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Archive for May 3rd, 2014

 For Exposition of Jonah Part 2 click HERE

Jonah and the Whale Carlo Antonio Tavella

Jonah 1:16

Establish the need: If you say you believe in God, does your attitude, action and words show this to be true?

Purpose: Don’t just fool yourself in saying everything is okay since you believe in God, but see that you have the attitude of fearing God, action of sacrifice and commitment to your words to Him.

Today’s three points:

Don’t just say you believe in God, do you fear Him? (v.16a)

Don’t just say you believe in God, do you offer sacrifice to Him? (v.16b)

Don’t just say you believe in God, do you keep your words to Him? (v.16c)

Passage:

16 Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

Background

Jews as light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6)

Jews did not do a good job of being a good testimony to the nations

Same with Jonah

Ironically, Gentiles were coming to faith here!

 

I. Don’t just say you believe in God, do you fear Him? (v.16a)

Note: This will have the biggest focus in today’s sermon because it’s the least taught concept in the churches today in general, because it’s often misunderstood and because a proper understanding of it leads to the other point.

Point: If you your belief in God mean anything, you should have the proper attitude of fear for Him.

Passage:Then the men feared the Lord greatly,”

Proof:

    1. My translation: “The men feared with a great fear
    2. Twice the word “fear” shows up
      1. Once as a verb.
      2. Once as a noun.
    3. Q: Why twice mention of fear?
      1. A: To intensify the action.
    4. This verse is the conclusion of the narrative that began in verse 4 and fuller appreciation of it must flow from the context of chapter 1.

a. Fear is a running theme in Chapters 1.

i.      The men feared the storm in verse 5.

ii.      The phrase, “The men greatly feared” is repeated twice in chapter 1, once in verse 10 and again here in verse 16 to show their fear of Yahweh.

b. The center of the narrative focuses on the fear of God

i.      Chiastic Structure of Jonah 1:4-16 [SEE POWER POINT].

  • Lord hurl wind, storm begins (1:4)
  •             Sailors pray and act (1:5ab)
  •                         Jonah outrageous act (lies down, sleeps; 15:c)
  •                                     Captain/sailors question Jonah (1:6-8)
  •                                                 Jonah speaks (1:9)
  •                                     Sailors question Jonah (1:10-11)
  •                         Jonah outrageous suggestion (1:12)
  •             Sailors act, pray (1:13-14)
  • Sailors hurl Jonah, storm ends (1:16)

 ii.      Beginning in 1:4, there are 94 words before the beginning of the speech in 1:9 (“I am a Hebrew”) and 94 words in 1:10-15 (Limburg, 48).

iii.      Q: What did Jonah say in v. 9?

A: ““He said to them, ‘I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.’””

iv.      What verse 9 reveals about God

1. Focuses on the God of the Hebrews (Bible).

2. The name of God: Yahweh.

3. Yahweh is the Creator of the sea and dry land.

4. Verse 9 emphasizes Yahweh as Creator of the Sea (Irony).

Picture: (The different kind of fear distinguished: That of terror of a lion, that of a loving father).

Practice:

i.      Ask yourself Do you fear God like the way you fear your father?

1. If not, turn to Him for salvation!

2. If so, continue to do so!

ii.      Cultivate fear of God in your life

      1. Think about all the things God has done in your life in which He pulled you through or rescue you.  Just like the sailors, how could you not then fear Him?
      2. Read the Bible often, there are things that would make you have a proper fear of Him (Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:1-11).

II. Don’t just say you believe in God, do you offer sacrifice to Him? (v.16b)

Point: If you your belief in God mean anything, you should follow through with actions that honors Him.

Passage:and they offered a sacrifice”

Proof:

1. My translation: “and they offered an offering

2. Again, twice the word “offering” shows up

a. Once as a verb.

b. Once as a noun.

3. Q: Why twice mention of offering?

A: To intensify the action.

4. The verb “offer” is literally sacrifice.  In the Qal stem in the Hebrew, it always refer to real animal sacrifice (Sasson, 139).

5. Therefore, it involves real action, works and costs!

6. What God wants is more than sacrifice: He wants obedience (Psalm 50:7-16)!

7. The principle of having faith so called without works is also addressed in the New Testament in James 2:19-20.

Picture: (Limbo; if you really believe it would make you respond)

Practice:

i.      The New Testament does teach the importance of sacrifices, though in a different form: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that [a]give thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).  Do you see your worship on Sunday morning as a sacrifice offered to God?

ii.      Sacrifice involves cost.  In what you have done in serving God, what have it costs you?

iii.      Do you spend money sacrificially for the cause of Christ?

iv.      Count the costs of what God has done for you, then go do the hard things!

      1. If not, turn to Him for salvation!
      2. If so, continue to do so!

v.      Cultivate fear of God in your life

      1. Think about all the things God has done in your life in which He pulled you through or rescue you.  Just like the sailors, how could you not then fear Him?
      2. Read the Bible often, there are things that would make you have a proper fear of Him (Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:1-11).

III. Don’t just say you believe in God, do you keep your words to Him? (v.16c)

Point: You will keep your word with God.

Passage: “and made vows.”

Proof:

Note they “made vows.

This followed their action of making a sacrifice.

Practice:

i.      Have your faith in such a way that it leads you follow God with your action.  This is possible by the grace of God.

 

CONCLUSION

We must not forget Jesus in all of this.  He also taught the concept of fearing God, but in the context of God, hell and us: Luke 12:4-5.

We are made to fear things by God.  If we don’t fear God, and become His slave the sad thing is, we will fear and become enslave everything else.  Turn to Jesus.  Sailors are great analogy for our condition.

 

NEXT: Exposition of Jonah Part 4

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