Outline of the book of Jonah A. Chapter 1: Outward, blatant disobedience. 1. God wants to send peace and truth to a lost and dying world verse one. (a). Jonah means “dove” (symbolically- peace\Holy Spirit). (b). Amittai means "my truth" (the peace and presence of God cannot come to man until his truth is revealed and received. "But" Jonah went to Tarshish v3 “But” is known as an adversative conjunction: denotes contrariness. God had a plan, but Jonah was contrary. 2. God wants to send peace, but His people (Israel [context of where they were as a nation] and Jonah are in disobedience). Jonah fled from the presence of God: in verse 3 it says that twice. 3. “But” v4 when God's people are contrary to Him, his response is contrary to them. But God prepared a great storm. 4. The men knew Jonah was the problem at some point:
(A). they cast lots: V7
(B). Jonah told them V10
(C). Jonah told them again verse 12 5. The men knew. ...Nevertheless, they rowed harder. How many times does God speak to his people about their loved ones, or issues in their lives they need to get rid of and let go, so he can have His way and deal with them, but we row harder? We hold onto what we want; we refuse to let go of the son or daughter on drugs, enabling them and preventing them from getting to the place God has prepared for them. The same goes for brothers and sisters in the faith. Let them go and let God have his way! Don't row harder! 6. The Lord had prepared a great fish. First, he prepared a storm; now He prepares a fish. God will prepare and allow circumstances to take place in our lives to get us to a place alone with Him where He can speak and we will listen. B. Chapter 2: Alone with God 1. As long as the men rowed harder, Jonah was prevented from getting to the place where God wanted him. Both the storm and the fish’s belly are causing affliction. Just as in Jonah's case, God allows affliction to have its way in our lives. God uses adversity as chastisement (Hebrews 12:11). Jonah says, "I cried by reason of my affliction unto the Lord… 2:2) Then he says, "when my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. Jonah 2:7 2. Sadly, many people who say they love God continue along a path, which travels opposite brokenness. Instead of crying out to God in their affliction and turning their attention towards His presence (holy temple), they continue their quest towards lying vanities (idols). They cling to the idols in their lives looking for these empty things to bring them fulfillment. When we cling to the empty idols in our lives to escape what God wants to do, we forsake his mercy (V 8). Lying vanities are worthless idols and take many forms:
(A) relationships: spouse, boyfriend\girlfriend, children, friends
(E) spending money
(G) religious works
(H) exercise… Anything that you find comfort or solace in and use to prevent you from getting to the place God wants you are can be an empty vanity, or a false idol in your life! 3. Once God gets Jonah alone, he recognizes God's mercy and kindness and it moves him toward repentance, at least repentance for his blatant disobedience, but what about the deep seeded mindsets of Israel's condition (The worldly mindsets—I say worldly to compare how Israel’s societal condition had a influence on Jonah’s mindset just as our societal condition can have an influence on us) that have influenced him? Unfortunately, they're still there. C. Chapter 3: Repentance 1. An extremely important aspect of repentance is that we must come to the conclusion that God's way or thinking is right and ours has been wrong. Jonah hasn't moved. I don't know how long he's been sitting there, but he hasn't changed his mind about what God wants. …the word of The Lord...second time saying...Arise...preach unto the preaching that I bid thee (3:2). God hasn't changed his mind about his plan Christian and you're either on board or not. 2. Finally, Jonah becomes obedient on a superficial level and decides to do what God wants him to do. He preaches judgment to the Ninevites. How will they know if they don't have a preacher? (Romans 10:14). 3. The Ninevites repent. Associated with their repentance are sackcloth and ashes verses five and six. Sackcloth and ashes are uncomfortable. Repentance has associated with it a feeling of sorrow and discomfort with sin. Repentance is not simply "I'm sorry." 4. True repentance, once again, causes a change of mind and a change of direction. …Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God, let them turn everyone from his evil ways… Verse eight 5. "God saw their works, that they turned…" v 10. You might be able to fool me and your neighbor Christian, but there's no fooling God. God sees. He sees what is in the heart of man and woman. When He sees true repentance, He gives restoration of His Spirit to the wounded soul, resulting in forgiveness and power for change. Anything else is playing games with God! D. Chapter 4: Get Over Yourself Jonah: let God deal with the inside too 1. God saw true repentance in Nineveh, resulting in His mercy and Him turning (repenting) from His previous plans. It must be pointed out that God's repentance is different than when men repent, because God’s not wrong. Remember, at the foundation of repentance, is a change of mind. While it is true that God is the only constant unchanging truth this world has ever known, there is one place that God changes: He changes His mind towards the person who exhibits true repentance. Jonah chapter 4:1 God changed his mind, and Jonah was displeased. 2. Deep in Jonah’s heart, he hasn't let go of the original feelings he had, causing him to flee from the presence of God to begin with. (A) countless Christians offer a superficial "I'm sorry" (B) once God removes the obvious outward bondage: Fornication, addictions… He's looking to deal with the inner level – motives of the heart. Grace will always hold men and women more accountable than the Law ever could; for in the covenant of grace, the presence of God has made our hearts His home, and long before the sin is ever engaged, the Holy Spirit has spoken right from wrong (1 John 2:20). God showed me a long time ago that He wants His people to learn how to walk with Him, learn how to hear from Him, learn how to be led by Him: the time is done where we have a man tell us what God says:
31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
3. Jonah is displeased with the way things are in his life because he is displeased with what God wants because it's opposite of what he wants. 4. When people refuse to go God's way, they go their own way and construct their own comfort. Jonah built a shelter for himself, a covering through the works of his own hands; he was hoping to cover himself from the elements, but the feeble attempt of man's flesh always leaves him open. You can't fix it Jonah, all your idols… All your plans won't fix it! It's time to surrender. 5. God provides mercy and prepares a gourd. Even in our disobedience, God will provide Mercy, but Jonah still won't see what God wants him to see, so… 6. God prepares a worm to destroy the gourd. God is the giver of mercy and it is His to give and His to take away. 7. God had prepared a gourd of Mercy; then he prepared a worm (He removed) Mercy; then He prepared a hot East wind, which was more chastisement. God's question to Jonah, "doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?" In other words do you have a right to be angry over the removal of something you had nothing to do with? Why do you think Jonah was angry? Because what he wanted and made him feel good was gone. This is a sad occurrence and reflective of many in the church today: the people of God are consumed with their own idea of what God looks like, consumed with what they want to get out of God, and much of today’s preaching emboldens this thought process. 8. Even at the end of all this, Jonah is angry because the gourd was removed and it made him uncomfortable, but he could care less about what God wanted. How can Christians be so blind, demanding what they want from God while refusing to allow Him to do in them and through them what He wants?