Jonah: The Story of Our Great God

August 20, 2017 Speaker: Michael Rhodes

Passage: Jonah 3:1–4:11

Jonah: The Story of Our Great God

 

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#1- The LORD Confronts Rebellion, Injustice, and Sin . . . and Calls His People to Do the Same

 

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"Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands." (Jonah 3:8b)

 

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"The LORD tests the rightoeus but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence." Psalm 11:5

 

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"righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you." Psalm 89:14

 

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"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

 

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When we fail to proclaim justice and righteousness in the face of violence and oppression, we fail in our God-given job as his people

 

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#2 Our Just King is willing to extend forgiveness to even the most rebillious, unjust, and sinful people imaginable

 

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"Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish." 

 

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Where are we living like Ninevites? 

 

Where are we failing to proclaim justice and righteousness in the face of Nineveh-like sin? 

 

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#3 Our Just King's Forgiveness is Grounded in His Steadfast Love and Glorious Purposes for Humanity

 

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for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. (Jon 4:2 ESV)

 

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5 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

 6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

 (Exo 34:5-8 ESV)

 

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"You are for us, you are not against us." 

 

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 “Let us analyze this anger of yours, Jonah. It represents your concern over your beloved [plant] – but what did it really mean to you? Your attachment to it could not be very deep, for it was here one day and gone the next. Your concern was dictated by self-interest, not by a genuine love. You never had for it the devotion of the gardener. If you feel as badly as you do, what would you expect a gardener to feel like, who tended a plant and watched it grow only to see it wither and die, poor thing? And this is how I feel about Nineveh, only much more so. All those people, all those animals – I made them, I have cherished them all these years. Nineveh has cost me no end of effort, and they mean the world to me. Your pain is nothing to mine when I contemplate their destruction.” - Sheldon Blank -

 

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 24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,

 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance."

 (Isa 19:23-25 ESV)

 

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 “Justice is better served by reformed characters than by corpses. God’s deepest intent is thus achieved, for ‘he does not want any to perish but wants all to come to repentance’ (2 Pet 3:9).” - Leslie Allen -

 

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#4 Our Just King's Steadfast Love for our Enemies Forces Us to Choose between this God and an Idol of our Own Making

 

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14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,

 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 (Mat 6:14-15 ESV)

 

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Where do we go from here?