September 25 – Today’s Readings – Jonah 1-4 and Psalms 85
Type National Geographic, Whale Shark into your browser and have a peak at this magnificent creature. It’s actually not a “whale” at all but an enormous fish. This fish does not feed on large things (like Jonah) but it simply opens its huge mouth and “sucks in” anything in its path. If, by mistake, it swallows something like a log (Jonah) it will regurgitate it when the object refuses to be digested. Many believe that this is the same “great fish” that swallowed Jonah and spit him up again. Why am I sharing this with you? – Because so often we look at Bible accounts as if they were fairy tales. The Great Flood – the Garden of Eden – the Creation Account – the Resurrection of Christ – the Miracles of the Apostles – etc.
Now to the heart of the matter;
1. God loves people – even Ninevites. – “But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” (Jonah 4:11)
2. God wants His people (Jonah in this case) to reach out to Ninevites. – “Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” (Jonah 3:1-2)
3. God’s people often have issues about reaching out to Ninevites. – “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.” (Jonah 1:3)
4. God will “deal with you” if you hate Ninevites. – “Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.” (Jonah 1:15)
5. God wants a Church full of Ninevites who are redeemed by grace. – “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
6. You once were a Ninevite yourself! – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1Corinthians 6:9) – “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1Corinthians 6:11)
1. It is important to know that some Bible stories are written as an illustration – not necessarily a littoral happening. 2. 2. Give an example where this might be true. Hint – The Prophets.
3. Give another example where science has begun to discover that historic Biblical accounts are real events.