1. This is the word of the Lord. God's Word claims to be God's word not just here but in many places.
2. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. It was a great city, according to the world, but it was a wicked city according to God.
Man judges by appearance, but God judges the heart. Nineveh is a city in trouble; their doomsday clock is ticking quickly.
3. Jonah hated the people who lived in Nineveh, he hated the Assyrians because they were so cruel. Consequently, instead of going to Nineveh he went the exact opposite direction.
Note: Jonah is now as rebellious as the Assyrians.
4. God hates rebellion at any level so he sends a strong storm which will bring Jonah's rebellion to a screeching halt.
5. Jonah is sound asleep while all the sailors are in a panic and pray to their nothing god's for help.
6. In other words, Jonah how can you sleep at a time like this; get up and start praying.
Jonah wasn't praying because God and him were not on speaking terms. Unconfessed sin removes our desire to pray and would make our prayers useless even if we tried.
7. Casting lots was like drawing straws and it was a method for discerning God's will at times during the Old Testament. God said: Jonah is the problem. Jonah's sin is the reason every sailor's life is in danger.
Sin doesn't just affect the sinner, it affects everyone around them as well.
8. Notice how they fire off five questions without giving the rebellious profit a chance to answer any of them.
9. Maybe Jonah feared the Lord sometimes, but not lately. Lately he loved himself more than he feared God, and that's why his situation was miserable.
10. Jonah told them all about his disobedience, and they can't believe that anyone could be so foolish. Why would anyone disobey a direct command from God. They had more sense than Jonah and they didn't even know the one true God.
11. In other words, Jonah you know God so tell us what he wants us to do. How can we get right with him, how can we please him and stop his wrath?
12. Jonah could have said: turn the ship around so I can go preach in Nineveh. But instead he says: kill me. Jonah would rather die than give the Assyrians a chance to repent; that's how much he hated them. So I guess you can add bitterness to Jonah's growing list of sins.
13. If God wanted to kill Jonah they figured that was his business, but the sailors didn't want to do it. Consequently, they tried to row to the land, but they failed.
14,15. They were afraid to throw Jonah overboard, but they were afraid to not throw him overboard as well. Consequently they prayed for mercy and did what they didn't want to do, they threw him out of the ship.
16. They didn't know if they did the right thing or not, but the knew it wouldn't hurt to humble themselves before God so that's what they did.
When in doubt humble yourself before God; you can never go wrong doing that.
17. The belly of the huge fish will not be the most pleasant form of transportation for the rebellious profit but it's about all that backslidden man deserved. By the way, like it or not he's going to preach in Nineveh.
1. Since he figures he is about to die he decides it would be a good time to stop running from God and instead pray to him.
2,3. The sailors threw him overboard, but Jonah knew that God allowed it to happen in order to wake him up and get him to repent.
If God cannot get our attention during good times than he will get it in bad times.
4. Notice how Jonah had hope after he repented and prayed.
5. Panic must have set in when he found himself engulfed in water and seaweed.
6,7. He was as close to being dead, without being dead, that anyone could be, but God rescued him.
8. In other words, those who reject God, and his son Jesus Christ throw away their only hope for mercy.
People don't go to hell because God refuses to show mercy. People go to hell because they reject the mercy which God offers.
9. You can tell that Jonah is dead serious about his repentance here, and that's good because God is the only one who can save, and he only saves those who really want it.
10. God made the fish throw up and along with everything else out came Jonah. Jonah was probably as white as a sheet from rolling around in all that stomach acid. He's going to be a real site when he shows up in Nineveh.
1,2. Notice how God doesn't hold a grudge. God didn't even bring up Jonah's past sin. He simply repeated his command to go and preach Nineveh.
In essence God's attitude was: let's forget the past, let's just focus on getting it right this time. That's how he is with us as well. So we sin; I'm not minimizing the seriousness of it. But God wants us to confess it and get it right the next time.
3,4. Nineveh has been given 40 days to make up her mind. They have 40 days to repent and if they don't God will destroy them.
5-8. The word of God scared them and as a result they repented.
The word of God should scare those who aren't living it. The devil hates God's word because it often scares people off the road to hell. In other words the word of God works.
9. Notice the King says: "who knows?" In other words, evidently the Ninevites had not been given any guarantees by God that they would be spared in this life if they repent. But one thing they know for sure: if they do not repent they will die.
10. God hates to punish sinners. That's why he bent over backwards to give these people an opportunity to repent. That's also why he wants his preachers to preach his word clearly.
The word of God is the only thing that can convince a sinner to repent. It's the only thing that can save a soul from damnation. God's word has power to wake people up before it's too late.
1. Jonah is angry because Nineveh repented and therefore he's pretty sure that they will not be punished.
Jonah didn't seem to mind when God showed him mercy while he was in the fish, but he sure doesn't want these Ninevites, who God cares about just as much as he cares about him, to receive any of that mercy. Jonah was out of line with his bad attitude here.
2. Doggone it! I knew you would forgive them; I just knew it! That's why didn't want to preach to them in the first place!
Notice how Jonah didn't care about what God wanted; he wasn't happy that God was pleased over their repentance. Jonah wanted revenge; he was bitter.
3. Jonah is depressed and he wants to die.
Sin brings depression because it's so unnatural to human beings. So Jonah is depressed because he is self-centered; he doesn't care about anyone except himself.
4. God says: do you think you have the right to be angry Jonah?
5. Jonah was so angry that he didn't even answer God's question.
6. There is God being kind to someone who doesn't deserve it again, and once again its Jonah. And of course self-centered Jonah doesn't complain about this kindness because it's directed at him.
7-9. Jonah is angry with God. Why is he angry? Because he is uncomfortable.
Jonah only respected God and only obeyed God when he could do it in his comfort zone. You get him out of his comfort zone and he refused to obey and respect the Lord. That guy was one of the biggest Fairweather fans the Lord has ever had.
10,11. Jonah cared more about that plant that gave him some shade than he did about the souls of people. He cared more about his own comfort than the lost souls who were teetering on the edge of hell.
I'm afraid that many Christians today are exactly the same way. They invest more of their time and money in their own comfort then in doing what God wants them to do. Many Christians care very little, if anything about lost souls who are going to hell. As long as they're comfortable in their homes and they've got food to eat, and nice clothes to wear their happy. Many professing Christians are a lot more like Jonah then they care to admit.