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Jonah’s Disobedience (Part 2) | Beyond the Flannelgraph

Jonah knows he can’t escape the presence of God, but he still runs from God. Jonah is continually disobedient throughout the rest of the story, but the Lord is patient. God will use our lives for his own glory and purpose, despite our sin and disobedience. 

In this episode, Brody sits down with Rob Conti and Spencer Davis to take a deeper look at the story of Jonah.

Jonah’s Disobedience (Part 2) – Transcript:

Please excuse any grammar or capitalization errors. This is an automated transcript, provided to help you get more out of the episode and dig in deeper on any sections you want.

Speaker 1: 0:00

Last week we talked about the first chapter of Jonah, talked a little bit about the story of Jonah and uh, and kind of took a little bit different approach or deeper dive into that story. And so I wanted to follow that up with a conversation with, uh, rob Conti and Spencer Davis both those guys really, really good expositors, guys that I lean on and lean into a lot when it comes to sermon preparation, um understanding how to put a sermon together. Rob teaches our exposition classes in the snowboard leadership Institute and Spencer teaches Old Testament survey, um, and then he also teaches some Old Testament classes that focus on certain aspects of the Old Testament, one of those being the minor profits. So Jonah is one of the books in the minor profits, even though it’s got a little different tone and feel, because it’s a narrative, it’s a story. The others are all sort of the message recorded that the minor profit was giving to Israel or to whatever people, group or King, um, the message was being delivered to where Jonah tells the story of this profit. And I just wanted to sit down with these guys it’s super informal, you’ve heard us do this before and we just kind of unpacked some, some further thoughts and ideas from the story of Jonah and wanted to bring you along into that conversation. It it’s it’s lengthy, um, but it, you know, it’s just designed to kind of not have a specific flow. We just kind of worked through the story of that first chapter and just just talk about it. So we we get off, you know, into some history and we, we, we just kind of go here and go there and I I like these kinds of conversations. They helped me get my head around the story a lot better and I hope that it’ll be helpful for you as a listener and maybe you’ll be in inspired to go dive back into the story of Jonah. Um, thanks for tuning in, coming along and listening and for your support. Welcome to no sanity required.Speaker 2: 2:10

Welcome to no sanity required from the ministry of snowbird wilderness outfitters. A podcast about the Bible culture and stories from around the globe.Speaker 1: 2:20

Before we get into our conversation, I wanted to follow up, um, after after we posted last week’s episode actually after we had recorded that I had an opportunity to speak on Jonah chapter one and in that preparation I went a little further, uh, and because instead of preparing to do a podcast, I was preparing to do a sermon. I take that really serious when I really drill into the main point of attack, and we’ll get into this a little bit today in our conversation. But I wanted to point out that in that Jonah chapter one episode, the main focus to me is in verse 14, where these, these mariners, these sailors, these merchant, uh, ship guys who who apparently are not only a rough lot but they’re a pagan lot, because they cry out to these pagan deities, those guys confess that Yahweh is God, that he is the Lord, that he is, that he is, um, overall, you know that there’s this really cool declaration they make there in chapter 14. And I wanted to and I think that that provides the main point of chapter one, which is the sovereignty of God, and I think there’s five. There’s five ways that we see the providence or the sovereignty of God on display in the first chapter, the first point, uh, that we see that is in the first couple of verses of Jonah, one where the Lord commissions Jonah to go to this city and preach up a message of repentance and salvation. So God is always sovereign and and we always see his providence in the affairs of men when it comes to bringing people to sa, to saving faith or to salvation. And we see it there, uh, the next thing, the next area or the next way that we see it, um, the next point in the story that I think we see it is when Jonah runs away from the Lord. It says that the Lord hurled a great storm or wind on the sea. So we see the providence of God on display in the creation of the storm, the hurling of the storm. That’s clearly the hand of God. It’s really powerful. The third act of God’s providence, or the third way or place that we see God’s providence, or the third way or place that we see God’s providence, is in, uh, the, the casting of the lots. There’s this scene in verses seven, I think, seven through 10, where these men, they cast lots. Now, this would have been. This was a way of not. Sometimes this will be used for gambling, think of like roll in dice or, um, draw in straws. You know it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a means of, of selection. That seems to be random chance. You know you got. You got. Remember when we were little kids and you’d play a one potato, two potato, three, potato, four. Remember that, um, and and and I remember when we would play one potato, two potato, three, potato, four, to see who goes first or who’s got to be it and freeze tagged. Yeah, you remember that. Did you do that Hide and seek, freeze tag, or sometimes we’d use it for you know some different sports things. But everybody stands in a circle, holds their hands out in a, in a double fist, and it’s uh, and you go around the circle one potato, two potato, three, potato, four, five potato, six potato, seven potato, or, and then when it got to, or if it landed on you, you’re out. You step out and you do it till it’s down to two guys one potato, two potato, three, potato, four and you go back and forth and then, and then you’re when, if it lands on you, then you’re out.Speaker 3: 5:59

Yeah, I don’t know.Speaker 1: 6:00

Maybe you don’t, maybe you didn’t do that, but we did that and then. So, so it was a way of a playground casting of lots. You know, we the other day, um little, had the. My wife had the kids draw straws to see who I think it was, to see who got to sit in the front seat or something, I don’t know the three youngest ones, and whoever drew the small straw was out, you know, and then the next straw was out. So whoever had the long, the tall, I don’t remember how it was, but it was a selection process. So, casting lots, these guys, they cast lots, there’s just random, they crowd to these pagan deities and they’re like, show us who it is, and I can’t figure it out. So they cast lots. And there’s a verse in Proverbs 16, 33 that says the lot is cast into the lap, but it’s, every decision is from Yahweh. So the providence the Lord has seen in the casting of the lots, um, I think, I think that’s that’s a pretty wild moment. And then the fourth way that we see the, the, the, the providence of God, or the hand of God, is that, um, that verse 14, declaration, that the men, you know, john, says throw me into the sea and uh, and I mean he’s willing to die, rather than we’re going to talk about that in our conversation, but he’s like, throw me in the sea. I’m basically I’m not going to Nineveh, you know. But the fourth act of providence is that the men confess the sovereignty in might of Yahweh, and verse 14, you see the salvation of these sailors. So God is provident in that he uses Jonah’s fleeing and running away to bring salvation to these, to these sailors. And then the fifth and final act of providence, the final thing we see in terms of God’s providence, is that the Lord prepares a fish to swallow Jonah. He prepares this fish to come up out of the water and swallow Jonah. So the the, the sovereign hand of God, is evident throughout the story and that’s the main idea in chapter one. So I just add that to last week’s episode and kind of use it as a segue into this week’s conversation. So let’s get into it. I think when, when we have all talked about the story of Jonah, we’ve talked about mis misconceptions that I think come from a combination of the way we were raised up and the way popular culture has portrayed it, because the the like the most prevalent, the most popular, well-known Bible stories are David and Goliath, daniel and the lion’s den. Jonah is is in that list. I think Jonah’s one of the stories you could ask. Like, if you ask, you go out on the street and you could ask a hundred people If they know the story. What do you know about David and Goliath? Oh, it’s this little dude and they’ll tell you the. They got it. What do you know about Jonah? The story, the Bible story of Jonah, they can tell you they can tell you what right.Speaker 3: 8:55

Like if you say David, people say Goliath. You say Jonah, they’re going to say whale the whale yeah. They at least know that much.Speaker 1: 9:02

They know that much and and I think that’s uh, when, when I was raised up in church and it was very traditional, and we we call these series the, the series where we take these Bible stories and we we dig deeper, like the Joseph stuff we’re doing, we call it beyond the flannel graph. And it’s because those of us that grew up before the era of veggie tales, the way we were informed and the way we had Bible stories illustrated, we say Bible stories. What they are is their narratives, their historical narratives, that we call Bible stories. And I think a lot of times when you say Bible stories, it it almost I don’t want to say not cheap in some, but it makes it more like a child like thing and like makes like a children’s story, a children’s tale. So, bible stories well, Jesus healing a blind person, that’s a Bible story. Jesus having a conversation with the woman at the well, in John 4, that’s a Bible story. Jonah and the whale are the big fish, that’s a Bible story. But what it is, it’s a historical narrative that fits into redemptive history. It’s a narrative and a greater narrative that’s telling the story of how man is being redeemed and offered rescue and salvation by a righteous and holy God. That’s the big narrative of the Bible and this is a narrative that fits into that. So, jonah, you start off. Jonah. When we look beyond the flannel graph or beyond the veggie tale or beyond the child children’s Bible story, what we have is a deeply theological, deeply historical story and work of nonfiction. It’s not allegory. It’s a story that happened and it’s, but it’s a story that is a deep study into human nature. I think we see ourselves in Jonah. One of the misconceptions that I got as a kid, that I was kind of taught, was that the reason Jonah fled was because he was afraid of the people in Nineveh or sometimes you would get that as part of it and maybe they would say he didn’t like the people in Nineveh. But he tells us why he fled in chapter 4. He tells us he ran away because he knew that God is long-suffering, god is compassionate, god is merciful and that if he preached the word of the Lord to the people in Nineveh, he knew God was going to save him and he didn’t want him to be saved. That’s a completely different picture than what most of us have. I’m not saying we were given the wrong information or I’m just saying there’s a lot more to this. When you spent your life this morning, you said when you study it for yourself. I think the challenge that I hope we put in front of people in this episode is take these familiar stories and dig deep. It’s not that you were lied to, it’s not that we were told wrong, and sometimes we were maybe led in the wrong direction, like the story of David and Goliath is not about conquering your giants, we know that. But the story of Jonah and the whale is something that probably a lot of us would have an enormous amount of growth in our lives if we would do a deep dive and study it.Speaker 3: 12:20

For sure. I remember the main takeaway being presented as if Jonah was foolish and thought he could run away from God. So you can’t run away from God, he’s everywhere, which is true Something that’s a good point. And as a kid, to learn that, yeah, he’s everywhere, you can’t run from him. But then, yeah, you read it now you’re like, okay, jonah, he knows enough to know, he knows God’s everywhere, he knows he sees everything, he knows he’s not going to escape God’s presence. But yeah, so, his motivation being I just don’t want to obey your command because I know who you are, which is the greatest news. In the Old Testament, what God says to Moses is he’s long suffering, steadfast in his love. It’s the best news ever, and he’s like I don’t want them to know it, but God’s grace trumping that, you know, is so much bigger.Speaker 1: 13:24

I was trying to study, trying to figure out where Tarshish is, because that’s where he headed, for he went to Joppa, which is so. Just going to Joppa is a journey from Nineveh.Speaker 4: 13:36

Well, he wouldn’t have been in Nineveh right?Speaker 1: 13:38

He’d have been in his hometown which I don’t think was Joppa no it was Gath Heffer. Yeah, yeah, he’d have been. Does it say he was in his hometown? Because the only other reference to Jonah is in Second Kings, where he’s in the court of the king as a prophet of the Lord. So he could have been in Gilgal or Jerusalem. You know, like he was a notable dude. Yeah, it doesn’t say, it just says go to Nineveh.Speaker 4: 14:05

So we don’t know if he’s around the king at this point, because he’s a prophet. That’s what he does, or if he’s back home, back home yeah.Speaker 1: 14:14

And he goes to Joppa, which is a port city, buys a ticket to Tarshish and most historians feel confident that it was at the far end of the Mediterranean Sea, like in Spain, in Spain, yeah, so he’s like I’m going to go. It’d be like us saying, you know, getting out Google Earth and going and, and well, going to Google and Googling farthest distance from where.Speaker 4: 14:37

I am. How far can I sail?Speaker 1: 14:39

Yeah, or farthest, longest flight and you get in, you go to Delta’s website, or you go to, you know, travelosity or kayak, and it’s like, oh, this point in New Zealand or Fiji, if I go there, I’ll be the farthest geographic point possible on the map from where I currently am. That’s kind of what he did, and so what he’s doing is you’ve got intentionality, but you’ve got also desperation, where, if y’all thought about when you are, when you’re running away from God, you you kind of get irrational. Because he does what you say, rob, he does know, he knows he can’t get away from God, but you become irrational.Speaker 4: 15:24

Yeah, I wondered if he’s kind of trying to retire as a prophet, you know, if he’s like you know what, this has been a good gig, you know. But the irony is he’s brought the same message to Jeroboam and the people of Israel that he’s supposed to bring, you know, like, because his message to Jeroboam and that second Kings thing, Jeroboam, is terrible. He’s an evil king of an evil people and God says despite your evil, I’m going to have mercy on you and larger borders. And so, Jonah’s cool, with God’s mercy, despite evil for our people, for us you know. But then when he gets the call, I’m going to do that over here too. He’s like and I just kind of I got the picture of you know instead of obviously he knows he’s not running from God’s presence, but like running from his office, running from his calling, just like I’m going to hang this up. Somebody else can bring that message, but I’m not going to do it. I know he’s going to save and I wonder if he thought if the prophet doesn’t bring the message, god’s not going to do it.Speaker 1: 16:24

You know, if he thought that I don’t know, yeah, or if he’s just desperate, irrational, I’m out, I mean, I, I I’m not doing this, I think Jeroboam, then this is the second Jeroboam. Yeah, this is Jeroboam too. Um, going in front of him required courage, you know. Whatever his we, we don’t get, we’re not told much about his message to you know, or his preaching ministry or whatever, in the court of Jeroboam too. But I mean, he had to have courage and boldness to go in front of that king. So we know he’s. It’s not like he’s a coward, you know, like as far as he’s been faithful, as far as we can tell, he just doesn’t want to go. Let’s, let’s walk through the story a little bit. So, uh, and and and we’ll just, we’ll just see how far this goes. But, um, it’s, it starts off. Um, now, the word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amitya. The word of the Lord coming to him, that’s evidence that he’s a prophet. Right, that’s one of the indicators, like, because Jonah, the, the genre of scripture, or where it fits in the Bible is, he’s one of the minor prophets, right, spinners, yeah, and, and that’s it, wouldn’t both y’all agree? The word of the Lord came to. That’s what you see when God’s speaking to prophets. Yeah, and that’s similar to in the New Testament when a writer will start off and say so Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, you know like this is telling us. This is an authoritative Interaction, god speaking to Jonah. This legitimizes that he’s a prophet of the Lord. Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come upon me. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship to Tarshish. So he paid the fire and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea and there was a mighty tempest on the sea so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid and each cried out to his God and they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to Lock it for them. So let’s stop right there and and point out a few things. One, if you are a mariner, you’re a sailor. In the first, you know, wave of seafaring peoples, I’d say you don’t scare easy no right, you don’t scare easy, you like, and these guys are Absolutely out of their minds. And it’s interesting if I don’t know if y’all notice this, but it seems like every time a storm is recorded in scripture, it’s like this Paul shipwreck on Malta. The storms that Jesus, the one he calms, the one where Peter walks on the water Though you know they’re just the storms that are recorded are insane. And this storm is so crazy that these professional mariners are freaking out and I and I’ll be honest, the ocean freaks me out.Speaker 4: 19:37

Oh for sure. Yeah, I imagine the supernaturally churned up ocean, you know who knows what.Speaker 1: 19:42

This is what it looks like. It says the Lord hurled.Speaker 4: 19:45

Yeah, which is God’s grace. Mm-hmm, they chasing after Jonah with this storm.Speaker 1: 19:50

Mm-hmm. He hurled a mighty tempest. The ship threatened to break up, so the ship’s about to come apart. That’s how bad the storm is. Yeah, y’all remember this past summer tracking that submarine you know I don’t, I don’t love our listeners remember, but Was it like four billionaires that all paid money, these billionaire explorers, to go in a homemade submarine into the Depths of the icy North Atlantic to look at the? And it just all died? I’m not laughing. I am laughing Almost, but not laughing like it’s not comic-coids. What are you thinking? What are? you doing Like, do you lose your dude, like? But the the thought of. But I remember when we’re tracking that I remember just Literally. This literally happened to me because that that that little boat, that little submarine, went into the water on Sunday. I Remember on Tuesday, because they had like three or four days worth of oxygen. They said which we know now the thing popped and they were all dead. But I remember on Tuesday morning I couldn’t sleep, like Tuesday night I went to bed thinking about it because we had had a conversation and we had some. We had some guys at camp that were Submariners in the Navy and so they’re telling us their take on it and it was fascinating. And so then it’s, you know, I go to bed that night and it, you know, I think I went to bed at one in the morning and my, I couldn’t get my wheels to stop turning. I didn’t sleep at five o’clock. I’m up thinking, oh my gosh, those dudes. There’s something about the connectivity to knowing here’s some humans that they are right now in total darkness, possibly sitting on the bottom of the ocean Hoping that somebody comes, and they can’t see each other. Yeah, that’s what we’re thinking, but I remember being so emotionally drawn into that story and I’ve tried to look at this scene right here in verses four and five, with that same sort of intensity and and I wanted to point out the very next thing. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. That’s well, I don’t, I don’t even know what to do with that. How’s he sleeping? I remember, I Remember talking to my brother one time he’s wrestling with something. It was a big life decision and he said you know, people talk about I just don’t have a piece about it. Well, you’ll be careful when you start talking about a piece. Yeah, cuz Jonah has a piece, right here he’s, he has enough peace of heart and mind to go fast asleep in the middle of a storm that is freaked out, all these mariners when I think, a lot of times the piece that we have is a piece that passes understanding. Where you’re conflicted, you’re afflicted. He would have had a different piece if he would have been right here on his way to Nineveh right. He would have a greater peace, even though he might not be able to sleep.Speaker 4: 22:47

Yeah, right, no, and God’s commissioned me to tell this message. Nothing can stop that I’m at peace, no matter what happens. Yeah, but here it’s almost confusing. We’re like Are you assuming God’s gonna save you? Are you? What do you think’s going on?Speaker 3: 23:03

Mm-hmm.Speaker 4: 23:05

Yeah.Speaker 1: 23:06

Did he get drunk? Did you take sleeping pills?Speaker 3: 23:10

It’s how are you sleeping? You know and it’s pointed out that you know all these guys are crying out to their gods. Right, like they’re. They’re false gods, which is, yeah, they wake them up. Like what do you mean? You sleep or arise? Call out to your God, perhaps the God will give a thought to us that we may not perish, you know? And and then it’s like in a minute they’re gonna find out who he is. It’s gotta, you know, it’s crazy, cuz it’s gonna be like Okay, so you’re a prophet for this God, and you know this is why it’s happening. We’re all praying to our gods, who we know. You’re reading the story. Their deaf dumb can’t do anything and the the only person on the boat who knows the one true God is Sleep literally asleep, literally sleep.Speaker 4: 23:58

And the irony is the captain’s acting like the prophet. He’s like get up, call on your God, repent. You know he’s doing. He’s speaking like a prophet would speak to the prophet.Speaker 3: 24:08

Yeah.Speaker 1: 24:09

Yeah, that’s, that’s the irony. Keep going, cuz I think what happens next is absolutely Fascinating. I Mean, these guys basically are gonna turn to y’all.Speaker 3: 24:20

Yeah.Speaker 1: 24:22

So, after the captain comes up and says that, they said to one other come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us. If you ever read that proverb that says the lot is cast, yeah, in the lap or whatever, the lot is cat. Well, I forget how it goes, but it’s like. But the Lord’s the one that determines it. So, even as they cast lots, it’s not random.Speaker 4: 24:42

Yeah, and I think a lot of people will point to Like how many coincidences or like whatever, like it. They’ll say the story is allegory, because we got the fish, we got the lots we got. How did that plant grow so big? How did the people rip hint so fast? And I think it’s miracles. Mm-hmm right, like you can’t. This isn’t a. You know there’s a lot of weird things in science, but the fish isn’t one of them. This is miracle. You know, the lot. This is miracle, this isn’t just. And what are the chances?Speaker 3: 25:12

Yeah, we believe in a God who created the universe.Speaker 4: 25:15

We’re okay with it, yeah.Speaker 1: 25:17

Mm-hmm. Yeah, so they cast a lot to know whose account, on whose account the evil has come upon us. So they, they cast lots in. The lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him tell us. So now this is an interesting moment.Speaker 4: 25:34

It is, it is Go ahead. What are your thoughts? Well, cuz they’re like, tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? I, I’m a Hebrew. I fear the Lord, y’all way. What’s your occupation? He doesn’t say.Speaker 1: 25:54

I’m a prophet.Speaker 4: 25:54

I’m supposed to bring this message over here. These folks over here, you know like, yeah, he’s, I’m a Hebrew, I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea in the dry land and Leaves out his occupation now. He did later say you know, like it says, the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Lord because he had told them. He did later say but when they first ask what’s your occupation, he just says I’m a Hebrew, I fear God. Yeah, and it seems like they freak out at this point and I don’t know if it’s like they know Yahweh’s name. They’ve heard Egypt stories, they’ve heard Canaan stories of the conquest and they’re like oh, yahweh, you know he’s the alpha, yeah, or If they’re just like you’ve offended your God I don’t know, but in any case he still seems. The supernatural role of the dice comes on Jonah, after he’s sleeping in the supernatural storm, and they’re like and what’s your occupation? You know, and he, I fear the Lord. Chance, chance to repent. Hebrew. I’m with Hebrew.Speaker 1: 26:58

What’s your occupation? American? Oh man, yeah.Speaker 3: 27:02

I’m a Hebrew.Speaker 1: 27:04

Oh man, yeah. So then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him what is this you have done?Speaker 4: 27:11

Well, and they seemed to. He says I fear God. And they seem to really fear God.Speaker 1: 27:16

Yeah, to truly fear him. For the man knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord because he had told him so. Then he explained it. And then they said to him what shall we do to you that the sea may quiet down for us? The sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them pick me up and hurl me into the sea, then the sea will quiet down for you. For I know, for I know, it is because of me that the great tempest has come upon us or has come upon you. What, what.Speaker 4: 27:46

As well, because he knows exactly what’ll stop this tempest, you know, like yeah, you repent. I Don’t think he’s sacrificing himself for these guys. I think suicide.Speaker 3: 27:56

Oh yeah.Speaker 4: 27:57

He knows exactly how to stop this storm if you repent yeah he’s like I’m done I. How committed are you to hate for a people group that you’re like? You know, it just talks me in the sea.Speaker 3: 28:08

Which you know. That’s like you try to put yourself in. Yeah, why would you hate these people so much? And it’s not once you start reading about the Assyrians, it’s not hard to get there if you think and what if it was some of his own, not just like nation that they had done horrible things to? But you know what? If somebody in his family or you know, you start speculating like, okay, why this deep hatred? Maybe they Put somebody he knew on a stake. You know like, but but regardless, yeah, he’s, he’d rather die, he’d rather kill himself.Speaker 1: 28:44

Have you ever heard that? Read Like in a commentary or watch the documentary where they say that outside of the gates of the city you know it’s right, this is right by modern-day Mosul, iraq, and they say that they archeologists found like piles of human skulls that were arranged you know.Speaker 4: 29:02

Yeah, they’re brutal, yeah, the Syrians was a dude.Speaker 1: 29:06

Tick tick with polite plaza, please are. That guy was known to like dismember, cut off hands, cut off arms.Speaker 4: 29:13

Yeah disembowel and it’s. It may be interesting, everybody here just a couple minutes of like background on the Syrians, but like they’re kind of they, they kind of grew in shrank or whatever, but right here they’re growing into the absolute height of their power and what they’ve been doing is they’ll go up to these cities and they’ll overtake them and they build these Like earth ramps up to city walls so they can just come over the top. And there’s one still standing in, like east the city and drew in Judah. There’s one still that you know people visit. But they’d go over this. They capture the city, just brutal, they’re just blood thirsty and they’d put hooks in the people’s mouths and the way that they would control all these captives is hit. They take this people a and they’d move them across, you know nations over to the land of people be. They’d move people be to the land of people a people see to the land of people D and any time there’s a rebellion they would crush it just with brutality. But they’d also just replace the people. They deported them everywhere. So they’re outside of the normal game, they’re outside of their normal culture, you know. So when they take the Israelites out which this hasn’t happened in Jonah’s day, they move another people into Israel land. You know so. That’s why you know, even when they’re threatening Judah. You know this guy, rob Shaka, which is the best name in the Bible to me the. Rob Shaka comes to Hezekiah and he’s like hey, I’m gonna take you away, make your peace, come with me. Yeah, I’m gonna give everybody your own fig tree. I’m gonna give everybody your own land, your own vineyard. You’ll move into a to a grove of olives. You know who’s gonna deport them into another place, mm-hmm. But these people are just so and so brutal that you know and at this point, that haven’t captured Israel, which is where you know Jonah’s from. But they’re, they’re getting close. It happens within like 30 years or something like that of Jonah’s message to Nineveh. And I mean it’d be like he is literally supposed to go to their threatening enemy and say Repent, and just just wild the message. Who he’s gonna bring the message to? And you’re right, you know, at this point some of his family may have been Brutalized. You know he’s. He’s up there, way up in the north. Jonah’s home is way in the north.Speaker 1: 31:30

I’ve heard several analogies where it’s like one, one is like Um, it would be like a slave in the 1850s, you know, being commissioned by God, a A slave that has escaped on the underground railroad in the 1860s, being commissioned to go, you know, to Birmingham, if that was a city or whatever you know and proclaimed to you know, the the southern, southern leaders or whatever, like repentance over their sin and I’m like, and that I don’t think that quite gets it. Then I’ve heard people say it would be like Going to the Taliban or ISIS, being called to do that. The reality is I don’t think we have a modern-day parallel. It’s beyond it’s. You have to really go deep into your own imagination to even understand. I don’t think we have a. I think we fall short if we try to make an analogy to modern-day.Speaker 4: 32:30

Because there’s no threatening power that’s threatening to take us from our homes and boogers. I mean they deported four million people in that that one time period, and that was, I mean, most of the world right there and it’s, and they’re. They’re a calculated people. I mean Isaiah. When he talks about him, he says none of them are weary, none of them stumble, none of them sleep, not a waistband is loose, not a sandal strap is broken. Like they’re calculated, they’re on it and they’re intentionally brutal. All right, we don’t have a pair of no, we don’t, we really don’t.Speaker 1: 33:05

The you know it’s the same kind of Evil is like the Nazis under Hitler. But even then you’re talking about. You’re talking about a time in history where Um One nation was literally One, not even nation. One people Was taken over the entire world and no one was stopping it, like no one was slowing them down. Nobody slowed them down once it happened.Speaker 4: 33:34

Nobody slowed them down at this point, yeah, at this point in their history, because it had up and down. But now they’re like swelling, to just and nobody slows them down.Speaker 1: 33:41

And then I mean, and then it’s, you know, 722.Speaker 4: 33:46

30 years later, this is 750s, right, 780s we know it’s during Jeroboam’s reign, which is, like you know, 780. You said to 750, so it’s somewhere in there. So it could be as as short a time span as 30 years before the assyrians take israel, or it could be 50 years, yeah the assyrians are in 722 and then, 100 years later, the babilonians overthrow the assyrians.Speaker 1: 34:10

But it’s because the assyrians, they practice this kind of it’s like a scorched earth approach where they pillage, they rape, they just consume and destroy. Where the babilonians are very technologically advanced, they’re educated, they, they take. Like, when the babilonians take over, they use a different approach. That’s that’s which, that’s another deep dive, but that it takes a stronger, smarter people, a scent like a century of growing into power, to overthrow. Like at this point, no one’s challenging them. And Jonah’s like I don’t want. And Nineveh’s a key city, at one point Nineveh was the capital of the assyrian empire and Jonah’s like I don’t, I’m not going there, I don’t want to go there.Speaker 3: 34:55

And you know, I think for me the point is not to become all of a sudden like sympathetic to Jonah. You know as much as to back up and stand in awe of how. You know how far above Our thinking and our understanding is God’s Understanding, his will, his plans and purposes are so far down. Because you’re like man. It doesn’t make sense, like why don’t you just crush them now? And I mean they’re gonna be judged. God uses the babilonians to judge them and then he uses somebody else to judge the babilonians To judge the babilonians, the Greeks to judge the person and all the to judge Israel at time, but but within all of that, that, to us, is such a like Massive confusion. You know, and we don’t see all the threads like God’s ultimately Playing out, redemption. You know and like, and that’s what comes back to the core of this story. You know, it’s like, yeah, god, god saves who he wants to and has mercy on who, on whom he will have mercy, and it’s like, okay, if I keep my eyes on that, you know, and whoever he calls me to have a gospel conversation with, he’s powerful enough to save them and and it’s his will to do it, and he’s worthy of worship. And and who he judges, he judges and he’s worthy of worship for that.Speaker 4: 36:17

Yeah, and at this point in the story Jonah is almost like he thinks God’s in the wrong for that mercy, or at least he doesn’t like it.Speaker 1: 36:28

The. It’s interesting because you know, when you think about the brokenness of humanity, like where people will say we, we’ve all had conversations, everybody that’s listening has had a conversation with somebody and maybe wrestled with it in your own mind. I, I don’t want to follow a god who allows so much evil, or why is war so prevalent and or why is there so much wickedness? And the world’s always been like that. And we get to look at stories like this and see how god is orchestrating a plan throughout history to bring salvation to people. And, you know, raising up the Assyrian people and and using them to judge Israel. But then what you just said, then raising up Another people and using them to judge Assyria, then raising up another people and punishing them for doing what they did to do Assyria and continuing there. Because when the Bible something else, when the Babylonians conquered the Assyrians 150 years later, they also then further oppressed the Israelites. But it looks different because they let some of them, they begin to let some of them go home. They deport more to Babylon, they, they move people around further. But they say how can we maximize the good out of this people group? Well, the Assyrians like virtually disappear. I mean there are remnants of those people now on the earth, but Like it, like history is written and it’s, but Israel is always preserved. Yeah, they are the people of promise. Israel survives the Assyrian invasion and oppression, the Babylonian invasion and oppression, the Babylonian Invasion and oppression. The Persian global empire, the Greek global empire, the roman world empire, the ottoman empire, like Israel, has never gone away in 1948. They become a city state again after After the Holocaust after the Holocaust they become a city state. The Holocaust like the final straw, but and but, if you like, you geek out just a minute. If you go back to the late 19th century, in the late 1800s, israel, like, like, ethnic Jews, began to go back to Palestine. From Russia, from Spain, from France, they began to go back to Palestine, to their homeland, and they began to establish a national identity. That’s 50 years before Hitler, they began to reestablish a national identity and so when Hitler goes to kill all the Jews, it’s immediately following that that they all say we got to go back and join together and establish a nation and build a military and and build an identity. Well, that hadn’t been a thing since 722 BC, so 2500, 2600 years. God is preserving a people On the, on the planet, when a whole bunch of people came and went in that time period. So when you look at what God, when you look at the story and God using the Assyrians to judge Israel, it, but he still got a plan for Israel. He’s going to use that nation to bring the Messiah into the world and then he’s going to use that nation to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. But Paul says to the Jew first, and also to the Greek, because those, the Israelite people, are all over the earth and Paul’s early missionary journeys are to go to the Jews in Spain, in Turkey, in Asia Minor, you know, in North Africa, to send or go to Establish a gospel presence among the Jews first, who then become the, the, the global missionary force. It’s fascinating.Speaker 3: 40:05

It is fascinating.Speaker 1: 40:06

I think you can. Even you can tie that to the story of Jonah, because we’re dealing with the Assyrians.Speaker 3: 40:11

The other thing that stands out to me in that you know, it’s just, you know God’s the way he views nations, and I don’t have like a developed Clean theology on it, but it’s just, it’s clear that throughout history God does judge nations. Right, we just talked about it in detail as well, as far you know, enumerating how many nations God’s clearly judging. That’s such a main point of the Minor prophets and it’s like, you know, I think, for Western mind, modern mind, like that goes against how I want to view God or how I’m conditioned to view God. That Will know it’s. You know, individual one, you know just that an individual is only responsible for himself, but then also like To downplay God’s wrath and judgment against anything, but let alone that he would hold all of us Accountableness, like we’ll know that God’s got a history and track record of holding nations accountable, showing them grace and mercy, but also Judgment, destruction. You know it stood out to me studying Joshua for our be strong conference and you know I’m just reading the story and celebrating. I know the walls are about to fall, you know, and it’s such a cool moment and seeing it, yeah, like memories of hearing it as a kid, mixed with better understanding as an adult and I’m just in the moment, and then they go over the wall and they’re killing men and I’m I’m still good with that, you know. I got cool pictures in my mind playing out. But then it says the women and the little ones. And I’m like gosh, that’s right, he’s judging them all, like he’s judging this whole nation, you know, and again just putting it in that perspective of God sovereign will. But what you know here in this story is like, yeah, he’s giving opportunity, he wants to give that nation that we just got done talking about and all the brutality and the Evil. Like he’s gonna give him opportunity to repent.Speaker 1: 42:26

Yeah, and they, and we know that they do yeah they do.Speaker 3: 42:31

Which I think both terrifies me in a sense and gives me hope. As an American, you know it’s like, yeah, can, can, will God? You know, I don’t, we don’t have a passage and no, you know detailed prophecy of what God’s gonna do to America. But you can look at, yeah, like he has every right to judge us as a nation. But there’s hope, you know.Speaker 1: 42:56

Mm-hmm. Okay, let’s, let’s finish this chapter one, and then I want to jump to chapter four for one final thought. Nevertheless, the men rode hard to get back to dry land, so they when, when Jonah said, throw me in the sea, it’ll stop, the men are like, no way, they have a, they have a conscience and I cannot imagine Going okay and throwing this dude into the sea.Speaker 4: 43:21

Because because you don’t know if that’s what stops them like that they’re like I don’t want that on my hand, or if they’re like I don’t have a right to judge his fate. Which is so ironic with what. Jonah’s whole mission right here with the judging the Ninevites in a sense, you know, like I’ve been on one ship in my life at sea and it was Early snubber days.Speaker 1: 43:43

A guy took us on a really short cruise and it was me and little, and I think Kilby and tuck were born. They were little, so I had, you know, couple toddlers and I was miserable as I caged right on that boat. That was awful and it was a short cruise. It was like a weekend cruise and we went down Maybe to Belize or to, I don’t know, somewhere in Mexico, I can’t remember. But I remember Going and looking over the edge of the boat and I’m not hating on cruises. I know a lot of people love going on cruises. I went on one three-day cruise. I’ll never go on a cruise again, that’s at least that’s my plan.Speaker 4: 44:19

But, and this is all you can eat. Quesadilla bar gets old after about, it gets old, it gets old and it’s not that great.Speaker 1: 44:28

But this and this is 20, 20 years ago. But I I remember walking out on the boat and and it’s, you know, 11 o’clock at night and you can’t see land in any direction, and looking down and I’m, you know, 12 stories up or whatever, looking down into that thing and it’s free it like you feel your stomach. I’m not scared of heights, like standing, you know, being in the arch it being in the arch in st Louis or being at top of that thing in Atlanta, that little restaurant that’s been, you see all the city. Like get up there and look out, that don’t freak me out. Being in an airplane Upside down, I’ve been, I’ve done that one time that didn’t freak me out. Roller coasters, heights, like I love that stuff. Standing on the top of that boat and looking down into the ocean, I got almost a queasy feeling in my stomach. And now imagine that that boat’s going upside down Practically and he’s like just hurt, just throw me in the water, it’ll stop. And they’re like no, no, no, everybody row harder. Yeah yeah, they’re trying to save him, and then they’re. Therefore, they called out to the Lord Yahweh. Yahweh, they crowd to his God. They’ve already cried out to their gods oh Yahweh, let us not perish for this man’s life and lay not on us innocent blood for you, oh Yahweh, have done as it pleased you. So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging on. To imagine that moment, like just Imagine the no, they’re screaming to hear each other. The wind is insane. Like how many times has there been a crazy Southern Appalachian way, smoking mountain storms in the summer, where we’re under an awning and you Can’t hear each other. You’re screaming at each other because the rain is beating the awning so loud and the wind is crazy. We saw that a few times this past summer. I mean, they can’t hear each other. They’re screaming, they’re soaking wet. The boats about to come up, come apart. They’ve thrown Okay, let’s not forget, they threw all their cargo overboard. How do they make a living? They this a cargo ship, I’m assuming, like that’s their livelihood, that, let’s say they’re, let’s say they’re hauling you know, rice or or tobacco or some some commodity that’s gonna bring them money and at at market when they come Not fishing, they’re heading all the way across the Mediterranean to sell something that they have in the Middle East, in Spain, where they don’t have it, and they throw it all overboard. That’s crazy. They throw it all over so they’re stripped down to nothing. They throw it over. Then they pick Jonah, I mean they throw him into the sea and then Listen. I picture see, like glass, and you’re yelling and and all sudden, oh my gosh, we can hear each other whisper. And the dudes did they see? Okay, first 17, the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah.Speaker 4: 47:28

Can we go back to verse 16 real quick?Speaker 1: 47:30

Okay, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah because it’s going okay.Speaker 4: 47:33

So then the the men feared the Lord exceedingly and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.Speaker 1: 47:39

They come to faith in the Lord. So it seems like they come to faith in the Lord and I think I think on verse 16 that. So I was gonna go 17, then come back. So let’s go ahead and walk through 16. I. Here’s what I think happens Whether Jonah writes the book or not. Exact things. Jonah wrote it. Some people do. Some people think he didn’t, doesn’t really matter. If he didn’t he would have probably dictated it or told the story. I. How did he know that happened? Did he, like he found out? Was it maybe the Lord just told him he’s a prophet, maybe in the inspiration of scripture? But did he later Reconnect with some of these guys and have conversation? I don’t know. But how did he know? But but he’s recording this. Either he’s telling it or he’s writing it. Unless the Lord just in his right inspiration, scripture, supernaturally revealed that, then that, like that’s recorded. Because if that, if there wasn’t any kind of a conversion, then they throw him into the sea and then the sea is calm and cease from its raging and you’re done and you don’t have verse 16. Verse 16 is in there. The men feared the Lord exceedingly. They offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.Speaker 4: 48:55

Which means it wasn’t that spontaneous, because they’ve thrown everything overboard. They don’t have any cows. They don’t have any anything they go all the way to the shore is taking their time. They’re offering a sacrifice there and making about seems a genuine Version yeah, it really does.Speaker 1: 49:12

And but what I was gonna say about 17? So go back to before the vows go back to 15. They picked up Jonah, hurled them into the sea the sea cease from its raging now, jumped over 17 and the Lord appointed a great fish To swallow up Jonah. Was Jonah like did he go into the water and he’s just getting tossed around? And he and he ends up. And then Hours later he’s swallowed by a fish. Because if he gets tossed into the water and the water is instantly calm, then Jonah’s out there treading water. Like is he, did they throw him in? And it’s instantly calm. And then he’s just like all right, see you guys, as the boat sailing off you know what I mean Like, yeah, it’s not like I threw him in the water and he disappeared. The water becomes calm. So was the fish waiting right there today? Did they toss him? And as the waters becoming calm, they see this, you know the the hump back of this fish come up and then Jonah’s just gone. What, what happened right there? What did that look like, you know?Speaker 3: 50:09

Yeah, yeah. In his prayer, you know he talks about going into the deep, into the heart of the ocean. At one point I’m looking for it where he says, like I had sea reed wrapped around my head yeah, weeds were wrapped about my head and the roots of the mountain. I went down to the land where the bars closed upon me forever. So, yeah, either yeah, just I mean, yeah, maybe it was A immediate, everything goes down, or maybe it’s like may heat that goes in. It’s still crazy and he Sinks like a stone.Speaker 4: 50:41

Mm-hmm.Speaker 3: 50:41

And then as he’s down there, you know, yeah.Speaker 1: 50:44

He says all your waves and your billows passed over me.Speaker 3: 50:48

If I was making the movie, those guys see it.Speaker 1: 50:51

Yeah, they see this big thing come up and eat him.Speaker 4: 50:54

Whoa, they’re just like after he’s sinking. Yes, I can sink in.Speaker 1: 50:58

Oh, it’s crazy. Okay now. So, jonah, you know from the belly of the fish he, some people think he died and was brought back to life. There’s this whole thing we’re not gonna get into here, but where Jesus points to it as a parallel to his own Going into the belly of the earth.Speaker 3: 51:17

Yeah, that’s sign of Jonah.Speaker 1: 51:19

Yeah, the sign of Jonah. But he, he gets in the belly of this thing. He prays and he repents and the fish spits him out, oh. And then he goes to. He goes to Nineveh with the message verse before we go, when he’s in the belly of the fish. Chapter two, verse seven, he says when my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord and my prayer came to you into your holy temple.Speaker 4: 51:48

So he’s like you know.Speaker 1: 51:49

I remember the Lord. You know, I’ve cried out to God. But then he says those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I, with the voice of Thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you what I have vowed. I will pay salvation Most Lord. It seems like verse eight those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. Is he talking about the Assyrians and the pagan people in Nineveh?Speaker 4: 52:15

That’s my opinion. I could be wrong on it, but I think it’s just like a subtle little dig you know just and I don’t know if he’s leaning on his nationality here, as an Israelite, you know, or if he’s just like. This is what God does. He’ll save me. You know. Salvation belongs to the Lord. I’ll I’ll what I vowed. I’ll pay, I’ll go. I’ll go with your message, but it doesn’t seem like a and I’m repending for my heart condition towards the Assyrians. I’ll go preach repentance.Speaker 1: 52:44

And the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah out on the dry land, and that was what came next.Speaker 3: 52:48

And again, if I’m making the movie, there’s a crowd of people getting ready to launch their boats in the morning to go out to fish, and they, they see it, and then he stumbles up.Speaker 1: 52:59

What’s he? What’s he look like?Speaker 3: 53:00

I think he’s. He’s still got that seaweed wrapped around his head and he’s I think he’s like bleached out from the acid in the stomach. He looks gnarly, he. It’s a freaky moment. That’s how I like to picture it.Speaker 1: 53:14

Yeah, I like that. And then he goes to Nineveh and he preaches the greatest sermon all the time. He walks into Nineveh. Jonah began to go into the city going a day’s journey. He called out yet 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. And the people of Nineveh believed God as a preacher. Tain’t y’all appreciate, like, when God works in spite of you? Because I don’t know what’s going on with that sermon. Is it half hearted? Is he just like, okay, I’ll say what I’m supposed to say and then take what’s coming? I don’t know, it just seems so anticlimactic, the message and the way he delivers it.Speaker 3: 53:55

I think it’s both as a preacher. It’s encouraging and a warning like encouraging, in that in my shortcomings, you know, in my faults, failures, all that, when I mess up and sin, god still use me. I can speak his message If I committed to saying what God has said. On the other hand, it terrifies me that, okay, I could walk in disobedience, be sinful, god still use me. That’s not. My security is not in fruitfulness and ministry. My security is in my relationship with the Lord and that’s where I need to continue to pursue and not have false security in that. Ministry seems to be going good, I’m all right.Speaker 1: 54:37

They called for the people who believe, believe God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them to the least of them. So there’s a like a repentance and a turn into the Lord. The King sends out an edict. This is like when Daniel, you know when the King makes an edict to worship Daniel’s God.Speaker 4: 54:56

Yeah, it’s wild because you know, obviously Jonah could have preached other things, but all the Bible gives us was the condemnation part right, and he’s prepped to preach the best sermon ever, Like he just came out of the belly of a fish he could have given you a good illustration literal like look at God’s grace on me, a sinner, so God has grace on you, sinners like but the only piece of his message that the Bible writers bring through is condemnation. Yeah, but then you know, just like the, everything in the stories obeying rather than. Jonah, the fish is obeying the sailors are obeying. Everybody’s fear the King. The King hears the city the people. He’s basically preaching the sermon that Jonah should have where he’s like. Who knows, maybe God will relent and a certain maybeSpeaker 1: 55:42

Jonah should have preached.Speaker 3: 55:44

Yeah.Speaker 1: 55:45

And at this point Jonah has seen the greatest fruit and ministry that maybe any preacher in the Old Testament saw the, because the pagan mariners have turned to faith, which he didn’t see. That but then, but then now a whole city. Imagine, I mean imagine, becoming a street preacher. I like to watch those street preachers on YouTube. You know it’s pretty. Sometimes I get sweaty armpits, watch, I get nervous. You know like I get. I feel flushed. But I was. I was in Canada. I’d crossed from a flu into Buffalo, new York, and crossed at Niagara Falls, went into Canada to preach an event and I stopped. The guy that picked me up took me to eat at a restaurant in. Niagara Falls and when we came out and it was like the, it’s basically like being in Gatlinburg or one of those beach. You know, it’s a tourist town where it’s like fudge shops and you know all the t-shirt funnel kicks. Yeah, it’s all wonderful, it’s good I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m not knocking at any of it, that’s one of my favorite things. But you come out and it’s like there’s a lot of people there and they’re all and it was. Uh, this was in. I think it was in August. It wasn’t cold. I’m at Niagara Falls but it’s not cold and I’m a street preacher and he’s got like and he’s a hip looking dude, like you know, he’s African American. He’s got a flat bill hat. He’s got another dude with him who’s white. So it’s you know, you got. You got these two guys that are both very like stylistically. They’re very much like with the times. They’re not. They don’t look like like. When I was growing up, there was a street preacher in downtown Wainesville. Every single Saturday morning and my childhood this dude would stand on a park bench and preach and he wore a suit. He’s crazy and I mean he’s probably faithful to the Lord, probably, love the Lord. He just probably needed to. Somebody needed to explain to him. That wasn’t the most effective, whatever, I’m not judging, but nobody ever stopped listening to that guy. But these dudes were. There was something about them that was appealing. They looked cool, you know like, and then they’re just and they had a cool dialect and vernacular. I’m sure they’re probably into either spoken word or hip hop, like like freestyle and something like these guys. They had some sort of street cred. But then they’re standing there preaching the gospel on the street and nobody was listening and then they would take turns. I sat and listened to him for a while. The black dude would preach for five minutes, then the white dude would preach for five minutes and three minutes worth of their sermon was all anybody heard and realized they had about a five minute sermon on a loop and I just hung out. We were just chilling and I was. I was like we weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere, so I waited till they took a break and I went over and talked to them and I told them, like man, I appreciate y’all’s boldness, I’m thankful for y’all. It didn’t feel like something that I felt critical of, like that. I felt like, if you’re going to street preacher, doing it, right, not one person even gave them a sideward, sideways glance, nobody paid attention to them. And when you do see I’ve seen some YouTube videos where street preachers are out there and then somebody comes over and pops off smarts off to them Jonah goes into the worst possible urban environment and says repent, god’s going to judge you and everybody gets saved. I just don’t have. I don’t have a context for this. That’s wild.Speaker 3: 59:23

Have you all? Uh. So, knowing that we were going to do this, I was looking at it again and I’d never seen this or heard this before. But one of the preachers I was looking at he points out that, uh, it’s possible that this is meant to be irony and that Jonah’s message, actually his prophecy, is correct. He says cause the, you know, and the ESV. Here it says yet 40 days and Nine of us shall be overthrown. Uh, and so what I first all was overthrown is the same word that was used for Sodom and Gomorrah. You know, uh, turned over, like upside down, he said. But the word can also mean let me look at it so I don’t mess it up um, to turn around or to change oneself. And so they’re saying he was saying that what Jonah means like destroyed, like Sodom and Gomorrah. But what God’s saying is 40 days and you will be different, you’ll be turned around, you’ll be changed. You know, as a cool thought, that even in this moment he’s not on board with the message, but God still, like the prophecy is, he’s a true prophet.Speaker 1: 1:00:43

That’s a very cool thought.Speaker 3: 1:00:46

It’s a very interesting thought, yeah, I’ve never seen it before.Speaker 4: 1:00:50

Verse 10, though, it seems like there was an actual disaster that was coming towards the people.Speaker 1: 1:00:55

Yeah, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do them.Speaker 4: 1:00:58

And he didn’t do it yeah.Speaker 1: 1:01:01

Chapter four, verse one. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was angry. So he goes in his tailspin and he prayed Lord has. This is not this what I said when I was yet in my country, so there’s some insight that we didn’t get at the beginning. He said I already said this. This is what I made. The reason I’ve made haste to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you’re a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, abounding and steadfast love and relenting from disaster. Therefore, now, oh Lord, please take my life from me. It’s better for me to die than to live. God, when I was in, before I took off for Tarshish, we had this conversation where I said I know you’re gonna change and save these people. Something’s going on there. I mean, did he? Do y’all think what he’s saying there is? He knew for a fact God had revealed to him more than just go preach. Had God said to him go preach, I’m gonna bring revival. And because he says he says he prayed to Lord and said oh Lord, is this not what I said when I was yet in my country? Yeah, that is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you’re a gracious God and merciful, so like this is why I didn’t wanna come here, because I knew you were gonna do this. Like, did he just know the nature of God? Or had God told him hey, I’m getting ready to stir the hearts of people in Nineveh. I’m gonna bring revival to Assyria.Speaker 4: 1:02:28

Yeah, I weren’t told. I mean it just in the beginning, when what it says, when he’s called, is just arise, go to the great city and call out against it. Their evil’s come up against me. So I don’t know if he’s been told more than that or if he’s just like. I know who you are, I know what’s coming.Speaker 1: 1:02:45

But it’s possible that he knew, he knew. He knew Like I don’t know, it’s just. You can overthink stuff and my brain just goes crazy, because if he knew it, then he knew somebody else if he didn’t go and preach it. If God’s already determined to save these people, he’s gonna go save them. I don’t know, but anyway he wants his life to be taken.Speaker 4: 1:03:10

Which is he’s back in the same place. He was in the storm In the storm, so I don’t think the fish situation ended in repentance because he’s in the exact same position. This is happening just like I thought it would take my life. I don’t want this. I’ve confirmed who you are. I knew this is who you are and I don’t like it.Speaker 1: 1:03:29

I told them, boys, to throw me in the ocean so I would die.Speaker 4: 1:03:35

And God’s grace just on Jonah again. Because God just keeps on pursuing him. Keeps on pursuing him despite his evil.Speaker 1: 1:03:42

He goes out of the city, sits down. He’s just like I’m just gonna sit here and die, but it’s so hot he’s miserable. Today’s the hottest day I think I have felt here. We just took a break, went outside and I don’t know what the weather is here, but it’s hot and I was all over the country. Right now we’re talking to some of the guys in the institute yesterday that lived down south and one of them he indexed was 110 at his house. The other one’s 111 at his house and like heat. I can’t imagine going out there right now and sitting down in that gravel all day and not moving. So it’s a weird scene.Speaker 4: 1:04:19

And then God lets a plant grow up over and provide some shade for him, and then but I think when he’s out there in the shade or you know, when he’s out there sitting, it says to see what would become of the city. I think he’s still holding out a little bit of hope to like maybe he’ll still burn it, maybe he’ll still punish, maybe they were penance and like he’s even popcorn, while the world burns here Just like. Let’s just see.Speaker 1: 1:04:44

Okay, and God? Of course God doesn’t do that. And then God, there’s an interaction and we’re running, we’ve gone over on our time anyway, so let’s get to the end of this thing. But basically there’s this interaction where God has to rebuke him again. Do you do you do well to be angry for the plant? Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die. Jonas just, and that’s in verse nine Jonas just snappy with the Lord and the Lord said you pity the plant. So what happens is God lets this plant grow up to give him some shade, and then a worm each through the plant and it dies. So God’s dealing with Jonah, he’s working with Jonah here, and God says you pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. That’s first hand, chapter four. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left and my favorite sentence in all of the story and also much cattle?Speaker 4: 1:05:49

Think about the cow.Speaker 1: 1:05:51

Jonah, I’m sparing all these cows. Is there not 120,000,? What’s he mean, 120,000 people? I don’t know if he means all the people there that are spiritually in darkness. Does he mean children and mainly handicapped people? They don’t know, they’re left from their right, I don’t know. But he’s like we’re seeing the mercy. Should I not be a merciful God? Should I not have pity on these people? And then the story ends. And that’s where people that think Jonah wrote it they feel like, yeah, he’s, at some point he’s a believer, he’s regenerate because he’s a man of God, he’s a prophet of the Lord and he’s just in a bad place. And at some point he turned the corner and then wrote this and, if not, that at some point he shared it or whatever. But it’s just such an abrupt and strange ending, the most abrupt and strange ending to any story in the whole Bible, in my opinion.Speaker 4: 1:06:47

I love it. I think it’s the final prophetic message from Jonah. Like that he’s leaving it hanging with God’s message. I’m merciful, this is who I am. I think later on he repents and writes it intentionally with him in a bad light, or dictates it with him in a bad light to put God’s mercy on display. And this is the message for all of us at God’s merciful.Speaker 1: 1:07:10

Yeah, so he doesn’t come back to man. And then after that I was like you know what, yep? And I just started to faithfully preach and the rest of my ministry and then he goes into. Yeah.Speaker 4: 1:07:22

I went back and found the sailors and the yeah.Speaker 1: 1:07:24

None of that. It just yeah, I’m with you. I love the way it ends, I love the abrupt ending, I love the, but it is the most non-typical like atypical ending to any story in the Bible and I think because of that you’re able to kind of think through what you just said. Okay, why did it end this way? Because that’s where Jonah and or whoever would have written it if it wasn’t him. This where the story ends to highlight and display the mercy and kindness of the Lord fascinating.Speaker 4: 1:08:02

I think the point of it is, you know, kind of answering the question can God save the wicked? Can God save the most wicked, even if it’s one of God’s people like? And I think, yeah, verse verse two is that he’s a gracious God, slow to anger, relenting from disaster, abounding instead fast love, even when it happens in Jonah. Like to save the Ninevites is huge, but to save Jonah, after every piece of seaweed in the story obeyed God except for the prophet, that wickedness. Can God save the wicked, even Jonah? Yeah, I think that’s the beauty of the story no one’s past saving.Speaker 1: 1:08:45

That’s cool. Yeah, god. The miracle of salvation in this story is seen in the king of Nineveh, the mariners, the people of Nineveh and Jonah. This story is all about God saving people. He saves a group of pagan mariners who are praying to the sea gods. He saves a pagan king of a city who would have I don’t know who this king is, you know, we don’t know for sure. I read so much on that last week and there’s just, you know, speculation. But we know that he would have been in a succession of very pagan kings and in a network of very pagan city kings. And he saves him and the man makes a decree and he saves the people and in the end he saves Jonah, because God’s a saving God. All right, we’ll wrap that up there and, I don’t know, maybe we’ll come back and finish the story of Jonah at some point. Chapters two through four it’s a crazy story, you know. Chapter two is Jonah prays and cries out to God from the belly of the great fish, and then chapter three recounts when he gets spit out of the fish and he walks into the city of Nineveh. He walks into the city of Nineveh and proclaims the message that the Lord has given him and there’s this massive revival. Even the king of Nineveh turns to Yahweh and makes a decree that everybody would worship the Lord. And then the last chapter is an accounting of Jonah getting frustrated with the whole thing and I don’t know. It’s kind of a crazy spin there towards the end and we talked about it a little bit in that conversation we just listened to. But it’s even funny to me the way it’s worded. That last phrase you know, about the cattle. It’s just kind of funny. But we’ll take maybe down the road. We’ll dive in deeper. I don’t know, we’ll see, let us know what you think and if you enjoy that, that type of content. Those are those beyond the flannel graphs. I always enjoy doing them because it’s a little bit deeper. Dive deeper, look into some familiar Bible stories. Thanks again and we’ll see you next week.Speaker 2: 1:10:56

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September 25, 2023

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