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Bible

Understanding

Made Easy

Jonah

Jonah Rebelliously Flees To Avoid Doing God’s Work

  • Jonah was a prophet of God sent to Nineveh in an attempt to get them to repent (Jonah 1:1-2) 

  • Jonah, obviously, did not obey God, because he did not want to preach to those in Nineveh

  • He tried to flee to Tarshish instead, but while on the ship, the sea was raging 

  • When it was discovered why the storm was upon them, Jonah was tossed into the sea and the sea calmed down saving the crew (Jonah 1) 

  • We know that while Jonah was in the sea, he was swallowed up by a great fish (Jonah 1)

  • By the mercy of God, the fish spit him out (Jonah 1).

Jonah Repents Of His Rebellious Behavior And Praises God For Deliverance

  • Jonah praises God for his deliverance from the perils of death (Jonah 2). 

  • Jonah shows his repentance by going to Nineveh and preaching to them. 

  • The people of Nineveh repented and God decided to have mercy on them and did not destroy them (Jonah 3). 

  • This is a lesson to the lost sinful world that does not know Jesus Christ, because we are told that in order for one to receive the forgiveness of his/her sins in the sight of God and to be saved, he/she must repent to do so (Acts 2:38; Luke 13:3, 5). 

  • This shows that more than just faith is necessary to be saved. 

  • God’s complete plan of salvation is hearing the Word of God, believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and one’s Savior, repenting of one’s sins, confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God (i.e. one’s Lord), taking on Jesus Christ in the watery grave of baptism for the forgiveness of one’s sins, and staying faithfully obedient to the Word of God until death (Romans 10:14, 17; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38; Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9,10; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Revelation 2:10). 

  • Furthermore, for the Christian that has sinned, in order to be restored to the favor of God, he/she must repent of the sin, confess the fault, and pray that God would forgive him/her (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). 

  • It is interesting to find out from an Old Testament book of the Bible, such as Jonah, that repentance is necessary to please God! 

  • God has never changed on this issue; it is true for the Old Testament folks as well as all that live under the New Testament, which includes you and me!

God Teaches Jonah About Compassion

  • Although Jonah preached the message of repentance to the people of Nineveh, he still wanted to see them destroyed by God. 

  • Through the gourd that was protecting Jonah from the sun that God caused to wither as an object lesson to Jonah, God shows him that people are important to Him even more! 

  • In other words, Jonah was more concerned about a plant, than for people! 

  • What a shame! 

  • Thus, Jonah is being taught a lesson on mercy and compassion from God (Jonah 4) (Orr, n.d.). 

  • So it is with the Christian today. 

  • We are to have compassion on the lost by not wanting to see them perish in their sins to their own eternal doom. 

  • Instead, we should have compassion on them by sharing the Gospel plan of salvation in Christ with as many that we have an opportunity to encounter. 

  • Furthermore, we should love our enemies and pray that God would not destroy them when they mistreat us as well just like Jesus did as He hung on the cross of Calvary for His own enemies. 

  • Let God decide as to whether or not to punish someone. 

  • That is His choice and His only to make (Matthew 5:44-45; Romans 12:19; Luke 23:34).

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