Have you ever been called by God to do a task that you just could not face? Perhaps you sought to rationalize God's plan to do something more palatable or maybe even to run from it entirely. If you've been in this place, or if you are facing some question of obedience today then you will want to take a closer look at ?..
Day 1- Jonah was one of the earlier prophets - a native of Galilee.
2 Kings 14:25
Day 2- Although this narrative is seen as myth by unbelievers and some
scholars, the Jews accepted it as historical (as seen in the writings of
Josephus) and Jesus Himself vouched for its truth.
Matthew 12:39-41 / Luke 11:29-30
Day 3-This book begins with a formal expression of God's sovereign will
and a man's determined opposition to it.
Day 4-Nineveh was east, but Jonah went west! Why? Perhaps he was
overcome by all the difficulties. Nineveh was very large and as the capital of
Assyria it was heavily fortified. The city was also very wicked. Besides, what
could one man do? Not a word is mentioned that this is Jonah's problem at all.
Then what was his reason for running away? You'll find the answer if you skip
ahead to ?.
Those who lived in Nineveh were enemies of the Jews. He was afraid that if he preached judgement and they decided to repent that God would bless them. He did not want this people blessed and therefore he fled!
Day 5-If we are a Christian, we have the same commission to "go" and to
"preach" as Jonah did. Will you run away?
Day 6-There are two results for anyone who disobeys God:
1) They will have a downhill course rather than uphill for God's way is always "up".
2) " When you run away from the Lord you never get to where you are going and YOU always pay your own fare. On the other hand, when you go the Lord's way you always get to where you are going and HE pays the fare." -Donald Grey Barnhouse
The trouble caused by disobedient servants of God affects everyone!
Could Jonah sleeping soundly in the midst of a raging storm be a picture of a sleeping church today?
Day 7-Nothing in life really happens by chance.
The fact that the "lot" fell to Jonah was no surprise.
Day 8- Despite himself, Jonah gave a good testimony to the sailors when
he was asked, "What is this you have done? "
The sailors already knew stories of Jonah's God and that is why there
They seemed to be genuinely converted as they offered sacrifices and
Day 9-But on a sad note the true state of Jonah's heart is revealed in
his answer to the sailor's second question - "what shall we do to you, that the
sea may quiet down for us?" Jonah's reply meant that he would rather die than
do God's will!
Day 10- God's mercy to sinners is expressed in many ways and in Jonah's
life in a very creative way. Rather than allowing him to drown, God prepared a
"holding tank", which allowed Jonah to think and regroup.
There is probably not one of us who hasn't been in a straightened place and had to look "up" for the way out. Jonah was literally in the deep and from that low place looked up and began to pray.
Day 11-Jonah now came to God as a sinner and not as a Jew deserving of
special privileges. His prayer shows some characteristics of all true prayer.
Notice first his honesty. He acknowledges that it was God that had caused his
problems because he deserved it. He had no excuses for the circumstances that
had caused his current distress.
Day 12- Next in Jonah's prayer we see confession and sorrow for his sin
and an acknowledgement that what had happened to him was his own fault. (vs.8)
Day 13-Finally, he was thankful. God had turned him from rebellion to
call on His name again and he was thankful for God's grace and salvation.
Day 14-True prayer, such as what Jonah prayed, is irresistible to God.
He loves to answer our prayers.
Jonah 2:10 / Psalm 91:15/ Isaiah 58:9 / Isaiah 65:24 / Luke 11:9 / John 15:7
Day 15-the revival in Nineveh is a record of the greatest mass
conversion in history. It began with God's call to just one man. Even though
things were delayed God was merciful and came a second time with the same
Day 16- For revival to come there must be faithful preaching, (notice
that Jonah's message was not long or intellectual or eloquent) followed by
faithful hearing leading to belief in God.
Day 17-There is no true belief without action. The people of Nineveh
heard, believed and took action. There must always be a turning from specific
sin. In this city that turning was from evil and violence.
Day 18-What was the result of this nationwide repentance?
The fact that God "repented" means that He changed His mind. Rather than sending punishment on the people He took it upon Himself. He did this later in time through His Son Jesus.
God's mercy had extended to Jonah, the sailors, and Nineveh. Now at the end of the story, we are back to just God and Jonah - His rebellious prophet. God gives all of us work to do involving others but in the end it always comes back to the individual and God. Have we obeyed Him?
Day 19- After this amazing revival, we find Jonah displeased and angry.
Day 20- Yes, he (Jonah) had obeyed but God had not destroyed Nineveh and
he felt betrayed. He tries to justify his former disobedience and then uses
scripture to turn God against God!
Reread Jonah 4:2.
In Verse 2b Jonah is actually quoting from Exodus 34:6-7 .
Jonah is saying something like this to God?.. "Is this what you said or not? If it is, why did you send me with a message you never intended to fulfill?"
-A note to ourselves- If we find ourselves reading the Bible to find verses and passages that justify our own behavior, we are wrong and in danger.
Day 21-When we are depressed and discouraged what words might we be
quick to speak?
Jonah 4: 3, 9
Day 22- In Jonah 4:4, the Lord asks Jonah a question to challenge him to
judge whether he-- the angry prophet --or the great God of the universe was
right. Out of his anger Jonah made three more errors?..
1) He quit. He abandoned his mission to Nineveh.
2) He built a private retreat when he should have stayed with the people. He still despised the people and wanted God to judge them.
3) He was called to identify with the people and help them. Instead, he became a spectator.
Day 23- Before God asks Jonah the next question, He wanted to prepare
Jonah's heart. He did so by causing a fast growing vine to sprout up next to
Jonah's shelter. Jonah was suddenly happy! God was finally doing something for
Jonah! When a worm appeared to eat the plant and then a hot, desert wind began
to blow, Jonah was plunged back to his depression and anger. Now God asks him
the second question to expose Jonah's petty selfishness. First Jonah was angry
at big things but now he was angry about a worm!
Jonah 4: 6-9
Day 24- God has the last word here as he closes with a question to
Jonah. He doesn't talk with Jonah about the adult population of the city but
rather mentions the children (those who don't know their right from their left)
and the cattle. How great is God's mercy for all people!
Jonah 4: 10-11
Day 25- We might be Christians or even consider ourselves Christian
workers but still be taken up with our own interests and prejudices. In Jonah's
life this showed clearly in his lack of interest, and love for the people of
Nineveh. In our lives we might find that we can express love and concern to
some very easily while we have no heart for others. This is completely opposite
John 3:16 / 1 John 3:1 / Psalm 108:4
Day 26- Like Jonah, we can be so burdened with nationalistic prejudices
and personal interests that we can't see beyond our little world to show mercy
and love to others. Notice in the verse above that God's heart is big enough to
take in the whole world. This great love shows itself in great mercy.
Lamentations 3:22-23 / Micah 7:18 / Titus 3:5 / Ephesians 2:4-5
But, how can we get free from all the self interests and preoccupations that keep us introverted and narrow?
We can't do the work but God can. Our place is to cooperate with Him.
Day 26- First, there must be consecration to God. It is the expression
of our willingness to be in the hands of God.
Proverbs 23:26 / Romans 12:1 / Philippians 3:7-8
Day 27- Our consecration can only be according to our insight and
understanding. But it is important in that it opens the door for the Holy
Spirit to come in and work on our life from the inside out. Each of us have an
"old nature" that gets in the way of God's life expressing itself through us.
The Lord Jesus says that there is one thing that must happen to our old nature.
John 12: 24-25
Day 28- When Christ went to the cross, He not only died to Himself but
He took each one of us with Him - not in physical reality but in a spiritual
What is the result of the death of our old nature to the actual lives
that we live today?
Romans 6: 7, 14
Day 29- It was at the Cross that the power of our old nature to keep us
selfish and introverted was broken. With this power broken we now have the
ability to yield ourselves fully to God's purposes and to live a life that is
not dominated by sin and selfish interests.
Romans 6: 13-14 , 17-19
Day 30- For all of this to be real in your life, you must take it by
faith. It is through faith that God has already done the work in your life so
that you can walk in freedom from Self.
Hebrews 11:1/ 1 John 5:4 / Romans 5:1
Day 31- We can live our lives for God like Jonah - with a mixed heart -
or we can come to God like King David and pray for a clean heart that loves and
serves from pure motives. May the following verses be our prayer.
Psalm 51: 1-19
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