Disobedient prophet bringing blessings on obeying


Prophet JONAH ministered during 800 -750 BC. Lord asked Jonah to go to Ninevah to warn it of the imminent danger of divine judgment.

NINEVAH was an ancient Assyrian city, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern day northern Iraq. Around 1,20,000 people lived there (Jonah.4:11)

Tarshish. Perhaps the city of Tartessus, near Gibraltar in southwest Spain.

Jonah lived in the Galilean city of Gath-hephar( about 4 miles north of Nazereth). Tarshis is approximately 2500 miles from Ninevah. Ninevah was 500 miles east of Jerusalem while Tarshish is 2000 miles from Jerusalem to the west.

A. JONAH’S DIVINE TASK.

  1. Go to the great city of Ninevah. Jonah.1:2.
  2. Preach against it. 1:2.
  3. Because its wickedness has come up before me. 1:2.

B. JONAH’S DISOBEDIENCE.

  1. But Jonah ran away from the Lord. Jonah.1:3.
  2. Went to Tarshish in the opposite direction in a ship. 1:3. Jonah despised the gentile city of Ninevah and didn’t want a merciful God to change His mind and not destroy them. Jonah.4:1-3.

C. RESULT OF DISOBEDIENCE.

  1. Lord sent a great wind in the sea. Jonah.1:4.
  2. Due to violent storms, the ship was about to break up. 1:4.
  3. All the fellow sailors were afraid. 1:5.
  4. They were forced to throw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. (big financial loss) 1:5.
  5. Jonah was thrown into the sea to rescue the ship and its sailors. 1:15.
  6. A great fish swallowed Jonah and he was inside the fish for 3 days. 1:17.

Obedience is costly, disobedience is more costly.

Jonah chapter 2 is Jonah’s prayer of repentance inside the belly of the fish. Problems brought Jonah closer to the Lord. The person who was running away from God and from His plan is running towards God in prayer.

The Lord commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. 2:10.

God’s word came to Jonah a second time. “Go to the great city of Ninevah and proclaim to it the message I give you.”. 3:2.

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Ninevah and preached the message. 3:3.

D. THE BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE.

Jonah obeyed God and preached the message. As a result.

  1. The Ninevites believed God. Jonah.3:5.
  2. They declared a fast..put on sackclothes as a sign of repentance. 3:5.
  3. The King on hearing the news..covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 3:6.
  4. The king sent a decree urging everyone to fast
    a. Let everyone call urgently to God. 3:8.
    b. Let them give up their evil ways and violence. 3:8.
  5. As they all repented and turned from their evil ways, God decided not to destroy them. The whole city got saved from destruction. 3:10.

Are we obeying God or running away from Him?

Are we waiting for big problems, sickness or punishment from God to obey Him?

God wanted the whole world to hear the Good News. Are we willing to go and proclaim/ share His Love to those who need it?

What is our God given task? Are we in our Ninevah or running towards our Tarshish? What are we doing?

Rev. C. V. Abraham.

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