Bible Discussion — Jonah 1-2

January 22, 2009, 10:31 am; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com starts a new book, discussing the first two chapters of Jonah!

Read it all here!

PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Esther: 1-2 | 3-5 | 6-8 | 9-10
Acts: 1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9-10 | 11-12 | 13-14
15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20 | 21-22 | 23-24 | 25-26 | 27-28

 
INTRODUCTION:
Connie:
I think nearly everyone knows the story of Jonah and the whale — although technically this fish was never named, kind of like the wise men were never counted.

Jonah is a man plucked from obscurity, drafted into service one day, perhaps after praying, “What am I here for?” If so, he didn’t really like the answer.

David:
The book of Jonah is a great study in divine-human relations. Jonah is a man of God, entrusted with a call on his life; yet he has an “attitude.” It\’s an inescapable fact that such men (present company not excluded) still exist today, complicating God\’s plans to reach the world.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Josh:
In the NIV, 1:17 says that “the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah.” It takes a certain perspective to see getting swallowed by a fish as providence.

Connie:
In 1:5, every man cried out “to his own god,” but when that didn\’t work, they found Jonah and made sure he was doing the same thing. Why didn\’t they start with that?

Steve:
They sure peppered Jonah with questions after the lots identified him as the source of the trouble, including about his occupation. What if no one had been to blame? Would they have just thrown the nearest lawyer or car salesman overboard?

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Josh: Overboard
David: Innocent Blood
Connie: Casting Lots
Steve: Mean Sleeper

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
David:
It always reminds me of the story where the atheist teacher challenges the little boy about his belief that Jonah was swallowed by a fish and lived through it. When the boy defends his belief in the story, the teacher asks how it happened. The boy says he\’ll ask Jonah when he gets to heaven.

When the teacher sneers, “What if he\’s not there?,” the boy says, “Then you can ask him.”

Josh:
When I was about three, I was at the mall with my parents when they decided it was time to leave. As we boarded the escalator, my parents decided, much to my dismay, to accelerate the process by walking down rather than simply riding it out.

This was not the way I wanted to go, so as we neared the bottom I broke free from their grasp and tried to run back up the down escalator to ride it my way. Of course, I stood no chance of making it and made quite a scene. Eventually a mall employee turned off the escalator and walked me down to my very embarrassed parents.

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
Connie:
Jonah sleeping below deck during the ferocious storm reminds me of Jesus doing the same thing. The main difference was that Jesus was trusting God, while Jonah was running from Him.

David:
1:1 — “Now the word of the LORD (not yet made flesh to dwell among us) came unto Jonah…”

Josh:
“But He answered and said to them, ”˜An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.\’” (Matthew 12:39-40)

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Steve:
Nobody quite knows where Tarshish was, but the consensus is that it was far, far away from Israel, practically as far as Jonah could run from the unpleasant call that had been placed on his life.

His story is a lesson to those of us who would run from what we know we have been called to do. There is no ocean we can cross to escape the hand of God. Most of us don’t have our lives overtly threatened by our disobedience, and I dare say none of us are swallowed alive by enormous sea creatures — but the point of Jonah’s story is just as true and useful. Running from God leads to misery.

David:
When Jesus was crossing the Sea of Galilee to reach the lost, and was found asleep in the boat during a storm, He simply rebuked the wind and the storm stopped.

Jonah, running from his call, exhibits no such power. No wonder the Scripture says “they were astounded by His doctrine, for His word was with power.”

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Connie:
The book doesn\’t show Jonah\’s repentance — it\’s just assumed, because he cries out to God and proceeds to obey Him. But without true repentance and change of heart, you won\’t have the persistence to walk out the hard paths…as we\’re about to see.

Josh:
Why didn\’t Jonah just jump?

David:
I have always noticed the part where all the men make vows to God after He stops the storm. God help us to keep the vows we make at sea amidst the storm.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Josh; Connie: 2:2 — “And Jonah said: ‘I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction,
And He answered me.
‘Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.'”

David: 2:9 — “‘But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the LORD.’”

Steve:
1:17 — “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

 
PORTION YOU’D MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Josh; Steve:
How exactly does one survive three days in the belly of a fish? Is there a scientific explanation, or are we dealing with the strictly miraculous?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
David:
Don\’t run, walk…with God.

Connie:
To obey is better than sacrifice.

Josh:
As Psalm 139 says, you can\’t hide from God. It seems like the most obvious of lessons, and yet Jonah’s intent was to “flee ”¦from the presence of the Lord” (1:3) — even though he knew that he served the God who made the very seas that carried him (1:9), even though he knew he could cry out to God from the depths and still be heard (2:2).

It\’s not just about what we know, it\’s about what we act on.

 
CONCLUSION:
Steve:
We’re halfway through with Jonah’s unique story; thrown off a boat, and fresh from the belly of the beast, he heads back to complete his divine mission — but this isn’t exactly a Hollywood ending.


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