Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Protesting Prophet

 Jonah 1:1-17

 

Fear of God – Scared 1:3

Jonah sinned and ran from God; the sailors were spared and came to God.

 

Verses 1-3

Jonah is referenced in 2 Kings 14:25. He prophesied during the rule of Jeroboam II, the king of Israel from 703-753 B.C. He might have been one of the youthful prophets of the school referenced regarding Elisha's service (2 Kings 2:3).

Jonah was called by God to preach to Nineveh, the main city in Assyria, the rising force of Jonah's day. Within 50 years, Nineveh would turn into the capital of the immense Assyrian Empire. Jonah does not say a lot regarding Nineveh's underhandedness, yet the prophet Nahum gives us more understanding. He says that Nineveh was at real fault for fiendish plots against God (Nahum 1:9), abuse of the vulnerable (Nahum 2:12), savagery in war (Nahum 2:12-13), prostitution, idolatry, and black magic (witchcraft) (Nahum 3:4). God advised Jonah to go to Nineveh, around 500 miles upper east of Israel, to caution of judgment and to announce that there would be benevolence and pardoning assuming that the people of Nineveh would repent.

Nineveh was a strong and underhanded city. Jonah grew up despising the Assyrians and dreading their barbarities. His contempt was so deep that he did not want them to accept God's kindness. Jonah was really apprehensive that the people would actually repent (4:2-3). Jonah's demeanor is illustrative of Israel's hesitance to impart God's affection and leniency to other people, despite the fact that this was their undeniable mission (Genesis 12:3). The Israelites, similar to Jonah, did not want non-Jews (Gentiles) to acquire God's approval.

Jonah was apprehensive. He realized that God had a particular occupation for him to do, however, he would have rather not done it. When God directs us through his Word, some of the time we run in dread, stating that God is asking a lot from us. Dread made Jonah run. In any case, running caused him problems. Eventually, he learned that it is ideal to do what God asks to begin with. Be that as it may, by then he had addressed an exorbitant cost for running. It is far superior to comply from the beginning.

 

Verses 4-7

Prior to their arrival and settling in the Promised Land, the Israelites had lived a nomadic life. They meandered from one spot to another, looking for pastures that were good for their flocks. In spite of the fact that they were not a nautical group, the area along the Mediterranean Sea and the adjoining sea powers of Phoenicia and Philistia permitted a lot of contact with ships and mariners. The ship that Jonah sailed on was presumably a huge exchanging vessel with a deck.

Jonah's noncompliance to God imperiled the existence of the ship’s crew. We have an extraordinary obligation to comply with God's Word in light of the fact that our wrongdoing and defiance will hurt others around us.

While the tempest seethed, Jonah was snoozing soundly in the ship’s hold. Indeed, even as he ran from God, he obviously did not harbor a feeling of remorse. Yet, the shortfall of culpability is not dependably a gauge of whether we are making the wisest decision. Since we can deny reality, we cannot gauge submission by our sentiments. All things considered; we should contrast what we do with God's principles for living.

The ship’s crew cast lots (like drawing straws) to track down the blameworthy individual by depending on their strange superstitious notions to offer them the response. Their framework worked, however simply because God stepped in to tell Jonah that he was unable to run from him.

 

Verses 8-12

You cannot look for God's adoration and run from him simultaneously. Jonah before long understood that regardless of where he went, he was unable to move away from God. However, before Jonah could get back to God, he needed to quit fleeing from him. We ought to ask ourselves, what has God advised us to do? Assuming that we want a greater amount of God's affection and power, we should complete the obligations that he gives us. We cannot say that we really trust in God if we decline to do what he says to do.

Jonah realized that he had rebelled and that the tempest was his shortcoming, however, he said nothing until the ship’s crew cast lots and the part fell on him (1:7). Then, at that point, he was able to give his life to save the mariners (in spite of the fact that he had done likewise for Nineveh). Jonah's disdain for the Assyrians had impacted his point of view.

 

Verses 13-17

By attempting to save Jonah's life, the pagan mariners showed more sympathy than Jonah, for Jonah would have rather not cautioned the individuals of Nineveh of the coming judgment of God. Believers ought to be embarrassed when unbelievers show more concern and empathy than they do. God wants us to be more compassionate about all of humanity, the lost and the saved.

Jonah had resisted God. While he was fleeing, he halted and submitted to God. Then, at that point, the ship’s crew started to revere God since they saw the tempest calm down. God can utilize even our missteps to help other people come to know him. It very well might be agonizing yet conceding our wrongdoings can be a strong guide to the people who do not know God. It is quite peculiar that the agnostic mariners did what the whole country of Israel would not do, implored God, and promised to serve him.

Many have attempted to rationalize this inexplicable event, yet the Bible does not portray it as a fantasy or a legend. We ought not to rationalize this supernatural occurrence as though we could single out which of the wonders in the Bible that we want to accept and which ones we do not. This sort of demeanor permits us to scrutinize any piece of the Bible, making us lose our confidence in it as God's valid and dependable Word. What Jonah experienced, foreshadowed what Christ would go through as a demonstration of his death and resurrection (Matthew 12:39-40).

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