Prone to Wander – The Story of Jonah
Sunday, May 1, 2022
Cody John Simpson
- Review Ch 1. Read Jonah 1:6-16
- Jonah doesn’t care for the lives of the other men on the boat, despite being a prophet of God.
- The idolatrous pagans try to save Jonah by fighting against the storm. Only throw him overboard when there is no hope.
- Already we see a significant “lived morality” or “heart posture” between these two groups that we (or typical Israelite) shouldn’t expect.
- Read Jonah 2:1-10
- It may seem like a pious prayer after being disciplined, but upon a closer look…
- Jonah is praying from Psalms where the person is innocently afflicted by evil
- Jonah 2:2 – Psalm 120:1
- Jonah 2:3 – Psalm 42:7
- 2:4 – “I have been banished from your sight” – But Jonah fled God!
- 2:6-7 – The most positive part of the prayer. We might think it represents change if not for the rest of the story, and so we have to look closer.
- V6 focuses on God’s saving but is the smallest part of the prayer. V7 focuses not on the content of what Jonah prayed, nor does it even focus on God as the One who saved him. It focuses on Jonah’s prayer itself (self-focused).
- Let’s return now and compare our two groups: Jonah, the Israelite, presumably superior because he knows God, his people have the covenant. Yet for all this knowledge and religious experience, what real devotion to God does he bring? What heart attitude does he exemplify?
- He is empty and self-focused when it comes to God. And while God is showing concern for others outside Israel, Jonah fails to adopt this behaviour and hates others.
- Incredibly the pagan sailors are nothing like Jonah, though in the story we would expect them to be the “bad guys.”
- They show great concern for Jonah’s life, even though he’s easily the most obnoxious person on the boat.
- They show great genuine reverence to God. Reread Jonah 1:1-16
- When they call out to God they use His personal name Yahweh, signifying the relationship is real. God has truly welcomed them into His covenant.
- This same welcome embrace that Jesus invited the outsiders of Jewish society into, He invites everyone into. Through His death on the cross all of us are welcome to have a relationship with God and experience His love. No matter what we’ve ever done in our past – as long as in a spirit of repentance and trusting faith in God that Jesus has died for our sin and brokenness we are truly and forever saved.
- Are we walking in the footsteps of Jesus? Even we can be arrogant because of our faith, our relationship with God. Just like Jonah full of presumption. Are we judging others and pushing them away from the cross, ust like Jonah is failing to invite pagans to know the Lord?
- Reflect on our own pride and sense of superiority over others in our lives?
- Who do we judge as inferior?
- What can we do to recognize the value of others and lift them up?