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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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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