If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
(Greek words can be viewed with symbol font)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
July 12, 2009
God’s Grace on a Reluctant Prophet
For the next couple of weeks I want to examine the book of Jonah, one of the most maligned books in the Scriptures. Atheists, agnostics and skeptics will often point to it with ridicule in their effort to persuade people that the Bible is just a collection of ancient myths that were morality tales for primitive people subject to belief in wild tales of supernatural events. For them, Jonah is just a whale of a story, but as we will see in our study this morning, there is no mention of a whale in the book. Such people think of themselves as sophisticated, but the reality is that they are proud fools who make their determinations based on their own limited experiences and the claims of their own priestly class of philosophers and pseudo-scientists. While they are quick to reject the miracles recorded in the Bible as ridiculous, they themselves take giant leaps of faith in believing that all that exists is the result of random processes of evolution. Their faith is in the speculations of man that are without foundation and contrary to even their own stated methodology of knowing. They claim to be reasonable, logical and scientific, yet their evolutionary tales are not observable, repeatable, or testable nor do they correlate with what is observed in the real world. Therefore they are not scientific, logical or reasonable. At least my faith is in a supernatural being that is capable of doing what He claims to have done and is backed up by first hand witnesses. If that makes me primitive, then it is to be preferred to sophisticated foolishness.
I was amazed at how many commentators take up the same line of reasoning as the skeptics and reject it as the record of historical events and instead claim the book of Jonah is an allegory or a legend, or a myth, or a moral fable or parable or prophetic didactic fiction. However, the historical truth of this Old Testament narrative is seen in its many historical and geographical statements that correspond with the ancient accounts of the size and moral corruption of that city. The mission of Jonah and his reaction to it also agrees with the historical circumstances of that time. Even the mourning of the men and cattle match the Asiatic custom of that time. Then there is also the historical accuracy of the description of the ship and its crew along with their reactions. It is also important to note that the uniform tradition of the Jews is that Jonah wrote this book and so it was accepted as prophecy into the cannon of the Old Testament. Finally, there is the fact that Jesus believed the story of Jonah to be an historical fact and cited it as such in Matthew 12, Mark 16 and Luke 11.
Jonah, whose name means “Dove,” is first mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25. We know it is the same man because he is identified there and in the book of Jonah as the son of Amittai. He was from Gath-hepher which according to Jerome was located 3 miles north of Nazareth in the land of Zebulon on the road from Sephoris to Tiberias. We also discover in 2 Kings 14 that Jonah was a prophet during the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel (793-753 B.C.) and had prophesied that God would restore the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah during Jeroboam’s reign. Those areas had been captured in earlier years and Jeroboam’s father had started the struggle to regain them from Israel’s enemies.
This morning we are going to examine the first two chapters and God’s mercy on a reluctant prophet, and then next week we will look at chapters 3 & 4 and God’s mercy on a repentant people.
Jonah’s Assignment – Jonah 1:1-2
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.”
As already noted from 2 Kings 14, Jonah is a prophet of God and prophets receive assignments from the Lord they are to then carry out. The Lord gave Jonah the specific assignment of going to a foreign land and cry out against the city of Ninevah which was the capital of Assyria and a great city both in size and importance.
It was located on the banks of the Tigris river near what is now Mosul, Iraq. Diodor records it as the greatest city of antiquity with a circumference of 480 furlongs (60 miles) and a diameter of 150 furlongs (18 ¾ miles) (Heroduotus). Its walls were reported to be 100 feet high and wide enough for 3 or 4 chariots to drive abreast. The wall was flanked with 1500 towers that were 200 ft high. The greater Nineveh area was shaped like a trapezoid and included the space between the Tigris, Khosr, Great Zab and Gasr Su rives and the mountains east of the Tigris. It is an area about 25 miles long and 15 miles wide encompassing about 378 square miles and could easily have held the 120, 000 + people mentioned in Jonah 4:11. As the capital of the Assyrian empire, Ninevah was also great in importance as the center of government, trade and commerce.
However, it was because “their wickedness has come up before Me” that the Lord was giving it His attention. This is similar to the Lord’s attention being given to Sodom and Gomorrah because of the outcry of their exceeding sin (Genesis 18:20). Assyrian cruelty had already become legendary by this time. The boasting of King Ashur-Nasirpal II graphically illustrates this. “I stormed the mountain peaks and took them. In the midst of the mighty mountains I slaughtered them; with their blood I dyed the mountain red . . . The heads of their warriors I cut off, and I formed them into a pillar over against the city . . . I flayed all the chief men who had revolted, and I covered the pillar with their skins; some I walled up within the pillar, some I impaled on stakes, and others I bound to stakes round about the pillar” (Lukenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria & Babylonia, paragraphs 447, 443). These were not nice people.
Jonah was to go there and “cry against” this city. This is the only case of a prophet actually being sent to a heathen nation to preach. The normal practice was for the prophet to give a declaration against foreign nations from their own land. Jonah would have been glad to have done that if preaching against it was all there was to it, for he would have been happy to announce and see the destruction of these wicked people that were the enemies of Israel. It would only be 20-30 years later that Assyria would conquer Israel and deport its people. However, from Jonah’s comments in chapter 4, he also knew that in preaching against the city there was the possibility that they might repent and God would show them mercy. Jonah did not want that.
Jonah’s Response – Jonah 1:3
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.
Instead of going Northeast toward Ninevah, Jonah heads in the opposite direction down to the coast and the port of Joppa on the southern border of Israel. From there he pays the fare and gets on a ship heading to Tarshish, which was the most remote of the Phoenician trading cities at that time. It was located on the southern coast of Spain near the mouth of the Baetis (Guadalquivir) river.
Some have supposed that because Jonah was seeking to flee from the “presence of the Lord” that he was an ignorant man that did not understand God’s omnipresence. That is extremely unlikely considering how well Jonah knew the Psalms, as we shall see in chapter 2. He would have known Psalm 139 and that even if he took the wings of the dawn or dwelt in the remotest part of the sea that God would be there. The particular words used here indicate that he was not fleeing from God as much as fleeing from the place where God manifested Himself and where he was God’s servant. The idea being that Jonah would not have to serve God as a prophet if he fled from Israel. Jonah would learn the hard way that his idea was false and his efforts would be futile.
People still try similar things today. God calls them to some particular ministry that for whatever reason they do not want to do, so they go the opposite direction. It could be fear. It could be selfishness. It could be like Jonah a desire for revenge instead of mercy. They may not flee physically by traveling to some other geographical location, but they will find things to do other than what God wants them to do. It could even be good things they are doing, but if it is not what God wants from them then they are in reality no different from Jonah. We have to lay aside every encumbrance to service as well as sin in order run the race God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2). Sometimes we can just get to be too busy to do what God wants. Someone sent me an acronym that described busy as Being Under Satan’s Yoke. While that was not Jonah’s specific problem, anything we do that keeps us from obeying the Lord is a problem, and we do not want to learn the hard way, as Jonah did, that God is serious about wanting us to obey and serve Him.
God’s Correction of Jonah – Jonah 1:4-17
4 And the Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. 5 Then the sailors became afraid, and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten [it] for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down, and fallen sound asleep. 6 So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps [your] god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.”
It did not take long for God to intervene into Jonah’s plans. Verse 4 is specific that it was God that “hurled a great wind” against the ship, and it did not take long for these pagan sailors to recognize that this was not a normal storm. Their first reaction of each sailor was to cry out to his god for deliverance, but none came. Their second step was to do all they could humanly do to save their own lives by casting out the cargo in order to lighten the ship and keep it from getting swamped and sinking. While all of this is going on, Jonah had fallen asleep in the hold of the ship and was oblivious to the danger they were in. The text does not say anything about why he was asleep, only that he was in a deep sleep. It is pure speculation whether he was sleeping out of despair, out of security or was just plain tired. When the captain found Jonah asleep, he did not really care why Jonah was asleep but quickly got him up and called on Jonah to pray to his god that perhaps they might not perish. Remember that the pagan idea of a god is that each one controlled or influenced only certain things. Their prayers to their gods had not been successful, so his hope was that perhaps Jonah’s God would be able to do something about it. Jonah’s God could and would, but not immediately and not in the way they expected.
7 And each man said to his mate, “Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity [has struck] us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account [has] this calamity [struck] us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
Since the storm still continued unabated, they next cast lots to determine who might be the reason for their situation. They assumed that a god caused the storm because one of them had offended Him. They were correct. They cast lots to find the guilty party, and as Proverbs 16:33 states, “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.” Jonah was revealed as the source of trouble. This resulted in a series of questions to find out who he was and why a god would be so angry with him. Essentially, it is an effort to get him to confess. The answer caused them even greater fear.
9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, “How could you do this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
Jonah revealed himself as a Hebrew because that was the name by which those of Israel were known to foreigners. His revelation of the identify of his God and the Lord’s power frightened them because this God was much more powerful than their gods. No wonder their prayers and efforts had been futile. They are also afraid because Jonah had also revealed that he was fleeing from God, so what could possibly be done to appease Him? Since they did not know the Lord God, it only made sense to them to ask Jonah what would they should do so that the sea would calm down.
11 So they said to him, “What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?”– for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy. 12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm [has come] upon you.” 13 However, the men rowed [desperately] to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming [even] stormier against them.
The situation was getting more desperate as the storm grew worse, but they did not like Jonah’s answer at all. From their perspective, they have a man that is trying to flee from God and for all they know his solution of having them through him overboard would just be the next step in his effort to flee God for which they would be in trouble with that God for murdering him. They make an even stronger effort to row to shore, but as they did so the storm and sea became worse. They were now to the point of desperation.
14 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 Thou, O Lord, hast done as Thou hast pleased.” 15 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
The sailors realized their only hope was in the God of Jonah, so they pray to Him seeking mercy in both not perishing because of God’s punishment of Jonah and in not being responsible for Jonah’s death when they cast him overboard. They have tried everything else they could think of and now recognize this was what the Lord wanted, so they pick up Jonah and throw him overboard. The sailors now have an even greater fear of the Lord because the sea suddenly stopped. They suspected the storm to be from a divine source from the beginning because of its unusual nature, then with the casting of the lot, Jonah’s claim and now the sudden ceasing of the storm when they carried out Jonah’s instruction, they have confirmation that the storm was from a very powerful God they had not known until then. They offered a sacrifice right then in worship of God and made vows to Him.
Jonah was a disobedient prophet, but God was going to use him anyway wherever he went. The circumstances were frightening, but they were just what were needed for Jonah to become a reluctant witness of God to these pagan sailors. He had not told them of the God he served previously, but God forced the confession through the lot and then demonstrated His power in both the storm and its sudden calmness. I don’t think that is how any of us want to witness for the Lord, but if we will not be witnesses for Him willingly, then beware because the Lord may bring circumstances into your life, as He did Jonah, so that you are a reluctant witness.
The sailors learned about the Lord through the circumstances brought upon them by Jonah’s disobedience. That is a good thing. Jonah would now learn about the Lord’s persistence and mercy in a most unusual way.
Jonah in the Fish – Jonah 1:17
17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights
It is this verse and the subsequent prayer and deliverance that causes the skeptics to ridicule the story of Jonah. But in reality, this aspect of the story is no more miraculous than the storm and its sudden ceasing. God created nature and He controls it any way that pleases Him to bring Himself glory.
Our text tells us that “the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah.” Note first of all that the Lord “appointed” this great fish to carry out this task and did not create the fish specifically for this task. It was an animal that was already in existence and God simply directed it to do what He wanted it to do. Second, note that this is a fish and not a whale. The Hebrew word for whale is tanik and that is not used here. It is dag in Hebrew and khtei / katei in the Greek LXX which are both words for fish.
While this seems to be beyond belief to skeptics, the reality is that there have been cases of large sea creatures swallowing people and animals whole. There are large fish that frequent the waters of the Mediterranean Sea where Jonah was cast. The cachalot or sperm whale also occurs there and is also recorded to have swallowed animals whole. Of particular interest is the story of the sailor James Bartley who was swallowed by a sperm whale in February 1891 and survived the experience when his ship mates caught the whale and found him inside the next day when they were cutting it up for processing. However, since I have already pointed out the word used here is for a fish and not a whale, that animal probably should not be considered in the case of Jonah, though it is also recorded to expell its contents on occasion as would have occurred with Jonah.
There are also records of whale sharks (Rhinodon typicus or Rhincodon typus) swallowing people and them surviving. J. Vernon McGee reports a case cited by Dr. Harry Rimmer of meeting an early 1920’s English sailor who was swallowed by a whale shark, then the shark was harpooned a couple of days later and the sailor was found inside the stomach alive. Whale sharks do not inhabit the Mediterranean Sea in the present time. I do not know if they lived there during Jonah’s day or if God may have sent one in to swallow him.
Several writers also cite the Canis carcharias and the Squalus carcharias L. as fish large enough to swallow a man. In modern taxonomy both of these fish turn out to be Carcharodon carcharias or the Great White Shark which does frequent the Mediterranean Sea. Dr. Pusey cites this shark as being up to 10,000 pounds, commonly found up to 30ft in length and that “horses have been found whole in its stomach.”
It is of course unknown exactly what kind of fish swallowed Jonah nor is it necessary to know the species God used for this. God specifically appointed a great fish to accomplish this task. The examples are given simply to point out to skeptics that similar events have occurred even in modern times.
Jonah 3:17 tells us that he spends three days and three nights in the stomach of the fish. This does not mean he had to spend a full 72 hours in the fish, but only that according to the Hebrew usage of this kind of phrasing, that at some point on the third day after being swallowed, the fish vomited Jonah up (Jonah 2:10). Jesus cited this as historical fact and said it was the sign that would be given to the adulterous generation he was dealing with that “just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39-40).
Jonah’s Prayer – Jonah 2:1-9
Some have speculated that Jonah may have died while in the fish and then was revived later. However, Jonah 2:1 plainly states “Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish,” and the psalmist make it clear that the “dead do not praise the Lord” (Psalm 115:17 – see also Psalm 6:5 & 30:9). I think any of us can understand why Jonah prayed in this situation. What else could he do? There is no record that Jonah prayed about going to Ninevah before he fled to sail to Tarshish. The sad thing is that it is easy for Christians to fall into a similar situation in that they only become serious in praying when there are no other options left for them. Jonah would have done much better if he had prayed before finding himself in the belly of a fish. We would do much better if we would be diligent in prayer before we find ourselves in very difficult circumstances, yet we must also recognize God’s hand in the circumstances to bring us to where we should have been in the first place and praise Him for it just as Jonah did.
Jonah’s prayer is given in a poetic form with a preamble in verse 2 and then three strophes. Verses 3-4 and then 5-7 describe his distress with the final stanza in verses 8-9 closing as a vow of thanksgiving. This prayer shows that Jonah was very familiar with the Psalms with every verse quoting or alluding to one or more sections of 17 various passages in the Psalms. Using the Psalms and other Scriptures as the basis for prayer is a great way to pray correctly and effectively.
Jonah’s prayer begins with of his action and the Lord’s response in a common Hebrew poetical form of two parallel thoughts. 2 “and he said, “I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; Thou didst hear my voice.” Jonah was in great distress which he describes in the second line as being in the depth of Sheol which describes the danger of death from which there appeared to be no escape. What possible hope could there be for someone entrapped in the belly of a great fish except the Lord hear his prayers and intervene. Jonah gives praise that the Lord did hear and answer.
The next two verses form the first stanza which describes his distress in greater detail. 3 “For Thou hadst cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Thy breakers and billows passed over me. 4 “So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Thy sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Thy holy temple.’ Jonah recognized that though it was the sailors that physically had cast him overboard, it was in reality the Lord God that cast him into the sea. The language then describes the plight of someone struggling to stay afloat in the middle of the sea but is caught in the current to be taken wherever it goes and being washed over by the waves and billows. Anyone that has been in the ocean or even a large lake in the midst of a storm would understand Jonah’s situation of it being nearly impossible to keep his head above water as the waves toss him about and the breakers crash over him. Again, Jonah recognizes that this is from God. All appearance is that God has rejected him, yet Jonah responds with faith that God in His grace would allow him in the future to once more come into His presence in the Temple and worship.
Our circumstances can be difficult and at times overwhelming. We can at times even feel like God has abandoned us. The missionary David Brainered described this as his “dark night of soul.” But the truth is that we can always have hope in the mercy and grace of God.
The next stanza gives further description of Jonah’s distress. 5 “Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 “I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars [was] around me forever, But Thou hast brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. 7 “While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer came to Thee, Into Thy holy temple.”
The description here is of sinking beneath the waves and descending to the bottom. Jonah recognized that he was near death with the sea weed wrapped around his head indicating that he had not yet been swallowed by the great fish. It is not clear if he went all the way to the bottom of the sea before or after being swallowed, but either way the fish swallowing him turned out to be God’s means of saving him from drowning. Just as he was fainting away, God answered his prayer and brought up his life from the pit.
Jonah was thankful for this and concludes his prayer with thanksgiving and vows. 8 “Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, 9 But I will sacrifice to Thee With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.”
Jonah contrasts the hope he had in the Lord with the false hope of those who worshiped idols. It is foolishness to trust in an idol for they cannot see, hear, or move being created things themselves instead of the creator. Jonah had a confident assurance that God who had already delivered him from death by drowning would also deliver him from the belly of the fish so that he would be able to fulfill his vows to give praise to God with his voice and offer up sacrifices in worship. Indeed, salvation is from the Lord and Him alone.
There is no doubt that being in the stomach of the fish was not a pleasant experience, yet it was still much better than the alternative which Jonah fully deserved. We need to respond as Jonah did when our circumstances become difficult and seemingly unbearable. If we are humble and look we will see and recognize the Lord’s deliverance even through difficult experiences. We do not have to enjoy or even like them in order to recognize they are much better than the alternatives and therefore give thanks to God. Proud people complain while the humble pray and praise.
Jonah’s Deliverance – Jonah 2:10
God used the fish to deliver Jonah from drowning, but the Lord also delivered Jonah from the danger of being in the belly of the fish. “Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.”
As already noted, Jonah had been in the stomach of the fish for three days and nights before he escaped from it. There are three things I want you to note from verse 10. First, the fish was commanded by the Lord to do what it did. That was true when it swallowed Jonah and it was still true when it released Jonah.
Second, the fish vomited Jonah up. This was the action of the fish, not Jonah escaping by his own means or someone cutting him out as was the case with the sailors I mentioned earlier that were swallowed by a whale or whale shark. Jonah was helpless from the time he was cast overboard until he was disgorged by the fish.
Third, Jonah was put onto dry land. Jonah had traveled east toward Tarshish, but God had the fish not only preserve Jonah’s life, but also transport him back west so that he could fulfill his assignment of preaching in Ninevah.
When God calls you to serve Him, and He does call every Christian to serve Him in some way, you have two choices. You can do it His way willingly, or you can do it His way reluctantly. If you do it willingly, you may still have difficult circumstances to endure because we are told that all who strive to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:2), but you will also know His blessings in the midst of it. You will be able to rejoice even as the apostles and prophets have done before you.
If you do it reluctantly, you will be subject to God’s chastening which will include difficult circumstances as God changes your mind to do it. In addition, you will not receive the joy of seeing God at work until your attitude also changes. Don’t be a Jonah.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times Jonah is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about Jonah’s incredible experience and his prayer for deliverance.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why do skeptics ridicule the book of Jonah? In what unbelievable things do atheists place their faith? What are some of the reasons that we can believe that the book of Jonah is an accurate historical narrative? Who was Jonah? When did he live? What did he do? What was the ancient city of Ninevah like in terms of size and importance? What was the moral character of the Assyrians? Describe them. The Lord told Jonah to “cry against” Ninevah – Why didn’t he want to do that? Why did Jonah go to Joppa? What was he hoping to escape? Where is Tarshish and why would Jonah want to go there? How do you try to flee the Lord’s commands to you? What was the source of the storm? How did the sailors determine that it had a supernatural origin? What did they do in response? By casting lots they determined that Jonah was the cause of the problems. Why did Jonah’s confession make them even more frightened? Why did they try even harder to row to shore instead of casting Jonah into the sea as he had told them to do? What made them change their minds and what did they do before they threw Jonah overboard? What happened immediately after that and what was its effect on the sailors? How had God used Jonah in the lives of these sailors? What kind of animal swallowed Jonah? Are there any other stories of men being swallowed by a sea creature and surviving? How long was Jonah in the creatures belly? What did Jesus believe about Jonah and how did He use Jonah as a sign of Himself? How does Jonah’s prayer show his familiarity with the Psalms? What was Jonah’s distress? How severe was it? What did He do about it? What was the Lord’s response? Why was being swallowed by the fish a blessing from God? What was Jonah’s response/attitude while in the fish? How will you respond to God’s commands in the future?
Sermon Notes – 7/12/2009
God’s Grace on a Reluctant Prophet – Jonah 1 & 2
Skeptics _________the story of Jonah while having _____in the even harder to believe myth of evolution
The skeptics are _____ scientific, logical or reasonable.
Jonah is presented as narrative and is _____________ in geographic and historical descriptions
Jewish tradition uniformly _________ Jonah as prophecy, and Jesus cites it as historical _____(Matt. 12).
Jonah, the son of Amittai is from Gath-hepher, is a ______during the reign of Jeroboam II (793-753 B.C.)
Jonah’s Assignment – Jonah 1:1-2
The city of Ninevah, located on the _______river (near modern Mosul, Iraq) is great in size & importance
___ mile circumference, 18 ¾ mile diameter. 378 sq. mi. Walls: 100 ft high with _____ towers 200ft high
The Assyrians were known for their ___________
Jonah was to “cry _________” Ninevah, but he knew that could result in their repentance & God’s mercy
Jonah’s Response – Jonah 1:3
Jonah took a ship going to ______________, which is located on the southern coast of Spain.
Jonah was well versed in the _________and was not fleeing God’s omnipresence, but from serving Him
People still try to ________ from serving God for various reasons
God’s Correction of Jonah – Jonah 1:4-17
God sent a ________ against Jonah’s ship which made the sailor cry out to their gods for deliverance
They cast _________ to determine who was the reason the storm. The lot fell to Jonah (Prov. 16:33)
Jonah confessed he was a __________ that feared the God made the sea and dry land that as fleeing God
The sailors were more ______, but did not want to be responsible for killing a prophet. They rowed harder
The sailors finally prayed to the _____for mercy, then obeyed Jonah’s instructions & threw him overboard
Jonah was disobedient, but God used him anyway to bring the knowledge of the Lord to the _________
Jonah in the Fish – Jonah 1:17
The Lord _________ the great fish to swallow Jonah. It was an animal already in existence that God used
This is a fish, not a ________ – which would have been a different word.
Sperm whales are recorded as having swallowing _________ and them surviving. So have Whale Sharks
Great White Sharks have been found in the Mediterranean __________________to have swallowed Jonah
Jonah is released from the fish on the __day, Jesus cites this as fact and a sign of His death & resurrection
Jonah’s Prayer – Jonah 2:1-9
Jonah prays from the ___________ of the fish – he did not die in the fish.
Jonah’s prayer quotes or alludes to 17 different passages in the ____________
Jonah was in ________and it appeared he would die, but the Lord _____and answered his prayer – verse 2
Verses 3 & 4 describe his struggle to stay ________ in the storm. He felt forsaken, but had faith anyway
Verses 5-7 describe his plummet to the ________of the sea. He continued to pray even as he was fainting
Jonah was thankful and concludes with ____________ and vows of future worship – verses 8 & 9
Jonah contrasts his hope in the __________ with the false hope of those who trust in idols
A fish swallowing him was not pleasant, but it was better than _______- & God’s means of correcting him
Jonah’s Deliverance – Jonah 2:10
The fish was ____________ by God and it obeyed
The ________ vomited Jonah up. He was neither rescued nor made his own way out
Jonah was put onto ______________ from where he could continue on to Ninevah.
You can serve God either ______________ or reluctantly, but God will accomplish His will.
If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
For comments, please e-mail Church office