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October 21, 2021 12:00 am
Now he's given this sacred chart and it's really nothing less then preach the word. It's the same charge given by Paul to Timothy Timothy preach the word executive of each of the forms ladies and gentlemen, the Reformation of souls and the awakening of hearts comes by means of the power of the gospel of Christ which comes through the word of God which is alive and powerful, and sharper than a sword sharpened profit without running from God.
However, he ended up exactly where God wanted him even if it took a roundabout way to get there. God use the circumstances of Jonah being swallowed by a great fish to accomplish his will among the pagan people as Jonah preached a national revival broke out. It's probably one of the most widespread in one of the most surprising revivals in all of history.
Stay with us as we look at this account today in a message that Stevens calling see Jonah Greenwich Walter Kaiser and educator pointed out the anemic state of affairs in the American today finally placed the responsibility work audibly squarely on the shoulders of asters teachers who are preaching and teaching everything but the word in the words of God. He writes my quota. It's no secret that Christ's church is not at all in good health. She has been languishing because she is being fed junkfood all kinds of artificial preservatives in all sorts of unnatural substitutes have been served up to her as a result, theological and biblical malnutrition afflicted the very generation has taken such giant steps to make sure it's physical health is never damaged by using food that is harmful to their physical bodies at the same time spiritual famine has resulted from the absence of any genuine publication of the word of God through we can. Thereafter, the creative the superficial always skip here and there, looking for the quick answer and a quick fix. Another solution is not necessarily banning any and all things that are superficial or or perhaps topically driven solution is change direct. It is returned to teaching, not just the word of God word of God. While the average pastor today. I can tell you I get the mail every day in my mailbox. Your picture every Sunday school teacher.
Every Bible study leader is is barraged with the latest fad the latest thing the most titillating topic or interpretation of the latest interest about life in general.
We we must resist in general that for the sake of of the health of the church at large, it bears repeating that the average ministry today in our culture is expounding on life and illustrating with Scripture, we must return to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life. Frankly by the time the average curriculum. The average sermon. The average study reaches Jonah chapter 3 were under the impression that all the good stuff is over.
Now we might have some faint awareness that the others that like I think repented and it was a good thing. John was very happy about it but it's time to move on. You know or pacification and all that vomiting up on dry land. That about wraps up the series, it's time to move on to another Bible are, however, I have discovered Jonah chapter 3 is weighted for the benefit of the church effect on the divided into studies is convicted me in it to challenge every one of us who hold positions in and I know most of you are serving in some way. Many of your teaching and leading in studies, it should be deeply encouraging as well as challenging to to all of us no matter what you do to matter what age you teach about how large the size of your living room or in a class in Jonah chapter 3, I believe it may very well hold the key to a spiritual awakening to return to spiritual health and vitality not only individually but but as a ministry and for those of you that where the mantle of teacher or mentor or disciple could begin in the pulpit of our land. This chapter and it would spread impacting the church greatly fact I believe that we are in desperate need for preachers and teachers to follow the example of Jonah in chapter 3, we are in desperate of people who will respond like Ninevites. You may remember that Jonah had been told to go to the Ninevites.
He responded, you remember by going down to Joppa and setting sail there on the coast of the Mediterranean book passage on a boat headed for Tarshish on the coast of Spain. It was in the opposite direction of God and told you while well for one week we learned that briefly hinted he was unpatriotic to. He had come to believe as most of his countrymen that God belong to them that salvation belong to the Jew. It would be inside the fish where he would rediscover and we would hear him say salvation belongs to the Lord is his to give to whomever he will. Furthermore, I think that the Jonah was probably resentful if not afraid of the renowned Ninevites cruelty to their captain. They were known for skinning their captives alive gouging out their eyes were humiliating them by putting hooks in their noses and leading them like cattle before having killed. I was recently at the British Museum in London and saw firsthand Clay design that once plastered the walls of the king's palace and Nineveh. The drawings of prisoners being dismembered and pictures or drawings of skulls piled high against city walls. Frankly, I believe that the Jonah did not want God to show mercy to this merciful people didn't want them to receive anything from God, but punishment and death, and maybe a slow death that will actually have to hear him admit to that later on, so he runs God instead of fish after him and brought it back. Chapter 2 verse 10 tells us he was spit out on dry land.
Now if I were Jonah I would expect at this point retire somewhere in Samaria, maybe back in my hometown of Gath heifer to settle down finished. If I were God I would have been looking for another profit and I would have been wrong on both counts. Jonah is prepared now to accept this mission from from God to go to the capital city of the Assyrian kingdom.
This impressive city of Nineveh and God is prepared to reenlist. In fact, the next words are very moving to me and I'm sure they will be to use notice chapter 3 verse one.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, just pause for let that sink in the auto underline. The second time that a great phrase. What grace and forgiveness is bound up in those three English words.
The second you don't reenlist someone like Jonah, you go back to the drawing board. Right you send out resumes you start over.
Peter had his chance in the courtyard.
John Mark had his opportunity to stand in the garden of Gethsemane. Thomas missed his chance by skipping out on the upper room. They all had.
However, what second chances. James Montgomery boys wrote in his commentary on Jonah. At this point if we were to say go home.
Jonah, I'm glad you repented of your disobedience but you are no longer useful to me. We would be just and reasonable to do so.
That is does not always do this.
Does God stoop to use those who have rejected his commission turned a deaf ear to his word pursue the course of determined disobedience.
Yes he does. If he did not. None of us could serve. None of us can serve.
This is not defending disobedience. So relax and this is this is defending the grace of a very gracious God, not just in Jonah's life, but in your life and mine. He is the God of second chances and behind the beyond that fact. Another author reminded me when he wrote this honest reflection compels the believer to speak of him as the God of the 999th chance how many times have we been forgiven and yet another opportunity given to us to do something for Christ. I love that phrase the word of God came in Jonah the second can you imagine the thrill of Jonah as he heard the word of the Lord come to him again. He was a prophet he'd spoken on behalf of God. Many times one of his prophecies became famous as you know, in his earlier ministry came true. More than likely he expected this would be the last time he would ever hear the word of the Lord came again, George Morrison, the well-known Scottish pastor and writer from several generations ago. Put it this way.
Listen carefully to this, the victorious Christian life is really nothing more than a series of new beginnings first two here's the word of the Lord Arius got in and of other great city and proclaim to in the proclamation which I'm going now it's interesting to me than that.
This is the same commission Jonah 1st received back in chapter 1, however it's it's tweaked a bit of the first time, Jonah was reminded of how we can the Ninevites word. He knew that this time in the second commission.
Jonah is not reminded of how wicked the Ninevites are in fact replacing that phrase is this phrase where he's challenged with the sacred task delivered to them. My word is given a second chance and now he's given this sacred charge and it's really nothing less then preach the word preach the word. It's the same charge given by Paul to Timothy to every pastor and Bible teacher since Timothy preach the word second Timothy chapter 4 verse two and for those of you who teach a disciple and mentor.
There's always a pull to this for some reason to pull you away from the text. Perhaps it's something more interesting in the minds of those who are in your little classroom Bible study. Maybe it's something more appealing. Maybe something more positive. Maybe something more more promising at times. Nonetheless, ladies and gentlemen, the reformation of souls and the awakening of hearts comes by means of the power of the gospel of Christ. Romans chapter 1, which comes through the word of God which is alive and powerful, and sharper than their most distinguished weapon of war. At that time a sword sharpened on both side take that deliver that preach that I think there's something else here that God is warning Jonah not to do. He's just survived three days in the belly of the great fish he has just written back by God's command in the belly that fish all the way back to where the fish spit it out safely on the dry land enough to think about who's got that kind of testimony. I mean that that you ever been to a testimony meeting where the next person tries to talk the other person and sin gets worse and worse and worse. You know, nobody can talk this one. Jonah will rule in the testimony will be given the front chair will be given the mic and will never give it up. III grew up in a Christian home was saved at an early age and after some trouble, dedicated him that that doesn't hold a candle to my miracle right in the belly of the fish. I thought of how we can peek at publicizing you know how I survived three days underwater. That's not a rule Wednesday night for life inside a whale. And while never eat fish again, that's interesting.
My testimony is not interesting since first and I think there was a challenge here Jonah what happened to you is amazing. Nobody has the testimony would be so easy for you to go make a mystery out of your story and this is what got you go and you delivered to them by word my proclamation you stay focused on that until your fish story. Don't dramatize your call back in the ministry. Don't focus anybody's attention on you Jonah go to that city deliver my word that your sacred charge. Go to this great city in its interesting four times that that expression shows up this great city. It was great in its history of doubt was founded by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah. It was great in size circumference of the city and suburbs was about 60 miles about 600,000 people live there. It's impressive walls and gates.
It was great in sin was idolatrous. It was immoral. It was brutal. Nineveh was located on the eastern banks of the Tigris River near the modern city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
Some of its walls and even been reconstructed on their original site.
Jonah would enter the city through a massive date of this great city tower stretching into the sky. Some of the gates of even been reconstructed using original stone that I can imagine as he walked through Syrian soldiers would have been looking down this for their to enter Jonah would no doubt have visited with the king himself affect the text implies that the king dependent upon hearing the message more than likely he was given a personal audience with the prophet in his own palace. Jonah would have seen the palaces. It was excavated. Centuries later, brilliantly colored battle scenes interesting to for years.
Skeptics said that one of the reasons the Bible was unreliable as it talked about this great city of Nineveh and we have no evidence Nineveh ever existed until the mid-1800s when the city was discovered.
This gentleman by the name of Laird discovered the hill under which the buried ruins of Nineveh lay in fact the dry sand covered the city preserved credit so I can only imagine that Jonah could've easily had the opportunity standing in the palace to point at those massive vitals and thinking I got news for you. They will not protect you from the spiritual world, which is what they believe you are in deep trouble. In fact, he got 40 days and your dad, and my God says it will happen then did the king listen at this point friendly.
I believe king had already been prepared by God to listen as well as the people that Jonah might've had nothing less than a royal reception. These events as quickly as they appear implied he was given assistance in order to travel from place to place through such a large city and suburbs hitting just the key points you deliver this message, probably to audiences that were gathered on his behalf, but I have little doubt that the story of a man riding the belly of the fish delivered to dry ground by a great fish that had already reached the ears came in. The people for good reason. It meant something to them. See one of the chief God's of the Ninevites just so happen to be efficient. God's name was Dagon. Dad is simply her day is the word for fish. The Ninevites were shipped Dagon the fish God. They believe that he ruled the Mediterranean. That was his turf. He was in control of the Mediterranean and beyond. Actually he was half man from the waist up and half fish from the waist down carvings and paintings of Dagon have been discovered by archaeologists in and around the city. You add in the fact that a Phoenician inscription dated about 200 years after Jonah lived informs us that one of the chief cities belonging to Dagon happened to be Jaco the very city where Jonah fled and more than likely the place where he was brought back by the fish put these pieces together and discover that the Ninevites were probably ready to listen. Interesting that God would use Jonah's disobedience and intentionally choose his transportation method back Jaco with exactly the Ninevites superstition and idolatry in my lights are prepared to listen to a private road inside a crayfish commanded by God, evidently a God that ruled as a greater God the Mediterranean Sea. God evidently is more powerful than God. So you see how the stages uniquely set for the greatest national conversion ever recorded in the history of our planet.
Notice verse four Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk and he cried out and said get 40 days of Nineveh will be overthrown. The word overthrow means literally turned upside down.
The tense of the verb indicates total thoroughness of complete destruction of complete overturning of the city's foundations, walls and gates exits the same verb, it appears in the total destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. So Jonah delivers his message friendly from a human perspective and rationale, this enterprise seems absolutely ridiculous. How can one man claiming to be God's prophet confronts thousands of people with an offensive message God is going to turn Nineveh upside down and not expect to be impaled on the state before sun. He had no insurance. If you study the tests that he would, but men and women to this day.
Centuries later, it is still God's method of bringing about reformation and revival, and an awakening in any land. The teacher of Bible study leader at the cycler mentor pastor simply delivers the words of God. Reformation comes when a people of God submit to the will of God and communicate to their world word of God, God will do what only God can change lives. Is it really surprising to read the very next phrase verse five just read it and stop the people of Nineveh believed in God compacted that they believe in God, by the way you notice it doesn't say they believe in Jonah, they may not have been swept away by Jonah. They were swept away by the morning of Jonah's God. They were swept into the mercy of Jonah's God's Martin Luther, the reformer was once asked about his incredible contribution to the Reformation with church itself in so many millions of lives changed the respondent by quote, I simply taught the word of God and the word of God did everything by the beginning of this great awakening is now underway man was given a second chance filling is sacred charge in the word of God is going to begin to work and it is that word which is the power of God unto salvation to every belief and it is that word which so nourishes your heart and mind doesn't and I remember as a thing is probably a senior in high school and I grown-up enough in a fairly decent nondenominational church very formal. Don't remember anything like Bible exposition didn't understand what that meant ended up as a later in high school going to a Baptist Church and I remember the 20 minute invitations.
I do not remember any Bible teaching at all, but I remember being invited. Somebody told me that J.
Vernon McGee was preaching in a church in Virginia Beach and I decided to go he preached every night at the church.
He opened the Bible and all he did was read it and explain it dramatically impacted my life. I didn't walk away in all of J.
Vernon McGee. I walked away all I walked away. In all of this book more deeply opened so for you, whoever you are, in whatever way you communicate the truth of God just teach and preach, communicate the word of God. No were everything.
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