Jonah . . . The Story of the World's Worst Missionary

August 13, 2017 Speaker: Michael Rhodes

Passage: Jonah 1:1–2:10

Slide: Jonah . . . The Story of the World's Worst Missionary

 

Slide: Rhodes knows what THAT'S like . . .

 

Slide: Introducing Jonah

 

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23 … Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years.

 24 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.

 25 He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher.

 26 For the LORD saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter, for there was none left, bond or free, and there was none to help Israel.

 27 But the LORD had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.

 (2Ki 14:23-27 ESV)

 

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3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.  (Jon 1:3 ESV)

 

So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD. (Jon 1:3 ESV)

 

For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, (Jon 1:10 ESV)

 

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Jonah the (Good) Theologian 

9 And he said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land." (Jon 1:9 ESV)

 

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Jonah chooses DEATH rather than REPENTANCE

 

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#1- The LORD is the Great King who Rules Over All Creation

 

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Jonah: “. . . the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

 

The sailors: “ . . . for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you . . .” 1:14b

 

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The LORD . . . 

 

  1. Hurls a great wind and mighty tempest on the sea (1:4)
  2. Causes the sailors’ lots to fall on Jonah (1:7)
  3. Turns up the volume on the story, particularly when they try to solve this problem on their own
  4. Causes the sea to cease from its raging once Jonah’s overboard (1:15)
  5. Appoints a great fish to swallow up Jonah and preserve his life (1:17)
  6. In the prayer, God is described as
  7. Casting Jonah into the deep (2:3)
  8. It is YHWH’s waves and billows that pass over Jonah (2:3)
  9. And it is YHWH who brings Jonah back from this watery death (2:6)

 

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“Like a general marshaling his troops on familiar terrain, God directs his creations . . . to intrude into human  affairs. Having previously roused the winds into churning the sea, this time he summons a creature from the watery depths and moves it into instant obedience. Soon enough, there will likewise be plants, insects, and hot winds to obey his call unhesitatingly . . . the Lord is indeed the God of heaven, the maker of the sea and of the dry land as well (1:9).” - Jack Sasson - 

 

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#2 The LORD rules the way he rules in order to invite all to salvation

 

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#2a- The LORD is out to save the sailors

 

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#2b- The LORD is out to save Jonah

 

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Jonah is the Worst.Missionary.Ever

 

#worstmissionaryever

 

@worstmissionary

 

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Sea monsters, storms, pagans --> Obey the LORD

 

Jonah . . . member of God's chosen people . . . prophet who hears the word of the LORD directly --> Runs away

The tragic thing here, however, is that if conditions cease to be normal, it is not the fault of the sailors, the pagans; it is the fault of the Christian who had sailed with them. It is because of him that the situation is such that the knowledge and tradition of the sailors can do no more. We have to realize once again that this is how it usually is with the world; the storm is unleashed because of the unfaithfulness of the church and Christians. 
Jacques ellul

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The LORD saves his life

 

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“. . . yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.” (Jonah 2:6b)

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The LORD restores Jonah to his presence.

 

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"I shall again look upon your holy temple . . ."

 

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YHWH saves Jonah from himself

 

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“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 belongs to the LORD!”

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“The sailors are willing to do whatever Yahweh wants as soon as they can find it out. Jonah already knows exactly what Yahweh wants, but tries to escape it. He would rather live in exile, or even die, than bring favor to Assyrians. What God wants, Jonah cannot stand to be a part of.” -Doug Stuart-

 

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God restores him to his job as a prophet

 

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This sermon needs a new title!

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Not "Jonah: The Story of the World's Worst Missionary"

but

"Jonah: The Story of the World's Great God."