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October 20, 2021 12:00 am
Pointed out the word that best characterize the life of Joan.
Up to this point is the word down. Jonah rose up to flee and went down to Joppa Joe to pay the fair and when down inside the ship gets swallowed, and he goes down as it were effectively in the belly of the whale and now here he is going down into the deep abyss of the sea worn where's the road of this when he said what a great metaphor for our lives. Whenever you run from God. The only direction you can go is drive to more God, it was clear that God wanted you to do something you were let me ask you, how did that turn out for you. The Old Testament prophet Jonah ran from God. God asked something of Jonah, that he was unwilling to do that disobedience was costly today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Devi continues through his series called the prodigal prophet we come to one of the most famous accounts in the Bible. The account of Jonah being swallowed by a fish stay with us as we look at this passage in today's sky while ARI children's pastor once a year. Scott compiles the questions that the kids a bath again? Compiles the questions that they have asked over that year.
Many sends around of the staff and every year I pull it off and read them questions like I give you does God celebrate holidays interesting is another. Why do people think they can lie to God and get away with it. What is it mean that God has no beginning, he had to have a beginning of that one. Why did God make earth if he could make Austin to go straight to heaven. Love this one here. What's so bad about the plague with the frogs was so bad about France.
Need to get a raise some mom.
There's no God knows what you pray before you prayed and why do we pray already asking that question as 1/3 grader grade questions are thing that all passages in the Bible that have raised questions about the truthfulness or the veracity of Scripture. Certainly Jonah and the whale would have to rank high on the list when it a woman in our fellowship came in to talk to me and then sent me this at my request a little bit of her testimony and how her own personal struggle with the truth actually convert with the book of Jonah. She wrote this 20 years ago as an unsaved Catholic I was preparing to teach my Sunday school class what the church calls quote the children's liturgy of the word from this material. I was preparing to teach Jonah and the whale, explaining to my children that the Catholic Church believes it wasn't a true story.
Children's liturgy of the word simply told it is a story used by God to teach a lesson regarding obedience in the middle.
She writes of explaining this to my children, my unsaved Presbyterian husband walk through and overheard me and said, of course, that story is true.
He believed it. God planted in me a seed of truth that bothered me so much that I became desperate to know what was true. I prayed and asked the Lord to show me the truth in several months later while in my car, I heard a creation scientist explaining how the geology of the earth defended the great flood of Noah something else. The had been told was quote just another story."
My spirit was flooded by the confirmation that God's word was indeed true. All of this woman went on to tell how a few months later against your Christian radio. She heard a clear gospel message and accepted Jesus Christ alone is her personal savior.
Imagine that Jonah and the whale became the point of crisis which led her to repentance. The truth is that whale is going to bring someone else to point of crisis which leads to repentance's name is Jonah. I last saw him treading water before the lights went out. Let's pick it up there.
Chapter 1 verse 17 and the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah.
And Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights now without a doubt, ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the most criticized verses in the Bible in this fish has been examined by more people than any other fish to ever swim the seven seas effect. As I studied in research. I was amazed at all the different viewpoints out there relative to this up this fish. One author suggested that what actually happened was when Jonah was thrown overboard. He was treading water. Another ship named the fish just so happen to come by and rescued him from the ocean. Another author suggested that Jonah swam the dry ground and then stayed at and in named the fish where he recuperated for three days and three nights brilliant, absolutely ingenious generation ago skeptics were arguing that the throat of a whale was too small to even swallow an orange without difficulty, and there are some for which it is, however, the examination and observations of the average sperm whale known swim in the Mediterranean happens to have a throat 20 feet long 15 feet high 9 feet wide. That's large enough to swallow an 18 wheeler or a mobile home. What Marine biologists have also determined that a large fish would have enough air in the stomach for someone to breathe, but the temperature would be run 104°F I came across some some research provided by the Princeton theological review, and in 1927 issue effectively shut down much of the debate someone could survive inside a whale or a great fish and reported the verified case that occurred in 1891 on the whaling ship Star of the East, which was hunting in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands. This article went on to say that the Journal did the fishermen spotted a large sperm whale sent out to smaller boats after it. One was able to harpoon it, but those in the second boat capsized in the process, and one man drowned a second sailor, James Bartley disappeared and could not be found in time the whale was killed and drawn to the side of the ship were was secured and divided up the following day the stomach was hoisted up on deck and when it was opened. The missing sailor was found inside unconscious bleached white, but alive he was revived and after a time, resumed his duties on board the vessel. Well according to Scripture, the truth is, Jonah did get picked up by boat named fish, but let me say this.
I personally don't need to read a story about a man was swallowed and verified by the Princeton theological review to believe this account. All we really need is the record of Scripture that by the way, without any apology and with very little description and certainly without any defense simply records and the Lord appointed a great fish that's really enough.
This is the Lord's doing. He prepared a fish for the job.
The question is not, is there a big enough fish. The question is, is there a big enough God and if your God is big enough, the God of the Bible.
He can easily prepare fish to do the job.
Now you might underline that phrase, the Lord appointed. It could be translated prepared translated assigned you can render it commanded all of those would be appropriate, or simply appointed, here you have the first reference to a fish given an assignment that will be the last time will it remember our Lord commanded a fish to gulp down a shekel keeping it in its mouth calling about the size of a nickel and then the Lord commanded it to take the hook. Peter would drop in and the Lord told Peter that Susie dropped his hook in. He'd catch a fish and that fish would have money in its mouth to pay for both their taxes. That's my kind efficient right there. I want to. The Lord has commanded in the past, ravens to carry bread to Elijah, his servant done by the Brook Keyshawn first Kings seven fish don't carry money around under mouse birds don't give bread to strangers unless they have been appointed by their Creator, which is the point. Throughout this book you have in fact God assigning work, commanding his creation. That same nuance by the way, will appear five different times we give them to you quickly. The first one is here were told, the Lord prepared a fish to swallow and sustain Jonah to everyone for 17th over in chapter 2 verse 10 we read of the same fish being commanded by God to spit Jonah out. We read in chapter 4 verse six that God appointed a plant to grow quickly could underline there appointed a plant in verse seven he commands a worm, probably a weevil to destroy the root of the plant and finally the Lord appoints a hot east wind to blow upon Jonah chapter 4 verse the same Hebrew idea is is carried through all five occasions of God's command. God's appointment over the creatures and elements of his created world and and don't miss the obvious they were assigned. They were commanded by their creator and they will.
They obeyed the command they fulfilled their assignments. I wonder Jonah will catch it and get the message back in chapter 1 the Lord appointed this great fish to swallow Jonah.
Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days three nights.
Try to imagine for just a moment. As Jonah drops down into the belly of that fish and he feels perhaps heat breathing putrid air realizes where he is. Even though he's in the dark.
He further recognizes that he is without hope he is beyond help friends. God is allowing Jonah to experience a taste of what the Ninevites will experience and judgment without his message, hopelessness. He perhaps senses. What this may mean that only the one man between nation and so verse one of chapter 2 we don't how long this took but it says it opens with then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.Betty did. I would've were not exactly told when he prayed. Was it after he saw the fish coming with his mouth open. Did he pray then maybe when he slid down the gullet into the fishes mouth and belly and landed in the dark cavern the fish's belly work were not told.
In fact, some scholars believe Jonah didn't pray first affect some Hebrew scholars believe that Jonah didn't pray until the third day he was that stubborn we can be sure we do know it is, is that it's possible to be to be so fascinated with with a fish that we overlook what happened in the heart of a runaway prophet, private prophet who finally eventually day two days three days the lease by the end of the third night he breaks and he prays were going to discover three critical ingredients to true, genuine repentance, the beginning, the first one the first ingredient is admission admission and he called or said. I called out of my distress to the Lord and he answered me. I cried for help from the depth of of Sheol is the grave you heard my voice and I want you to notice how Jonah admits this is God's hand. The discipline for you, your circle that you cast me into the deep into the heart of the seas and the current engulfed me all your breakers and billows passed over me. He is admitting that this is the hand of God. In fact, there is bound up in his words and admission that he actually deserves hand of God in this way I think of the counterpart to this Hebrews chapter 5 it speaks of the discipline of of of our heavenly father. According to that paragraph.
We have several options we can despise God's discipline and fight we can fight it.
Verse five we can be discouraged by it and faint. Also, verse five, we can resist it and invite stronger discipline. Verse six. Or we can submit to God and grow because of it for seven while at this point Jonah is no longer resisting the will of God is no longer rejecting the word of God and he's about to reenlist in the work of God but but first there is admission of doing wrong, and the right of God to discipline.
She would that just those opening lines were on our way to the second ingredient that is restoration. She accepts admits his need of livers for so I said I'd been expelled from your site.
Nevertheless, I will look again toward your holy temple.
Up to this point. Ladies and gentlemen, everything about the life of Jonah has been in the opposite direction of God's authority. So when he says I will look again toward your holy temple using I will look again to the place of your authority and sovereign rule. One author pointed out that the word that best characterize the life of Jonah. Up to this point is the word down. Jonah rose up to flee and went down to Joppa. Jonah paid the fare and went down inside the ship, he gets swallowed, and he goes down as it were, effectively, into the belly of the whale and now here he is going down into the deep abyss of the sea worn where's the road of this when he said what a great metaphor for our lives. Whenever you run from God. The only direction you can go is down, but now admitting his sin.
Turning back to the temple of God, which is a statement of recommitment for the Old Testament same. In fact, that this taken right out of scripture that Jonah evidently knew by heart. And now he's drawing this is Solomon's prayer of dedication when the temple was completed, Solomon prayed in first Kings at that dedication these words as he sprang to God whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man, or by all your people Israel, each knowing the sin of his own heart, spreading his hands toward this house. The temple then here in heaven, your dwelling place, and forgive an act and render to each according to all his ways heart you know for you alone in the hearts of all the sons of men, first Kings 830 and $39 for the Old Testament sank, prayed toward the temple. And here's John. I don't think he knows which way is east but he is in his heart, praying toward imagining the glory of God is literally clinging to this promise in repentance and faith and God will respond and moved look at verse five. Water encompassed me to the point of death, the great deep engulfed me weeds, seaweed is wrapped around my head can imagine horror, I descended to the roots of the mountain the earth with with its bars around me forever. In other words, there is no escape. Jonah is saying. I believe I am going to die, but verse six letter box. You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God, you get that he wouldn't pray before he wouldn't he would doing the run from God. He didn't want to speak for God, he wouldn't even pray to God for the sake of the frantic sailors who are afraid of drowning memo that I not on speaking terms with God.
I don't talk to God anymore. But now was hearts changed.
You have brought up my life from the pit notice. Oh Lord, my God, it's personal again.
Jonah prays in verse seven.
While I was fainting away, you remembered or I remember the Lord and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. I was without hope, and I prayed to you. You heard Sinclair Ferguson writes, isn't it marvelous that God has mercy upon his servant Jonah before Jonah will preach that God will have mercy amenable.
So is it any wonder after all of this that the third ingredient of her penances beyond admission and restoration. The third one would be this appreciation to Jonah as he prays now in verse nine but I will sacrifice to you with a voice of Thanksgiving that which I have found I will pay salvation is from the Lord. Keep in mind Jonah has not been given a promise of deliverance.
There was no message sent down a bottle to get at is as you pray, that he was he wasn't thankful because he was back on dry land. He wasn't thankful that he hadn't around.
I think he still at this point thinks he will drown. He's thankful that God has turned his heart back from a heart of rebellion that has caused him to call once again on the name of the Lord. He is thankful for his salvation. Seaweed wrapped around his head, but does waste chest and water putrid air hot. He thinks he's going to die suddenly. He is filled with joy.
Why my heart of rebellion is returned to you God you are my God I've asked for forgiveness. I know you forgiven. Did you notice here. He says salvation belongs to the Lord. This wasn't so much a theological declaration is as it is a personal confession of faith prays notice. Also in verse nine, Jonah says he's going to sacrifice to God and pays about that sound familiar. Go back to sailors on deck as they convert to the God of Israel, and they sacrifice an animal to God as is there, the custom of the Hebrew. Evidently they knew enough to do that and they paid their valves. This is the same vocabulary is the sailors who repented and claimed the God of Israel as their got sacrifice animals and valid to serve and what can Jonah sacrifice. I will sacrifice to you. He can't sacrifice an animal he's been swallowed by one one thing. What can he sacrifice to God. Now he's gone too far.
Can he offer to God the same thing you can and I can back when David repented and wrote that great hymn of repentance. He wrote the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God will not despise some 5117. No matter how far you've run from God.
No matter where you are right now the enemy will say to you, you gone too far. You now have nothing to offer God. Why would he want you.
You can give him nothing that's alive. All lines you can offer to God. The sacrifices he loves most. No matter how far you've run you can offer him the sacrifices of a broken spirit and contrite heart. And this is what Jonah does is offering to God. The sacrifices of a repentant heart of the humbled spirit and then Jonah not having had any guarantees prior to the sacrifices of his humility and of his own humility before God. God then moves to send the biggest case of indigestion any fishes ever experienced that fish spit up Jonah on the dry land.
Verse tenant, God commanded the fish and vomited Jonah up onto the dry land, God gave that fish the worst stomachache ever. He couldn't digest the prophet, and he spent a month that I must together a crowd, but it did.
The prodigal prophet and I think though I can't prove it, that he was returned to Joppa and it all started over again.
The prodigal prophet has returned his home again in her book, Lois Kruger tells the story of her son, Carl, and something that happened when he was just 4 1/2 weeks old.
Lois and her husband had been having one of those hectic weeks and the scientists into getting more and more trouble getting in the way causing problems in he was sent to the corner for some time now over in the corner. He suddenly piped up and said I'm going to run away from home. Lois stopped. She wrote to remember that moment from her own childhood when she felt in the way only able to do bad things never in the right even even feeling a bit unloved and she responded with unique wisdom. She said okay you can run away from home.
He said I can't. Yes you can come on, let's pack she got his little suitcase down hers as well begin to get her clothes. He said mama what you doing. She's a blonde and I need my coat pajamas shoes. She packed her things and placed both suitcases by the front door and said okay. Are you sure you want to run away from home. He said I where you going she said well if you're gonna run away from home mom is going with you because I would never want you to be alone that good. How infinitely wise and gracious of our heavenly father.
Jonah has run away and get when he's ready to call out to the Lord. He discovers that God is ready to listen. It struck me no matter how long you stay silent. God will hear you when you're ready to talk. You also discover in those moments of road finding Grace that the as you've run away in sinful rebellion. Imagine he has gone along ladies and gentlemen, the most wonderful miracle in Jonah chapter 2 is not preservation in the fish but restoration in the heart of the prodigal prophet down deep in the belly of the whale actually came home. He has come home in the belly of the fish.
Why because his right and when you're right with you all. This is a passage read, but I hope this look at this familiar story has given you a fresh perspective and has encouraged you in your own walk with Christ. I'm glad you joined us today.
This is wisdom for the hard with Stephen Devi.
We have a magazine that includes articles written by Stephen to help you explore various topics related to the Christian life. For example, in this October issue, Stephen explores the topic of church discipline and how we as believers are supposed to confront and restore our fellow Christians who are involved in sin. The magazine also has a daily devotional guide Stephen son Seth writes devotions that are very practical yet theologically rich, the magazine is called heart to heart heart to heart magazine is not available by subscription. It's a gift that we send to all of our wisdom partners. We also sent several issues to folks who introduce themselves to our ministry would love to send you the next three issues as our gift to you.
If you've never seen it before you can sign up for it on our website. Wisdom online.org or you can call us today at 86 648 Bible. Thanks for joining us. Be with us next time.
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