Jonah – Part 5

This week, we’ve been looking at the OT book of Jonah. On Monday, we saw how Jonah was a prophet who was given a simple message of judgement to deliver to a hostile people – but ran away in the opposite direction. Unwittingly, he himself becomes an object lesson as he embodies Israel’s failure to live out her calling to be a light to the nations. (You probably want to read Monday’s first, if you missed it.) God gets Jonah’s attention with a violent storm, and he has himself thrown overboard to save the others aboard the ship. God sends a giant fish to rescue him, and Jonah sings a song of praise – acknowledging that God has shown him undeserved mercy and vowing to complete his mission to Nineveh. Yesterday, he did just that: and all of Nineveh repented. Although Israel isn’t responsive to the steady stream of prophets God has sent, the evil Ninevites repent after just five words from Jonah.

Scene 5: God’s heart for the nations

But the story doesn’t end there. Jonah, it turns out, isn’t overjoyed at Nineveh’s repentance and God’s forgiveness. ‘Cause it’s exactly what he was worried might happen. This merciful God of his might be… well… merciful. How bad would that be! Listen to what he says:

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Jonah – Part 4

This week, we’re looking at the OT book of Jonah. On Monday, we saw how Jonah was a prophet who was given a simple message of judgement to deliver to a hostile people – but ran away in the opposite direction. Unwittingly, he himself becomes an object lesson as he embodies Israel’s failure to live out her calling to be a light to the nations. (You probably want to read Monday’s first, if you missed it.) We then saw God send a violent storm to get Jonah’s attention. To stop the storm and save the others onboard, Jonah has himself thrown overboard. And immediately the storm stops. But God sends a giant fish to rescue Jonah, and yesterday, from within the belly of the fish, he sings a song of praise – acknowledging that God has shown him undeserved mercy and vowing to complete his mission to Nineveh.

Scene 4: Nineveh repents

So Jonah finally gets on board with God’s call, although still a little reluctantly. Having just been spat up on the beach, he heads off to Nineveh to give the message God sent him to give.

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Jonah – Part 3

This week, we’re looking at the OT book of Jonah. On Monday, we saw how Jonah was a prophet who was given a simple message of judgement to deliver to a hostile people – but ran away in the opposite direction. Unwittingly, he himself becomes an object lesson as he embodies Israel’s failure to live out her calling to be a light to the nations. (You probably want to read Monday’s first, if you missed it.) Yesterday, we saw God send a violent storm to get Jonah’s attention. To stop the storm and save the others onboard, Jonah has himself thrown overboard. And immediately the storm stops.

Scene 3: God’s rescue

Last we left Jonah he was upside down heading to the bottom of the Mediterranean. But not for long, because he’s swallowed by a giant fish. Again, if you’re following the picture books, a fish with a big smiley face. (Looking just enough not like a whale to upset the Bible trivia pedants.)

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Jonah – Part 2

This week, we’re looking at the OT book of Jonah. Yesterday, we saw how Jonah was a prophet who was given a simple message of judgement to deliver to a hostile people – but ran away in the opposite direction. Unwittingly, he himself becomes an object lesson as he embodies Israel’s failure to live out her calling to be a light to the nations. (You probably want to read yesterday’s first, if you missed it.)

Scene 2: God’s discipline

The next scene is the one made famous by many Sunday School lessons. As soon as Jonah hops on the boat to Tarshish, things start going wrong.

1:4 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

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Jonah – Part 1

May, among Australian Baptists, is “mission month” where we raise awareness and support for Global interAction, the Australian Baptist cross-cultural mission organisation. So as we kick off in May, our studies will be around the theme of mission. But now for something completely different:

The famous Monty Python fish slapping dance (see video above) encapsulates, for me, the book of Jonah. Why? Not simply because he’s swallowed by a giant fish at the end of it. But because the book of Jonah was written as one big, fishy slap in the face to Israel. A wake up call about what it means to be God’s special people. At some level at least, it’s a biting satire about how Israel had failed to live up to her calling as a light to the nations.

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