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Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

I enjoyed teaching through the book of Nahum for the last few weeks/months.

I appreciate all those who prayed, listened, read and showed support and also insights into the passage!

Below are the table of contents to the outline to the lessons!

 

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Last installment:  Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 3:15b-19

Multiply yourself like the creeping locust, Multiply yourself like the migratory locust. 16 You have made your traders more numerous than the stars of heaven— The creeping locust sheds its skin and flies away. 17 Your courtiers are like the migratory locust. Your officials are like a swarm of locusts Settling in the stone shelters on a cold day. The sun rises and they flee, And the place where they are is not known. 18 Your shepherds are sleeping, O king of Assyria; Your officers are lying down. Your people are scattered on the mountains And there is no one to gather them. 19 There is no relief for your collapse, Your wound is incurable. All who hear [j]about you Will clap their hands over you, For upon whom has your evil not come continually?

 

Purpose: We will see two prediction that shows God’s Word is true and we submit to His authority.

  • God predicts Assyria’s weakened economy (v.15b-17)
  • God predicts Assyria’s king’s demise (v.18-19)

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Nahum 312-15a

Establish the need: Have you know guys in the military that like to brag?

All your fortifications are fig trees with ripe fruit— When shaken, they fall into the eater’s mouth. 13 Behold, your people are women in your midst! The gates of your land are opened wide to your enemies; Fire consumes your gate bars. 14 Draw for yourself water for a siege! Strengthen your fortifications! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Take hold of the brick mold! 15 There fire will consume you, The sword will cut you down; It will consume you as the creeping locust consumes a crop. Multiply yourself like the creeping locust, Multiply yourself like the migratory locust.

 

Purpose: We will see two points that shows God predicting Assyria’s fall so that we believe God’s Word with what it says and submit to His authority.

  1. God predicts Assyria’s vulnerabilities (v.12-13)
  2. God mocks Assyria’s futile strength (v.14-15)

 

Context

  • Nahum 3 has five sections: A woe oracle in verses 1-7, three taunts and a dirge for the Assyrian king (Timmer, 147).
  • Two weeks ago we looked at Nahum 3:1-7 that gives us the reason why God is judging Nineveh and here this section doesn’t focus on Nineveh’s wrong but focus on Nineveh’s downfall (Timmer, 158).
  • Last week we saw Nahum 3:8-11 the taunt: Will Nineveh be far better than Thebes (Timmer, 158)?
  • Today’s passage we look at God’s taunt of Assyria’s military.

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Nahum 3:8-11

Establish the need: Will evil countries and evil leaders get away with their sins?

 

Are you better than No-amon, Which was situated by the canals of the Nile, With water surrounding her, Whose rampart was the sea, Whose wall consisted of the sea? 9 Ethiopia was her might, Egypt too, without limits. Put and Lubim were among her helpers. 10 Yet she became an exile, She went into captivity; Also her small children were smashed to pieces At the head of every street; They cast lots for her honorable men, And all her great men were bound with shackles. 11 You too will become drunk, You will be hidden. You too will search for a refuge from the enemy.

 

Purpose: We need to know three condemnation God bring against Nineveh and its result so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  1. The advantages of Thebes over Nineveh (v.8-9)
  2. Yet Thebes was destroyed (v.10)
  3. Therefore Nineveh too will fall (v.11)

 

Context

  • Nahum 3 has five sections: A woe oracle in verses 1-7, three taunts and a dirge for the Assyrian king (Timmer, 147).
  • Last week we look at Nahum 3:1-7 that gives us the reason why God is judging Nineveh and here this section doesn’t focus on Nineveh’s wrong but focus on Nineveh’s downfall (Timmer, 158).
  • The main question for the first taunt is: Will Nineveh be far better than Thebes (Timmer, 158)?
  • Nineveh here is address as “you” which in the Hebrew is a feminine singular, consistent with other parts of the book to talk about Nineveh.

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Nahum 3:1-7

Establish the need: The world is filled with stories of dark heavy sins.  Be warned, this passage we will look at involves some dark and heavy sins.  And from this we know that God condemns them and He is one day going to have a day of reckoning for those who commit vile sins.

Woe to the bloody city, completely full of lies and pillage; Her prey does not leave. 2 The sound of the whip, The sound of the roar of the wheel, Galloping horses And bounding chariots! 3 Horsemen charging, Swords flashing, spears gleaming, Many killed, a mass of corpses, And there is no end to the dead bodies— They stumble over the dead bodies! 4 All because of the many sexual acts of the prostitute, The charming one, the mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations by her sexual acts, And families by her sorceries. 5 “Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of armies; “And I will lift up your skirts over your face, And show the nations your nakedness, And the kingdoms your shame. 6 I will throw filth on you And declare you worthless, And set you up as a spectacle. 7 And it will come about that all who see you Will shrink from you and say, ‘Nineveh is devastated! Who will have sympathy for her?’ Where shall I seek comforters for you?”

 

Purpose: We need to know three condemnation God bring against Nineveh and its result so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  • Be warned God condemn Nineveh’s violation of the second table of the Ten Commandments (v.1)
  • Be warned God condemn Nineveh’s militarism (v.2-3)
  • Be warned God condemn Nineveh’s human trafficking (v.4)
  • We need to know God punishment of Nineveh and its outcome (v.5-7)

 

Context

  • Nahum 3 has five sections: A woe oracle in verses 1-7, three taunts and a dirge for the Assyrian king (Timmer, 147).
  • For this woe, there’s about equal amount of words dedicated to condemnation as to the description of God’s punishment (Timmer, 147).

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Nahum 2:11-13

Establish the need: In light of God’s enemies being described as lions, who will you turn to when God’s enemies are active?  Is there a Shepherd that can take on these lions?

11 Where is the den of the lions And the feeding place of the young lions, Where the lion, lioness, and lion’s cub went With nothing to disturb them? 12 The lion tore enough for his cubs, Killed enough prey for his lionesses, And filled his lairs with prey And his dens with torn flesh. 13 “Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of armies. “I will burn up her chariots in smoke, and a sword will devour your young lions; I will eliminate your prey from the land, and no longer will the voice of your messengers be heard.”

Purpose: We need to know three focus of God’s prophecy concerning Nineveh’s fall so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  • We need to know the elimination of Assyria is astounding news (v.11)
  • We need to know the oppression of Assyria is fierce (v.12)
  • We need to know the causation of Assyria’s fall is the Lord (v.13)

 

Review: Last week we saw three focus of God’s prophecy concerning Nineveh’s fall so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  • We need to know it is ironic to prepare for God’s attack (v.1)
  • We need to know the description of Nineveh: Before and after Fall (v.3-10)
  • We need to know the blessing for Judah with Nineveh’s Fall (v.2)

 

Context

While other portions of the book so far seems to be more direct prophecies here we see symbolic prophecies using the imagery/motif of lions.

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Nahum 2:1-10

Establish the need: If you were to have a summary nutshell of the book of Nahum this would be the passage; do you know its message?

The one who scatters has come up against you. Keep watch over the fortress, watch the road; Bind up your waist, summon all your strength. 2 For the Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob Like the splendor of Israel, Even though destroyers have laid waste to them And ruined their vines. 3 The shields of his warriors are dyed red, The warriors are dressed in scarlet, The chariots are fitted with flashing steel When he is prepared to march, And the juniper spears are brandished. 4 The chariots drive wildly in the streets, They rush around in the public squares; Their appearance is like torches, They drive back and forth like lightning flashes. 5 He remembers his officers; They stumble in their advance, They hurry to her wall, And the mantelet is set up. 6 The gates of the rivers are opened And the palace sways back and forth. 7 It is set: She is stripped, she is led away, And her slave women are sobbing like the sound of doves, Beating their breasts. 8 Though Nineveh was like a pool of water throughout her days, Yet they are fleeing; “Stop, stop,” But no one turns back. 9 Plunder the silver, Plunder the gold! For there is no end to the treasure— Wealth from every kind of desirable object. 10 She is emptied! Yes, she is desolate and waste! Hearts are melting and knees wobbling! Also trembling is in the entire body, And all their faces have become pale! 11 Where is the den of the lions And the feeding place of the young lions, Where the lion, lioness, and lion’s cub went With nothing to disturb them? 12 The lion tore enough for his cubs, Killed enough prey for his lionesses, And filled his lairs with prey And his dens with torn flesh. 13 “Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of armies. “I will burn up her chariots in smoke, and a sword will devour your young lions; I will eliminate your prey from the land, and no longer will the voice of your messengers be heard.”

 

Purpose: We need to know three focus of God’s prophecy concerning Nineveh’s fall so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  1. We need to know it is ironic to prepare for God’s attack (v.1)
  2. We need to know the description of Nineveh: Before and after Fall (v.3-10)
  3. We need to know the blessing for Judah with Nineveh’s Fall (v.2)

 

Context

Remember earlier in Nahum 1:2-8 it reveal God’s future universal judgment so here in Nahum 2:1-13 show us a historical partial manifestation of that judgment of God against an empire that mocks God (Timmer, 118-19).

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family_genealogy_a_motivation_for_christian_

Exodus 6:13-27

Establish the need: When serving and following God seems hard and there’s opposition, can God’s work in the past in your family be a fuel for obedience?

 

Nevertheless, the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron and gave them a command concerning the sons of Israel and Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt. 14 These are the heads of their fathers’ households. The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. 16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; and the length of Levi’s life was 137 years. 17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel; and the length of Kohath’s life was 133 years. 19 And the sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20 Now Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram’s life was 137 years. 21 And the sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites. 25 Now Aaron’s son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers’ households of the Levites according to their families. 26 It was the same Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their multitudes.” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the sons of Israel from Egypt; it was the same Moses and Aaron.”

 

Purpose: We need to see the five motivation fueled from thinking about God and one’s family to motivate one to follow and obey God even when it is difficult.

  1. Be motivated to obey God because God works through quirky family (v.16, 21, 24)
  2. Be motivated to obey God from past family members’ remembrance of God (v.15, 20, 22-24)
  3. Be motivated to obey God with the family’ privilege to serve God (v.16-19)
  4. Be motivated to obey God with warning of family members who rebelled against God (v.21, 24, 23, 20)
  5. Be motivated to obey God from the zeal for God from other family members (v.25)

Context

  • In the context Moses had earlier told Pharaoh to let Israel go (Exodus 5:1) and Pharaoh ordered that the Hebrews have to work harder with no straws (Exodus 5:6-9).
  • The leaders of the sons of Israel then complained to Moses and Aaron (Exodus 5:19-21) and Moses was discouraged and talked to God about it (Exodus 5:22-23).
  • So God in Exodus 6 addresses Moses.
  • At first Exodus 6:13-27 seems to stick out; why suddenly a genealogy?
  • To answer note the structure of this section.
  • Both the first verse (v.13) and last verse (v.27) mentioned about Moses having the task of bringing out the sons of Israel out of Egypt.
  • But sandwiched in between that is a genealogy (v.14-25).
  • The genealogy mentioned only three tribes of Israel: Ruben, Simeon and Levi (Garrett, 260).
  • Ruben is mentioned in verse 14 and Simeon in verse 15.
  • However for both Ruben and Simeon only the immediate sons are mentioned (Garrett, 260).
  • The focus is on the sons of Levi beginning in verse 16.
  • For Levi’s line it actually go through six generations (Garrett, 260).
  • This lineage cover that of Arron and Moses (Garrett, 260).
  • I think the genealogy inserted in here is intentional as encouragement for us to see why Moses should be obedient to God’s calling.  Thus we too must be motivated by these truths to obey God.

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Nahum 1:9-15

Establish the need: If you were to have a summary nutshell of the book of Nahum this would be the passage; do you know its message?

Whatever you devise against the Lord, He will make a complete end of it. Distress will not rise up twice. 10 Like tangled thorns, And like those who are drunken with their drink, They are consumed Like stubble completely dried up. 11 From you has gone out One who plotted evil against the Lord, A [a]wicked counselor. 12 This is what the Lord says: “Though they are at full strength and so they are many, So also they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer. 13 So now, I will break his yoke from upon you, And I will tear your shackles to pieces.” 14 The Lord has issued a command concerning you: “Your name will no longer be perpetuated. I will eliminate the carved image and the cast metal image From the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, For you are contemptible.” 15 Behold, on the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, Judah, Pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; He is eliminated completely.

Structure: The 4 address structure of this passage

  • First address to Assyria (v.9-10)
  • First address to Judah (v.11-13)
  • Second address to Assyria (v.14)
  • Second address to Judah (v.15)

Purpose: For this session we will focus only with the two addresses from God towards Judah that summarize the “good news” found in book of Nahum so that we be move to trust in Jesus for saving grace and avoid His wrath.

  • First address to Judah (v.11-13)
  • Second address to Judah (v.15)

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Last installment: Part 2: God has the power to Judge and Save
Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 1:9-15

Establish the need: If you were to have a summary nutshell of the book of Nahum this would be the passage; do you know its message?

Whatever you devise against the Lord, He will make a complete end of it. Distress will not rise up twice. 10 Like tangled thorns, And like those who are drunken with their drink, They are consumed Like stubble completely dried up. 11 From you has gone out One who plotted evil against the Lord, A [a]wicked counselor. 12 This is what the Lord says: “Though they are at full strength and so they are many, So also they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer. 13 So now, I will break his yoke from upon you, And I will tear your shackles to pieces.” 14 The Lord has issued a command concerning you: “Your name will no longer be perpetuated. I will eliminate the carved image and the cast metal image From the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, For you are contemptible.” 15 Behold, on the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, Judah, Pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; He is eliminated completely.

Structure: The 4 address structure of this passage

  • First address to Assyria (v.9-10)
  • First address to Judah (v.11-13)
  • Second address to Assyria (v.14)
  • Second address to Judah (v.15)

Purpose: For this session we will focus only with the two addresses from God towards Assyria that summarize the “bad news” found in book of Nahum so that we be move to trust in Jesus for saving grace and avoid His wrath.

  • First address to Assyria (v.9-10)
  • Second address to Assyria (v.14)

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Nahum 1:3b-8

And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. 4 In the gale and the storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet. 4 He rebukes the sea and dries it up; He dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, The blossoms of Lebanon wither. 5 Mountains quake because of Him, And the hills come apart; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world and all the inhabitants in it.  6 Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath gushes forth like fire, And the rocks are broken up by Him. 7 The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. 8 But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of [b]its site, And will pursue His enemies into darkness.

Establish the need: We saw last time God has the attributes that will make Him judge the wicked; but does He have the power to do so?

Purpose: We need to know God will one day come down to earth to give a global Judgment and still God will graciously save those who trust in Him.

  • We need to know God has the power to judge with His power over nature (v.3b-5)
  • We need to know God has the power to judge with His power over humans (v.6-8)

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Consult our introduction to the book: Survey of the Book of Nahum
Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 1:2-3a

A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and [a]wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. 3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

Establish the need: Why do God judge the nations? We need to understand who God is and His attributes.

Purpose: We need to know God will judge sin because of His attributes, five we will see here in Nahum  so that we will repent and trust in Christ to be saved.

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Note: I’m in a church retreat this weekend and will be delayed in responding.

We have spent several months going through an exposition of the book of Jonah.  Last week we finally finished our ten part series of outlines!  My prayers are that they edify God’s people and evangelize the Lost.

Here’s the table of content to the series:

Introduction to Book of Jonah

Part 1: Do you think you can run away from God?

Part 2: Are You running from God and Evangelism?

Part 3: Don’t Just Say You Believe

Part 4: A prayer responding to God’s Grace Part 1

Part 5: A prayer responding to God’s Grace Part 2

Part 6: Did Jonah Repented?

Part 7: Parallel of Jonah and Peter

Part 8: How do you respond to God’s mercy?

Part 9: Compassion in Evangelism

Part 10: Jonah and the Rest of the Bible

 

Jonah and the Whale Carlo Antonio Tavella

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For Exposition of Jonah Part 9 click HERE

The-Storm-on-the-Sea-of-Galilee-Rembrandts-painting

Selected Scriptures

Establish the need: When you read a book in the Bible do you think of how it fits with the rest of Bible?  Does other books in the Bible fill in more details about Jonah itself, and something important in our lives as a result of it?

We will look at how Jonah relates to the rest of the Bible, and bring out four lessons for our lives today as a result of it.

 (1) A lesson for us in seeing Jonah as it relates to the rest of the Bible is be careful of using God’s truth in the wrong way (Exodus 34:6-7; Jonah 4:2)

 (2) A lesson for us in seeing Jonah as it relates to the rest of the Bible is realize Nineveh really repented and so should we (Matthew 12:38-41)

 (3) A lesson for us in seeing Jonah as it relates to the rest of the Bible is to realize that we need to respond to one’s greater than Jonah that’s here (Matthew 12:41b; Matthew 8:23-27)

 I. A lesson for us in seeing Jonah as it relates to the rest of the Bible is be careful of using God’s truth in the wrong way (Exodus 34:6-7; Jonah 4:2)

Point: Jonah knew His Bible well..but did not use these truths to do the right thing but do the wrong thing instead.

Passage:

i.      “He prayed to the Lord and said, “Please Lord, was not this [a]what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore [b]in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.”(Jonah 4:2)

ii.      “Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and [a]truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (Exodus 34:6-7)

Proof

i.      How did Jonah know these five attributes about God?

      1. Experienced it in being spared himself in Jonah 2.
      2. But note that Jonah in 4:2 is a complaint that Jonah had about God before Jonah 2, when he was back home.
      3. Q: How did Jonah know that God was all these things?

A: Exodus 34:6-7.

ii.      Four attributes of God are mentioned in Exodus 34:6-7.

iii.      Last one, “one who relents concerning calamity” is derived from the context of Exodus 34:6-7 earlier in Exodus 33 of Israel’s sin bringing calamity (v. 1-3), Moses petition (v.12-23) and favor shown (Exodus 34:1-5).

Practice

i.      Watch out for these things

      1. Do you get angry with someone but then use something else (theological excuse) to cover it up?
      2. (Divorce passage in 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 and how people can make their spouse life so miserable that they want to divorce them)
      3. You just use theology to say you are better than someone.
      4. You don’t want to share the gospel to someone so that they can go to hell.
      5. Say “obey me” because I have power for power sake.

ii.      Guard yourself from doing this by:

      1. Being accountable to others.
      2. Also, study more of the Bible’s context and larger context.

 

II. A lesson for us in seeing Jonah as it relates to the rest of the Bible is realize Nineveh really repented and so should we (Matthew 12:38-41)

Point: Don’t just think about Nineveh: Think about yourself and your soul if you have not trusted in Jesus Christ yet.

Passage: “38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a [ak]sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “ An evil and adulterous generation craves for a [al]sign; and yet no [am]sign will be given to it but the [an]sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41  The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”(Matthew 12:38-41)

Proof

i.      Have you been hearing this series on Jonah just for intellectual knowledge?  Well Jesus makes it very personal and applied it to his hearers.

ii.      The scribes and Phariees asked for a sign (v.38), but recall earlier they are suppressing the evidence even to the point of saying He’s satanic (Matthew 12:22-24)

iii.      Thus Jesus’ response with condemnation in v.39.

iv.      Jesus’ sign was prophecy (v.40).

v.      Jesus revealed that Nineveh repented and brought up the fact that that generation will condemn the current generation.

vi.      Jesus is even greater and we need to respond appropriately!

Practice

i.      What have you done with Jesus in your life?

ii.      Will you those that Nineveh condemn also as well for not repenting and turning to Jesus?

 

III. A lesson for us in seeing Jonah as it relates to the rest of the Bible is to realize that we need to respond to one’s greater than Jonah that’s here (Matthew 12:41b; Matthew 8:23-27)

Point: We often read our Bible and make heroes into the character we read about.  I think Jonah it’s hard to do that.  Moreover I think Jonah points to Jesus—in a negative contrast kind of way.

Passage:

i.      41  The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”(Matthew 12:41)

ii.      “When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose [a]a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “ Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He *said to them, “Why are you [b]afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and [c]it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”(Matthew 8:23-27)

Proof

i.      Note end of Matthew 12:41, “; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

      1. Of course, this is a reference to Jesus.
      2. Of course to the Scribes and Pharisees they do not believe it.
      3. But for Jesus’ disciples these words must have meant something and probably echo an earlier event before we see what is going on here: Matthew 8:23-27.

ii.      The parallel with Jonah and Jesus:

      1. Both episodes involve a man of God.
      2. Both episodes involve being in a vessel: “When He got into the boat” (Matthew 8:23a)
      3. Both episodes involve a vessel sailing the opposite direction (Youngblood, Location 1724).
      4. Both episodes involve a man of God that has others being in the vessel with him as well: “His disciples followed Him.” (Matthew 8:23b)
      5. Both episodes involves being at sea. “on the sea” (Matthew 8:24a)
      6. Both episodes involve a “big storm”: “And behold, there arose [a]a great storm on the sea,” (Matthew 8:24a)
      7. Both episodes involve the vessel being threatened: “so that the boat was being covered with the waves,” (Matthew 8:24b)
      8. Both episodes involve the man of God sleeping during the storm: “but Jesus Himself was asleep.” (Matthew 8:24c)
      9. Both episodes involve the man of God being waken up: “but Jesus Himself was asleep.” (Matthew 8:25)
      10. Both episodes involve terrified men: “And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “ Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” (Matthew 8:25)
      11. Both episodes involve the storm miraculously stopped: “He *said to them, “Why are you [b]afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and [c]it became perfectly calm.” (Matthew 8:26)
      12. Both episodes involve the response of fear and awe: “The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:27)

iii.      But what is the differences between Jesus and Jonah?  A Great difference!

Practice

i.      Do you respond in awe of God?

ii.      Does your life of holiness reflect it?

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For Exposition of Jonah Part 8 click HERE

Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Jonah 4

(Note: This is a long exposition but I think it’s worth reading)

Establish the need: Are you not sharing your faith with others? Are you not excited to hear someone coming to salvation with God?  Or do you do share your faith—but grudgingly?  In summary: Do you have compassion for evangelism?

Main Point: Explore the three S in Jonah chapter 4, so that you would have the compassion for evangelism.

  • Watch for the Symptoms of the lack of compassion for evangelism (v.1-5)
  • See the Sovereign lesson for compassion in evangelism (v.6-8)
  • Understand the So-Much-More Argument for compassion in evangelism (v.9-11)

Context:Nineveh has just repented from their sins in chapter three where they sought God for mercy.  God was merciful and did not bring about judgment of sin.  This narrative focuses on God’s dealing with Jonah, a transition from God dealing with Nineveh.

 

I. Watch for the Symptoms of the lack of compassion for evangelism (v.1-5)

Passage:But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “Please Lord, was not this [a]what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore [b]in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my [c]life from me, for death is better to me than life.” The Lord said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?”Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of [d]it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.”

Proof:

i.      You have anger (v.1)

      1. Nineveh repents from their sins, and Jonah gets angry!
      2. Anger is apparently a big theme because it is mentioned in verse 1, 4, and 9 twice (Kohlenberger, 65).
      3. Verses one parallel earlier 3:9-10; God turning from his calamity (which in the Hebrew is the same word as “evil”), resulted in it being an evil or calamity to Jonah (Kohlenberger, 65).
      4. As soon as God departed from His anger, Jonah picked it up (Kohlenberger, 65).

ii.      Your prayers are short-sighted of God’s mercy (v.2a)

      1. There is the irony that Jonah’s complaint is called a “prayer,” and that this is the same Hebrew word used earlier in 2:1 when God showed mercy to him while now he’s praying to complain about God’s mercy to others (Kohlenberger, 65).
      2. This prayer reveal the problem:  Jonah’s shortsightedness of God’s mercy, as indicated by Jonah’s use of the personal pronoun “I” nine times in this chapter (Kohlenberger, 67).

iii.      You complain of God’s goodness (v.2b)

      1. Only finally in 4:2 do we know of the reason why Jonah fled from God in chapter one in the first place: ““Please Lord, was not this [a]what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore [b]in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish,
      2. For” reveals the reason.
      3. I knew”—This proclamation by Jonah that he knows of Yahweh sparing Nineveh is in contrast to the king of Nineveh in chapter three not knowing that Nineveh will be spared by God.
      4. These attributes of God were known by Jonah from Exodus 32:14!  Yet despite the solid theology, Jonah did not appreciate it for his life and obedience.
      5. The attributes:
        1. gracious

i.      This term is used thirteen times in the Old Testament, always referring to God, with Exodus 22:27 illustrating the meaning of this word which teaches that God will hear the prayer of the one needing his coat back for warmth because He is compassionate (Limburg, 91).

ii.      Favor towards those who are disadvantaged (Youngblood, Location 3086).

iii.      Thus, this term reveals God will act on the basis of compassion and it does not refer to just pity without action.

2. “compassionate

i.      This term is used thirteen times in the Old Testament.

ii.      Always referring to God, and is related to sthe term for “womb” and thus has the idea of motherly love (Limburg, 91).

3. “slow to anger

i.      It is literally a Hebrew idiom meaning “long nostril” and shows that it takes a lot to be angered (Youngblood, Location 3086).

4. “abundant in lovingkindness

i.      This word was previously used in chapter two during Jonah’s prayer, but now is the basis of a complaint.

ii.      It has the idea of strong loyal love as in its use in 1 Samuel 18:1-3 and 1 Samuel 20:14-15 of David and Jonathan’s friendship.

iii.      The use of this term to apply to the situation of God’s response to Nineveh shows that God’s covenantal love is not limited only to Israel, but to those such as the Assyrians as well (Limburg, 92).

5. “and one who relents concerning calamity

iv.      You rather not be around to see God saving someone (v.3)

      1. Apparently Jonah’s reaction to it is so bad he becomes suicidal: “Therefore now, O Lord, please take my [c]life from me, for death is better to me than life.
      2. Irony in that Jonah before in chapter two prayed to God to save his soul now in chapter four asks God to take away his soul!
      3. In light of the parallel of this passage to vocabulary in Exodus 32, there is the ironic contrast between Moses begging God to lay down his life in order for God to pardon Israel (Exodus 32:32) here we see Jonah willingness to lay down his life in begging God to destroy Nineveh (Youngblood, Location 3126).

v.       You ignore God’s convicting question (v.4-5)

      1. God’s response in the form of a question: “The Lord said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” (v.4)
        1. First of three questions in God’s response to Jonah, in which God challenged Jonah by using his own words (Kohlenberger, 67)!
        2. This opens the response from God with a question that summarizes the problem.
      2. Jonah does not even answer God in verse 5, but goes on doing his own thing.
      3. This is the second time Jonah silently walk away from God speaking to Him (Youngblood, 3246).

vi.      You want to see people’s doom (v.5)

      1. Jonah apparently did not answer God’s question but went on to wait for Nineveh’s destruction.  In fact, Jonah was consumed in his concentration of the city as “the city” is mentioned three times in this verse in the Hebrew (Kohlenberger, 68).
      2. and sat east of [d]it”—Jonah came over to Nineveh from the west and kept going east to see the city’s destruction.
      3. Eastward also have a bad connotation of departing for God’s Will in the Bible (Youngblood, 3295):
        1. After the fall Adam and Eve was driven out to the east of the Garden (Genesis 3:24)
        2. After being punished by God, Cain settled in land of Nod described as East of Eden (Genesis 4:16)
      4. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.”
        1. Shelter” some version “booth
        2. This is the same word used to describe temporary shelter in which the Jews lived in the wilderness as instructed by God in Leviticus 23:42-43.
        3. Over in Leviticus 23:42-43, they built it as a rememberance of God’s mercy, here Jonah built it to wait on God’s wrath.

Picture: (Symptoms are signs of our sickness; don’t just address the symptoms without addressing the deeper heart issue); Running nose, and drinking vitamin C can seem almost irrational.

Practice:

i.      We can have good biblical head knowledge; but do we really own up to it and think about it for our every day world?

ii.      Go before God and ask us to reveal these things to us of our problems, and help us change it.

 

II. See the Sovereign lesson for compassion in evangelism (v.6-8)

Point: Sometimes we can have blindspot in our lives we need God to show us with a Sovereign lesson for compassion in evangelism as he is doing here with Jonah.

Passage:So the Lord God appointed a [e]plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was [f]extremely happy about the [g]plant. But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, “ Death is better to me than life.”

Proof:

i.      God once again in the book of Jonah shows He is Sovereign, that is, in control with the use of the word“appointed

      1. Shows this was not coincidences (Kohlenberger, 43).
      2. Four times this verb is used in Jonah, three times in this chapter (1:17; 4:6, 7, 8).
      3. Each time with a different name for God, and when used in the case with “Yahweh,” it emphasizes the gracious and beneficial action of God such as here and in 4:7 (Limburg, 60).

ii.      First appointment: A plant for a good shade (4:6)

      1. Use of the name of God: “Lord God

Q: Any significance of these two combination?

A: “God” is used in Jonah when God relates to the Gentiles, while “Yahweh” is used in terms of God relating to Jonah, but it is used as a combination here because God is about to show how He dealt with the gentiles of Nineveh will be the way He deals with Jonah (Kohlenberger, 69).

      1. Plant that provided Jonah shade from the discomfort of the sun!
        1. Like the storm in the sea, God is using the sun from nature to teach Jonah a lesson.
        2. Like the big fish, God is using a big plant to show Jonah grace.
      2. There is a word play going on here where the word “discomfort” in the Hebrew is literally “evil” and God saves him from this “evil” of being overheated though not from Jonah’s own fierce anger yet (Kohlenberger, 69).  Thus, Jonah is also spared from the calamity just as Nineveh faced.
      3. extremely happy about the [g]plant”—In the Hebrew literally is “rejoicing rejoice.”  It is in contrast to verse 1 of Jonah being “displeased with great displeasure” (Youngblood, 3396).

iii.      Second appointment: An attacking worm (4: 7)

      1. Small worm to make a big point.
      2. Use of the name of God: “God

Q: Is there any significance of this noun being “God” as opposed to Yahweh?

A: The aspect of God’s relationship to the Gentiles is in view, thus used here to show the analogy God is illustrating to Jonah of how Jonah would have wanted God to deal with the Gentiles is the same way God will illustrate to Jonah.  The disciplinary side of God is emphasized here with this choice of term (Limburg, 96).

      1. it attacked
        1. A term used for judgment upon those who are disobedient in the Scriptures, such as in Deuteronomy 28:22(Kohlenberger, 71).
        2. God is using the worm’s attack as an analogy of the removal of God’s grace.

iv.      Third appointment: A big hot wind (4: 8a)

      1. When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head
      2. Note what God brings against Jonah:
        1. the sun

i.      It would make things hot!

ii.      “beat down

Second instance of this verb appearing in chapter four, previously with the worm as the subject attacking the plant but now as the sun, which shows the undesirable state Jonah was in with this repetition, showing the flow of God’s judgment against Jonah.

2. “a scorching east wind

i.      These are the worst dry wind that the Middle East faced.

ii.      The wind is dry and any moisture is extracted from the air with fine dust blowing (Kohlenberger, 70).

iii.      Earlier God taught Jonah a lesson in chapter one by wet rainy winds now He is going to instruct Jonah by the opposite means of a dry hot winds (Kohlenberger, 70)!

iv.      The external heat is going to be used by God to teach Jonah a lesson about his own internal “heat” (which anger is a Hebrew derivative of)

v.      Reverse order than that of chapter 2.

          1. Chapter 2: Troubling WindsàAnimalàRescue.
          2. Chapter 4: RescueàAnimalàTroubling Winds.
          3. Contrast:
            1. Chapter 2: At sea, with problems coming from above. Wet wind.
            2. Chapter 4: On land, with problems coming from above.  Dry wind.

vi.      The response:

        1. The phrase “better I die than I live” echoes the same phrase in verse 3 previously after Jonah complained about Nineveh’s repentance, but here is the response to the plant being gone and the dire whether.
        2. Unlike verse 3 where Jonah ask God to die, here Jonah talks to himself since the text is literally “He asked Himself to die…” (Youngblood, Location 3430).
          1. Jonah’s disposition is looking inward while God’s disposition in the book of Jonah has been looking outward (Youngblood, Location 3480).
          2. Jonah really is not pitying the plant but engages in self-pity!
        3. The author wishes the reader to see the parallel between Jonah’s complaint about Nineveh’s repentance with the scenario going on here.

Picture: (Parable of a firefighter who complains that people are saved when he puts our fire with the hose, but saved by another firefighter).  YOU ARE THE PERSON!

Practice:

i.      Repetition of Jonah’s lesson:  Sometimes what we need to learn the most is not something new, but something we already know or should know or think we know.

ii.      Has God changed you with our Jonah series?  Are you meditating on God’s Word even as it’s preached, read, etc?

 

III. Understand the So-Much-More Argument for compassion in evangelism (v.9-11)

Point: If plants are precious to Jonah, how much more the souls in Nineveh!

Passage:Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.” 10 Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which [h]came up overnight and perished [i]overnight. 11 Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”

Proof:

i.      God brings the illustration home in verse 9.

      1. The phrase “Why do good if it burns against you?” (הַהֵיטֵב חָרָה־לְךָ) echoes the same phrase in verse 4 previously after Yahweh addressed Jonah’s complaint about Nineveh’s repentance.
      2. Here it is Yahweh’s response to Jonah’s complaint that the plant being gone and the dire whether.  The author wishes the reader to see the parallel between Jonah’s complaint about Nineveh’s repentance with the scenario going on here.

ii.      Observation of Jonah’s response to the plant (v.10)

iii.      Argument from the lesser to the greater (v.11)

Concerning those “who do not know the difference between their right and left hand,” these probably refer to children (Kohlenberger, 72).

iv.      God’s level of Grace even as He corrected Jonah

      1. The thirty nine word response of God in 4:10-11 balances Jonah’s thirty nine word response in 4:2 (Limburg, 94).  It shows a level of grace of God not lecturing more than He has to even though He could.
      2. The text use of the name Yahweh in verse 9 is to accent on God’s love and concern (Limburg, 97).

Practice:

i.      How are we to respond?

The book ends with a question which obviously should be answered with a “yes,”

Why a question?  Why not show repentance of Jonah? I think it is to provoke us and make us think a little longer with the lesson rather than just see a happy ever after story.  Do you evangelize with compassion if God is compassionate?

 

Conclusion

We might ask how Jonah responded but God does not tell us but instead ends the message with a question of whether or not God will have mercy on Nineveh.

What about you?  Do you see God’s mercy?  How do you respond to God’s mercy through Jesus Christ?

 

NEXT: Exposition of Jonah Part 10

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