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Lessons from the Book of Jonah

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  • Rev. Dr. Mathew C. Chacko, New Jersey
    Moderators Note: *** This is a repost of an earlier message posted on ICON*** Introduction. The book is about Jonah, not written by Jonah. Jonah lived around
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2009
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      Moderators' Note:
      *** This is a repost of an earlier message posted on ICON***


      Introduction. The book is about Jonah, not written by Jonah.
      Jonah lived around 750 BC; this book about him is written, probably
      after the Exile, perhaps around 400 BC.
      The Book of Jonah is a parable, a story with a meaning.

      Outline

      Chapter 1 Jonah's call and disobedience.
      Jonah runs away from God's call [1:1-17]
      Chapter 2. His distress in the belly of the fish.
      Jonah's song of praise for his rescue [2:1-10]
      Chapter 3. Jonah preaches in Neneveh.
      Jonah preaches and Nineveh repents [3:1-10]
      Chpter 4. Jonah's displeasure at God not punishing Nineveh when it
      repented.
      Jonah's anger and God's mercy [4:1-11]

      We learn about God
      The book is not about the great fish, but about the GREAT GOD.
      God is too big to run away from. This great God cares about all
      creation, animals too. It insists that God's mercy is wide enough to
      include even people who seem to us not to deserve God's care at all.
      There is both warning and gospel in that message.
      Some More Lessons: Listening to God is essential to walking with him
      Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God.
      Obey God and leave all consequences with him.
      Obedience always brings blessings.
      Disappointments are inevitable; discouragement is a choice.

      We learn about Jonah
      Jonah tries to run away from God
      Inside the fish he prays a Psalm for help
      Delivered he preaches to Nineveh; It repents and it is spared.
      Jonah sulks, but God affirms compassion even for Nineveh.
      When we fail to obey God's calling, we go no where but "down."

      We learn about other people
      God cares about the people of Nineveh. He cares not only about
      Christians, other people too - all people as a matter of fact, he
      cares about

      JONAH AND JESUS - Death and Resurrection
      Jonah gives us one of the Bible's great images of God's power to
      save. Just as Joseph was rescued from prison to become prime
      minister, and Daniel was kept safe among lions, so Jonah is preserved
      in the belly of a great fish

      These episodes prepare for their greatest sequel ? the resurrection
      of Jesus from the tomb. Jesus went down into the depths of death and
      experienced utter loss of God ? but was raised as the ultimate proof
      of salvation.

      ULTIMATE LESSONS:

      Can we run away from God?
      Will God help us when we are in trouble?
      As God cares for all, can we care for all?

      Love & blessings.

      Mathews Achen
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