Archive for the ‘expository preaching’ Category

It’s Monday.  I know preachers can experience the Monday blues when there’s a rough or difficult Sunday at Church.

Note I’m not going through anything right now but I want to write this post as a help for myself and/or others in the future.


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Pastor Alex Montoya has been instrumental in God shaping how I preach and also with wisdom concerning pastoral ministry.  He’s to me the Hispanic Charles Spurgeon and I lament that he’s retired from teaching in seminary.

Last week he’s recently taught for a Seminary Winterim session on the passion of preaching.  In a one week intensive course he taught a future generation of those entering ministry on homiletic (how to preach).

I thought I share them with viewers to help preachers and those who are teachers.

Here are the videos:


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Sometimes people think of Expository Preaching as preaching from the Word of God that is “boring” because it is so heavily based upon the Word of God.  I disagree.  I think there is a difference between exegetical data dumping and expository preaching.

What is something helpful and practical that can help those teaching the Word of God not end up just go on like a run-on vocal Bible commentary?


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Since it is Sunday and most of the blog readers no doubt will be attending church I thought it would be helpful to have this post on how to teach the Bible.

This is applicable for preachers, Bible study leaders, Sunday school teachers, etc.  Even if some things might not apply to you there are nevertheless truths and principles about teaching the Bible that would be helpful.

Actually even if you don’t teach the Bible in a church or ministry context this is still helpful for you to listen to in order to better know how to listen to God’s Word being taught, to pray for those who feed you from the Word and also how to teach from God’s Word should the need arise later in life.


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It’s Sunday Morning.  Here’s a little motivation for preachers before you enter your pulpit from the Word of God.


1 Timothy 5:17-19 states

 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.

Note in verse 17 that Paul’s intention in writing this is so that those who serve in the church as Elders/Pastors to “work hard at preaching and teaching.”  Verse 18 tips us that he’s going to give us the reasons for this with the use of the word “for” which shows the motivation.  I want to look at one of the motivation for this Sunday and Lord willing another next Sunday.


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In Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students the famous Victorian Era preacher he has a chapter on “Earnestness: Its Marring and Maintenance.”  I appreciated how Spurgeon talked about how the preacher could have his zeal or earnestness marred through various predicaments.  Among them is the lack of studying.

I’ll let Spurgeon speak for himself as he said it better than I could:


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Dale Ralph Davis. Judges: Such a Great Salvation.  Ross-Shire, UK: Christian Focus Publications, March 20th, 2006. 240 pp.

Rating: 5 out of 5

This was a very edifying and enjoyable bible commentary through the book of Judges.  The work is authored by Dale Ralph Davis who previously was a professor of the Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS).  This is an outstanding work that helps explain what is going on in the book of Judges.  The commentary divides Judges into three parts with a total of twenty one chapters.  I think anyone who is studying the book of Judge will find this commentary as an indispensable resource.  The great thing about the way the author writes is that it is accessible for preachers as well as the person in the pew.  I learned a lot from reading this book and below are some of the highlights:


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Yesterday over at the Blog for The Master’s Seminary there is a post titled, “Preachers and Prepackaged Sermons” in which the author outlined the reasons to resist “prepackaged sermons.”  This led me to think more that the bigger undercurrent is the issue of pastors’ and their studies of God’s Word.   So preachers, how are your studies?

One of the qualification of a Pastor is that he is “able to teach,” according to 1 Timothy 3:2.

This is a great verse to meditate on:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

(2 Timothy 2:15)


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Shepherds Conference

The Shepherd’s Conference is officially over.  This was one of the most encouraging conference I’ve been to in the last 8 years.  As people are waiting for the audios and videos to be uploaded online for now we’ll make do with the notes from The Master’s Seminary Liveblog of the Conference.

Here’s the list:

Conference Liveblog: Wed. Morning (MacArthur)

Conference Liveblog: Wed. Evening (Duncan)

Conference Liveblog: Thurs. Evening (Mohler)

Conference Liveblog: Fri. Morning (Pennington)

Conference Liveblog: Fri. Afternoon (Washer)

Conference Liveblog: Fri. Evening (MacArthur)


If you watch the conference, which sermons did you enjoyed?

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Inerrancy Summit 2015

I’ve been to nearly a decade worth’s of Shepherd’s Conference and this one was definitely the best personally.  I really enjoyed the Inerrancy Summit.

Here are the videos!

There are some more videos they haven’t had it up yet but I will put it up as soon as they make them available.



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Ministry Charles Brown

Charles J. Brown.  The Ministry: Address to Students of Divinity.
Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006. 112 pp.

I started reading this book during a break in ministry as a devotional to refresh my soul. I had this book for a few years now and I thought I finally get around to reading it.  It turns out that the book really ministered to my heart and I was glad I read it.

The book has a biographical introduction to the author Charles Brown that was written by the biographer Iain Murray of Banner of Truth. I found the biographical sketch helpful since I didn’t know anything about the author before I read the book and learning a little more about this largely forgotten nineteenth century Scottish preacher prepared me to want to read the rest of the book in order to learn more from a great man of God and faithful minister of four decades. The book was an adaptation of several addresses that Charles Brown delivered for the Free Church of Scotland with attention towards ministers and seminarians.  The first chapter argues for the connection between Godliness and Christian ministry, the second on public prayer, the third on preaching and the fourth on elements of pulpit power.  There is an appendix that ought to be a chapter in of itself on various other aspect of pastoral ministry followed by one of Brown’s sermon that is a great example of Gospel driven preaching.

The book is short and is a plus in many ways: first it is the perfect size for a pastor’s devotional. Secondly, the author is concise and to the point.  Thirdly, its spiritual impact is greater than its size; in reviewing this book I was pleasantly surprised how much of the book I highlighted that fed my soul. The following are some of the valuable gems in the book:

  • Reverend Brown is a man of deep prayers. For instance, he devotes a while chapter to public corporate prayer. I appreciate his practical and pastoral reasons for short public prayers.  He doesn’t merely give a pragmatic argument but argues for the benefit of the spiritual well being of the congregation.  Even when he talks about sermon preparation and visitation he talks about the importance of prayers.
  • Brown presented an excellent two point argument for the importance of godliness in the ministry but he doesn’t just leave the readers there; he had some helpful practical hints to strive for personal holiness such as reading more works that are more personal and experimental in character.  I love also seeing Brown’s recommendations, which are all Christian classics and one that stood out to me is his recommendation to read Rutherford’s Letter’s since I didn’t know it had such an effect on Brown.  I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for Rutherford’s work, which previously I have known about only as the man who wrote Lex Rex.
  • I love his illustration of the Word of God being like a gem, arrow and bait in that it is what the minister must master if they are going to preach evangelistically and powerfully.
  • Brown is against manuscripting a sermon; he argues that one should have an outline instead in order to ensure that one is able to look at the eyes of people and to ensure what Brown quoted from John Livingstone as saying “I was more helped in my preaching by the thirsty eyes of the people than anything else.”  Livingstone’s quote must have made a profound impact on Brown since he quoted him twice in the book.
  • I have always felt that as a preacher I should spend more time and effort preparing a conclusion well than the introduction given that it’s important to “land” the sermon properly and to drive home to the hearers a call to respond.  It is wonderful to see a successful preacher with forty one years of experience affirming my conclusion.
  • Brown did share his one regret in ministry was that he wished he got to ministered to the younger members more.  A lesson well taken.

I definitely recommend this book for pastors young and old to read.  I also recommend this for lay people to get this as a gift for their pastors.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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The Gospel According to Daniel Chapell

To purchase the book on Amazon, Click HERE

The introduction to this commentary makes it clear that the author is not trying to give an exegetically detailed commentary on the book of Daniel; rather the purpose of the book is to show how the book of Daniel points us to the Gospel and then to apply Gospel truths that is found in Daniel to our lives.  To this end, I think the author accomplished his stated purpose.

My first knowledge of the author Byran Chapell was from his book on preaching that was the textbook for an introductory course to preaching when I began seminary; that particular work helped me a lot in laying the foundation to become an expository preacher.  It was with great expectation that I picked up this book wanting to learn and see how Bryan Chapell would preach through the book of Daniel.

I appreciated the many stories that the author shared throughout the book; they were wonderful examples of how preachers should “illustrate to apply” to the listeners’ lives.  I appreciated seeing how Chapell avoided making Daniel the object of our hero worship but instead points us towards God, Jesus and the Gospel.  One highlight reading this commentary is the discussion on Daniel chapter three about what true faith means.  Here Chapell also points out to the reader that just because one has faith does not mean that everything will go all well in life without trials and tribulation.  This directly contradicts the “health and wealth” gospel and similar beliefs popular in some Christian circles.  At the same time, for those who are in biblical churches the discussion would nevertheless be quite encouraging since it put our suffering in perspective.

There were times I wished that the author could have gone more in-depth with the exposition of the passage especially with the latter part of the book of Daniel.  I must add that this is a gentle criticism because one must applaud the author for his honesty in admitting what he does not know or don’t want to be dogmatic with.

Both exegetes and lay readers will benefit from this commentary; this book serves as a great devotional read while for expository preachers this commentary will balance out some of the more technical commentaries to help the preacher thinking about how to deliver and apply the text.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Baker Books and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Jonah The Scandalous Love of God Youngblood

To purchase the book on Amazon, Click HERE

Jonah is one of my favorite books in the Bible.  I preached through this book two years ago and I learned a lot from it.  So in picking up this new commentary that just came out, I was looking for a work that can get more insights from the text beyond what previous commentaries have pointed out.  This commentary didn’t disappoint—as a matter of fact, I learned a lot of new things about the book of Jonah as a result of reading this book.  At this time I would say that this commentary tops them all.

The author interacts with other major books and articles on the book of Jonah.  The author did a good job with the introduction which on my Kindle indicates that it made up eighteen percent of the book.  There is a lot that is pack in those eighteen percent!  This is the first volume in a new Old Testament commentary series published by Zondervan and the editor aims to make it not just a typical exegetical commentary but one that engages with the text using the tools of discourse analysis, analysis of literary forms, canonical criticism (specifically, the canonical significance of a passage) and insights from inter-textuality.  This commentary is also immensely rich with exegetical insights one expect from a traditional exegetical commentary such as lexical details and grammatical observations.

What were some of the things that I learned from this commentary?  Since there are too many examples I will stick only to some of the highlights in the first two chapter of the book of Jonah.  One literary device the author noted that I haven’t noticed before in the book of Jonah was the use of suppression of historical and geographical detail as a rhetorical device.  Two years ago when I went through Jonah 1:3 in the Hebrew I was stuck with why there is a third person feminine singular suffix for the word fare when I was thinking of Jonah as the referent (therefore should be third person masculine singular) but the author made a good point that this was referring to the ship and therefore one must not miss that Jonah was so desperate to leave God that he paid for the whole ship’s fare.  The author also made the observation that the Hebrew verb for “go” (boa) is used in the story for opposing the movement of God as oppose to other verbs of motion which serves to imply Jonah’s unrighteous heart whenever the word appears.  Youngblood also noted that the adjective “big” appears in the book twelve times and always with reference to obstacles to Jonah and his wishes.  The author also advanced the latest view that Hesed which is typically translated as “loving kindness” actually does not refer to covenantal love but instead to action and attitude of love beyond the call of duty.  The book also made me change my position concerning the prayer of Jonah in chapter two which I originally believed was a prayer of repentance; but the author Youngblood argues that it’s otherwise and quite conclusively I must say.

Whether one is a season exegete or a new student to Biblical Hebrew, this work will be fun, challenging and informative.  If you are going to go through Jonah in great details you need this work.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Zondervan Academic and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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 For Exposition of Jonah Part 3 click HERE


Jonah 1:17-2:10

Introduction: Last week we looked at one verse in Jonah 1:16, and we asked the question: If you say you believe in God, does your attitude, action and words show this to be true?  We saw that if we truly believe in God, it would lead you to fear Him, offer your service to Him and keep your words to Him.  This week we will look at Jonah 1:17-2:10.

Establish the need: Have you ever sin so badly that you wonder if God will ever take you back again?  And what does a prayer of responding to God’s grace look like?

Oscar Wilde once put it, “It’s so easy to convert others, but oh so difficult to convert oneself.”

 Purpose: To see the four characteristics of what a prayer responding to God’s grace looks like so we can truly commune with God.


Jonah has been running away from God.

The last time we saw Jonah in chapter 1, he was thrown down to the sea.

What follows in chapter two is a Psalm/poetry.

Q: Why the shift to poetry?

A: All this time the narrative has been one action after another, but here we slow down in time to hear a prayer of Jonah.

According to verse 1, this is Jonah’s prayer to God while in the belly of a whale.


                Few words are recorded of Jonah the prophet speaks to people.

Most of Jonah’s words are spoken to God rather than people.


Jonah will teach us what a prayer to God will look like.  Let’s look at the Chiastic structure of this Psalm:


Great fish swallow (v.17)                                  -SUBSCRIPT (v.1)-

Jonah’s voice: Cry for help (v.2)

Forsaken: Jonah (v.3-4a)

Temple hope: Will look at it again (v.4b)

Dire circumstances and remembering the LORD (v.5-7a)

Temple hope: Now prayers are getting there (v.7b)

Forsaken: Idolators (v.8)

Jonah’s voice: Sing thanksgiving (v.9)

Great fish vomit (v.10)


Grace driven prayer begins with remembering God in your trials (v.5-7a, 1:17)

Grace driven prayer desires God’s presence again (v.4, 7b)

Grace driven prayer confesses sin (v.3, 8)

Grace driven prayer involves involve our will (v.2, 9)

God’s mercy and salvation before our prayer of confession (v.17, 10)

 (NOTE: We will be going over points 1-3 in this post with next week focusing on points 4-5)

I. Grace driven prayer begins with remembering God in your trials (v.5-7a,1:17, 2:10)

Passage: “ Water encompassed me to the [f]point of death. The great deep [g]engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head.“I descended to the roots of the mountains.  The earth with its bars was around me forever,But You have brought up my life from [h]the pit, O Lord my God.“While [i]I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord,”


i.      Jonah’s difficulties

      1. Verse 5 indicates Jonah was surrounded by trouble.

Subject                        Action                                     Object             EXTENT       

“ Water                       encompassed                           me                          to the [f]point of death.

The great deep            engulfed                                  me,

Weeds                          were wrapped around             my head.

 a. These three lines are synonymous.

b. They convey the terrible and frightening scene of drowning.

c. Some of your version says “neck” instead of “head,” and the Hebrew word there is literally soul, but can refer to neck or head of a person that is the center of life.

2. Verse 6 indicates how down Jonah has gotten.

a. RECAP: Beginning in chapter 1, there’s been this theme of Jonah escaping God by going down.

b. “Descended” echoes the same verb used earlier of Jonah’s escape to Joppa and going on the bottom of the boat in 1:3, and in verse five.

c. Note the language conveying Jonah at the bottom:

i.      “the roots of the mountains.”

Jonah is going down to the bottom of the sea floor!

ii.      “the pit,”

            1. Translated elsewhere as pit, and one of several Old Testament terms for the underworld (Price, 45).
            2. It is where one goes after death according to Psalm 30:9 (Limburg, 68).

d. Yet there was hope (6b-7): “But You have brought up my life from [h]the pit, O Lord my God.“While [i]I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord,”

i.      “But You have brought up”—This points to a dramatic change in direction (Kohlenberger, 52).

ii.      This was done about by “O Lord my God

iii.      Just when Jonah was almost dead: ““While [i]I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord,” (v.7)

iv.      It is significant to note that Yahweh took the initiative in saving Jonah here first (Kohlenberger, 52).

v.      “Remembered” is more than just not forgetting, but act on the basis of a commitment (Kohlenberger, 52)!  Remember that God knows all things, and it shows more that we act upon our commitment as He did with the Hebrews in Egypt seeing their suffering and going to the Abrahamic Covenant in Exodus 2:23-25.


i.      Note Jonah’s extreme trials that led Him to know the Lord.  What are the trials that God might be bringing into your life to turn Him back to Him?

ii.      Are you going through trials right now in your life?  Note the transition from verse 6 to verse 7 of Jonah shifting his focus at the circumstances to the Lord.

iii.      Be careful of misapplication: Don’t think you can just wait until you are about to faint into your death and then repent.  We are never promise tomorrow.


II. Grace driven prayer desires God’s presence again (v.4, 7b)

Passage:“So I said, ‘I have been expelled from [e]Your sight.”  Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’”


And my prayer came to You, into Your holy temple.”


i.      Twice in this psalm, Jonah mentions God’s “holy temple.”  God’s Holy Temple is where God’s presence is.

ii.      Verse 4 begins with Jonah’s confession that he is currently away from God’s presence: ““So I said, ‘I have been expelled from [e]Your sight.

1. Literally, ““So I said, ‘I have been expelled from [e]Your eyes,”” with the phrase “eyes of the Lord/God” is frequently used in the Scriptures such as in Psalm 34:16-17 in reference to divine benevolence (Sasson, 178).

2. The verb “expelled” here is used only in two instances in the Old Testament, both in Psalm 78:55 and 80:8 to show that the nations were the ones cast off from God, but now used somewhat ironically, since this is what is happening to Jonah (Kohlenberger, 49).

iii.      Jonah here gets what he finally wanted: escape from God’s presence, but does he like it?

iv.      The second half of verse 4 signals a transition of Jonah’s desire with the word “Nevertheless.”

v.      NASB translates “will look again toward Your holy temple,” but I would translate from the Hebrew “I want to look again toward Your holy temple,” to bring the idea of Jonah’s wish because of the Hebrew imperfect.

vi.      Does God hears Jonah’s wish to be back before God’s presence?

Answer: After Jonah remembers the LORD in his troubles, he said these words in verse 7b, “And my prayer came to You, into Your holy temple.”

Picture: A friend of mine got into an argument with his father and it was really bad.  Finally, after several weeks of awkwardness, he calls his father and says he’s sorry.  As he shared with me his remorse, I think we can say that if you were to listen in to him speak, you would say, there’s sign of true repentance because he saw what he did was wrong, and also because he wanted to restore that relationship and presence of his father.  The same also with us and God, if we are going to really pray to him to repent of our sins.


i.      When you pray to God and confess your sins, do you do it mechanically?  Do you do it automatically with no feelings of remorse?

ii.      One of the quickest way of knowing your prayers of repentance is genuine is to see if you spend more time after confessing of sins, to talk to Him in prayer about other things, and also if you find time to absolutely adore and worship God!


III. Grace driven prayer confesses sin (v.3, 8)

Point: Confession means admitting that the other person’s perspective is correct.  In this case, confessing our sins to God means you will see your sins the way God sees it.

Passage:“For You had cast me into the deep,Into the heart of the seas, And the current [d]engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me.”


“Those who regard [j]vain idols Forsake their faithfulness,”


i.      Both section, verses 3 and 8, discusses about being forsaken.

ii.      Verse 8 gives this pronouncement: ““Those who regard [j]vain idols Forsake their faithfulness,”

      1. vain idols

Not just idols, but anything that takes the place of God is a sin!

2. “Forsake their faithfulness,

Some of your version will say loving kindness instead, and it refers to God’s enduring love in passages such as Psalm 110:5 and 106:1 (Limburg, 70).

iii.      In verse 3, Jonah gives a vivid description of how he is forsaken by God.  Thus, he’s saying that he’s among those who had forsaken God and himself also a sinner.

      1. “For You had cast me
        1. Again, another throwing verb appears in Jonah, showing the theme of Jonah going down away from God.
        2. This particular verb is used in the Old Testament in places like Psalm 51:11, 102:10 as a punitive separation from God’s presence (Kohlenberger, 49).
      2. Note the language of abandonment of where Jonah was at.


Learn to identify false apologies and real apologies to God:

False apologies:
  • Is not concern with God’s perspective or what God’s Word has to say about the matter.
  • make excuses for yourself
  • shift the focus and responsibility off you and place them onto the listener (or God)
  • imply that the victim or God is being unreasonable or oversensitive
  • blame the one who was hurt or God Himself for the matter
  • often include the word “but”
Real apologies:
  • acknowledge other’s perspective
  • take responsibility without excuses
  • agree with God’s perspective
  • do not include the word “but”

Picture:  Here are some of the ridiculous words people say to apologize when they really are not sorry:

 FORMER PRESIDENT: “If the remarks on the tape left anyone with the impression that I was disrespectful to either Governor Cuomo or Italian-Americans, then I deeply regret it.”

A typical scenario: “I am sorry that what I said offended you.  Next time, I’ll keep my thought to myself.  By now, you should know that I have the tendency to say the truth as it is.  I’m like the kind of guy that gets in trouble when the wife ask, “Honey, does this dress makes me look fat.”

We will continue Chapter two next week.

 NEXT: Exposition of Jonah Part 5

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 For Introduction to Book of Jonah click HERE



Jonah 1:1-3


Establish the need: Do you think you can run away from God?


Purpose: To see three reasons why a child of God cannot outrun God, in order to see that it’s folly to do so and obey God today.



 The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 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.



  • Jonah’s commission (v.1)
  • Jonah’s mission (v.2)
  • Jonah’s rebellion (v.3)


  • If you are a child of God, you cannot outrun God because of your personal identity involves Him (v.1)
  • If you are a child of God, you cannot outrun God because of His presence (v.2)
  • If you are a child of God, you cannot outrun God because of His providence (v.3)


Overview: The story is going to go very fast—all the characters are all introduce already in the first three verses—Yahweh, Jonah, the people of Nineveh and the sailors (Limburgh, 37).


 I. If you are a child of God, you cannot outrun God because of your personal identity involves God (v.1)

o       Passage:The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,

o       Proof

    • Verse one sets up the situation of the story.
    • The meaning of Jonah’s name.
      • Q: What does Jonah’s name mean?
      • Jonah actually means “dove” (Limburgh, 38).
      • There is a connotation of peace associated with that name, since dove is associated with peace.
    • The meaning of “the son of Amittai
      • Q: Does Amittai mean anything?
      • He is the son of Amittai.
      • Amittai means “truth,” and there is a word play here that he is the son of truth (Limburg, 38).
    • Jonah is a prophet.
      • The word of the Lord came to
        1. The formula “the Word of the Lord came…” is a frequent one to indicate God calling out a prophet such as in Jeremiah 1:2, Ezekiel 1:3, Hosea 1:1, Joel 1:1, Micah 1:1, Zephaniah 1:1, Haggai 1:1, Zechariah 1:1, Malachi 1:1.
        2. In all other instances, God’s prophet responds appropriately—except in the case of Jonah (Kohlenberger, 28).
      • By mentioning whom Jonah was the son of, the author wishes to communicate that this is the one and the same prophet mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25.
        1. Jonah was previously famous for making a positive prediction about the success of King Jeroboam II according to 2 Kings 14:25.
        2. It is significant to point out that a prophet’s message might be positive at times, but can also be perceived by others as negative as well, but it must still be preached.  He was probably quite popular in his country, being one who prophesied well in favor of kings and military manners (Limburg, 38).

o       Picture: (I tried to act in life at one point of not being a Christian; but being genuinely born again, it was impossible to do.)

o       Practice:

    • This passage shows us that just because you were faithful to God before does not mean you will do so in the future, so make sure you are constantly searching your heart that you do not slip.
    • Walk closely with God! If you really know God, your personal identity will become attached with Him; and to deny Him, is to deny who you are.


II. If you are a child of God, you cannot outrun God because of His presence (v.2)

o       Passage:“Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me”

o       Proof

    • Because God is all present, Jonah was given three commands
      • “Arise,
        1. Verb has the idea of getting up.
        2. It is used to communicate the idea of start acting immediately (Price, 6).
      • go to Nineveh the great city
        1. Not an easy command because of distance.
          • It is near the modern city of Mosul, and two hundred and fifty miles north of Baghad (Limburg, 40).
          • It is five hundred miles away from Jonah’s home by air (Limburg, 40).
        2. Not an easy command because of it’s reputation.
          • The city’s importance began around 740s B.C., and was the capial of the world’s most powerful empire during Jonah’s time (Limburg, 40).
          • It is a blood thirsty city according to Nahum 3:1.
    • and cry against it
      1. Jonah was called to preach there.
      2. The message was not going to be positive.
    • The reason for Jonah’s commission: Sin is inescapably before God’s presence
      • for
        1. The Hebrew word here is כִּי.
        2. It is a conjunction that function to introduce a causal clause for why Jonah will be going to cry out against it.
      • their wickedness has come up before Me”
        1. wickedness
          • Significant term in the book of Jonah, appearing a total of ten times (Kohlenberger, 29).
          • Refers to that which is absolutely wrong in God’s sight (Kohlenberger, 29).
        2. has come up before Me
          • Can also be translated as “in the presence of me
          • Shows that evil is before God, even though it’s not in heaven or in God’s temple in Israel back then.

o       Picture: (Story of boy walking to school alone for the first time but really behind him several steps was mother hovering over and nearby.  In the same matter we can’t out run God)

o       Practice:

    • God being all present can either be taken as a good thing or bad thing.
    • God’s presence means that sins will not be left unpunished.  Have you gone to God and given these sins to God in repentance and let it be nailed to the cross?
    • God’s presence means that He is always there with you and sees everything done wrong against the innocent.  Have you reflected on these truths with your problems, your struggles?


III. If you are a child of God, you cannot outrun God because of His providence (v.3)

o       Picture: (I like Silent film;  what it lacks in media of sound it makes up with emphasis on visual of facial expression; Point: Bible is an amazing literature in the same way,where there are rhetorical devices to emphasize certain points despite not being a “movie”).

o       Passage: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.

o       Proof

    • This verse will show Jonah’s rebellion.
      • But” is a contrastive, to show that what Yahweh commanded is going to be different from what Jonah will do.
    • The multiple verbs show the desperateness of Jonah to try to escape Yahweh!
      • But Jonah rose up

Q: Is there any significance that this is the first verb of what Jonah did with the fact that this same verb is also the first command Yahweh gave to Jonah?

A: It leads the readers to think at first Jonah was going to do what Yahweh does, but there’s going to be a twist: Jonah is going to do the opposite!  Implication of it is that how many of us do the same thing by doing what seems to be at first doing the right thing, but then in our hearts we treasure and plan to do otherwise?

    • It captures how Jonah tries to escape from Yahweh horizontally and veritically towards , as in towards the eventual direction of the bottom of the sea (Limburg, 43).
      • Jonah is flee horizontally towards Tarshish
        1. to flee to Tarshish

Hebrew infinitive to show the purpose of Jonah was to flee to Tarshish!

    1. Author wishes readers to note “Tarshish” is important by mentioning it three times.
    2. Where is it at?
      • Tarshish is identified as southwest Spain (Kohlenberger, 30).
      • It is the southwestern coastline (Limburg, 43).
      • Jeremiah 10:9, Ezekiel 27:12, 25 describes it as a rich place during biblical times.
      • Isaiah 66:19 describes it as a place so remove from Israel that they have not heard of God’s fame.  It’s as if Jonah wants to head towards the edge of civilization.
    3. Why?  “from the presence of the Lord.
      • An important point since this phrase is repeated twice in this verse alone.
      • However, verse 2 earlier also mention “from the presence of me,” which is referring to the LORD and thus the phraseology is repeated a total of three times in this passage!
      • The direction of movement is away from Yahweh’s presence, and thus Jonah was actually running away from God Himself (Limburg, 42).
      • This is ironic because Yahweh’s presence is everywhere (cf. Psalm 139:7), and earlier in verse one apparently Yahweh has revealed to Jonah that His omnipresence is so great that even Nineveh’s wickedness is before Him.
    • Jonah is descending vertically from Yahweh
      1. Q: Is there any significant juxtaposition of “down” with “up” here?

A: The direction of down begins here with going to Joppa, but will appear again to emphasize the wrong direction of Jonah, as oppose to Yahweh being up (Kohlenberger, 31).

    1. So he went down to Joppa,
      • The first of many use of “down” in Jonah, in describing Jonah’s escape from Yahweh.
      • Joppa was the only natural harbor on Israel’s Mediterranean coast (Kohlenberger, 30).
      • So going to a port would naturally be heading towards a gradual downward path.
      • It is now modern day Jaffa (Price, 8).  Assuming that Jonah went there from his home town of Gath-hepher, which is fifteen miles west of the Sea of Galilee and today an Arab town called Meshed (Limburg, 38-39), it would have been a distance of 28 miles according to Google maps.
      • Whereas if Jonah obeyed the Lord and went to Nineveh he would have traveled a northeast direction, by heading to Joppa, Jonah was heading south west direction—exactly 180 degrees opposite direction (Limburg, 42)!
      • Later in history, it would be part of Gentile territory and where Peter would be sent on a missions to the Gentiles in Acts 10:9-23.
    2. found a ship which was going to Tarshish,
      • The verb here does not have the idea of finding something purposely, but more of the idea of stumble upon (Price, 8).
      • Thus, it conveys the idea that perhaps Jonah thought it was by chance, and he was going to outrun God.
      • Ships heading towards Tarshish must have been large according to the standards of their days, for they were “Ocean going” vessels (Price, 9).
      • According to Isaiah 2:16, ships of Trashish were beautiful and Isaiah 23:14 indicates that these ships were strong.
    3. which was going to Tarshish,”—conveyed a future action that was going to soon take place (Price, 9).
    4. and went down into it
      • The second of many use of “down” in Jonah, in describing Jonah’s escape from Yahweh.
      • The NASB and KJV does a better job translating it literally as “going down” rather than Jonah just getting onboard (Price, 9).
    5. Why?  “and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
      • An important point since this phrase is repeated again.
      • It shows why he was going “down.”
    • Q: None of the verbs show God has any, so have can you show God’s providence from this verse?
      • A: SEE CHIASM POWERPOINT, which focuses on Tarshish.
      • A: It is setting us to wonder, whether or not Jonah was going to make to Tarshish.

o       Practice:

    • Sometimes in life, it seems like you are getting away from God.  But if you are His, He is allowing things to happen, to set things up for Him to get you back.




  • TO THE GOSPEL: I said a lot about if you are God’s child, you would not fall away.  If you know you are not God’s child, what you need to do is know Jesus.
  • What will God do with a runaway child of His?  What will happen to Nineveh?  Stay tune for next week!


NEXT: Exposition of Jonah Part 2

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