jonah 3:4 NASB95
    Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
    A follower of God who is...
    More concerned with his own creature comforts
    Staying in Jerusalem, pleasing an evil king, shade from plant, wanting God with no responsibility...
    Ephesians 2:8-10 states not only our salvation but that we have a responsibility after salvation...
    Ephesians 2:8–10 NASB95
    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
    Instead of the dying souls going to hell
    Some believers care more about their plants than lost souls

    What do we learn about GOD?

    This book begins with God speaking and ends with God getting the last word
    God is rich in His GRACE
    Sailors, Nineveh, Jonah, Israel… YOU and ME
    God is COMPASSIONATE for mankind… Consider the final dialog of this book Jonah 4:9-11
    Jonah 4:9–11 NASB95
    Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.” Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”
    As God used Jonah to write this book, He made sure to get the last word. Every time Israel would read the words written by this prophet, they would have to take a long look in the mirror, and be powerfully reminded of the heart of the God they serve and follow. One who is righteous, holy, and full of compassion and grace. May we see a world around us in need of Jesus Christ and have compassion on them… especially our enemies…
    to state the question of Penn Jillette once more: “How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”
    Church… Let us not hate but love them and share, instead of fleeing may we run towards the opportunities!
      • Exodus 19:4–6NLT

      • Jonah 1:1–3NLT

      • Jonah 1:14–15NLT

      • Jonah 3:7–9NLT

      • 1 Timothy 1:15–16NLT

      • Jonah 3:4NLT

      • Ephesians 2:8–10NLT

      • Jonah 4:9–11NLT

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