Tag Archives: prophet jonah

Charles Stanley – Lessons from the Prophet Jonah

 

Jonah 1

The Lord’s commands are clear—He tells believers when to act, where to go, and what to do. He also provides the means for following His directions. The prophet Jonah was told to leave immediately for a certain city and cry out this warning: “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). Instead, Jonah did something foolish (and altogether human). He ran.

Because he was a prophet, we can assume Jonah had studied the Scriptures and knew God intimately. Even so, displeasure over his assignment clouded his judgment, and he became convinced he could flee the Lord’s presence. Jonah was wrong. God sent a great storm and isolated him for three days inside a smelly fish. In other words, the Lord didn’t relent until the prophet agreed to comply.

Jonah learned that running away from the Lord doesn’t release us from His commands. Whether we refuse outright or quietly choose to pursue our own agenda, we simply cannot silence His call. Our Father will neither forget a directive nor change His mind about it, and so the Holy Spirit continues prompting us until we do as instructed.

People who run from divine direction may attempt to silence the Spirit’s reminders by filling their life with distractions. They know what God wants from them but are too proud, stubborn, or scared to comply. What we must understand is that God will pursue us—stripping away diversions and crutches to get our attention. Wise believers obey Him promptly rather than waste time and talent by running.

Bible in One Year: Psalms 76-78

Our Daily Bread — The Good And The Bad

Our Daily Bread

Jonah 4

The LORD God prepared a plant [for] shade . . . [and] a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. —Jonah 4:6-7

The story of the rebellious prophet Jonah shows us how God desires to use both blessings and trials to challenge us and change us for the better. Five times in the book of Jonah it says that the Lord prepared circumstances for him—both good and bad.

In Jonah 1:4 we read that the Lord sent a storm. It says He “sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea.” After the mariners discovered that Jonah was the reason for this storm, they threw him overboard (1:15). Then God “prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah” to save him from drowning (1:17).

Later in the book we read that “the LORD God prepared a plant” to shade Jonah (4:6). Then we see that God prepared a worm to kill the vine as well as a scorching wind and sun to beat down upon him (4:7-9). These circumstances were used to reveal Jonah’s rebellious attitude. Only after that revelation could God directly confront Jonah’s heart problem.

As we face different situations, we should remember that God is sovereign over both the blessings and the troubles that come our way. He desires to use everything to build our character (James 1:1-5). He uses both good and bad to transform us and guide us on our journey. —Dennis Fisher

The Maker of the universe

Knows every need of man,

And made provision for that need

According to His plan. —Crane

The Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be the Lord.

Bible in a year: Daniel 11-12; Jude

 

Greg Laurie – If Only . . .

 

“Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” —Matthew 12:39

Have you ever thought, If someone were raised from the dead, I know people would believe? Or, If I could do a miracle for my friends, I know they would believe?

Remember the story of the rich man and the beggar named Lazarus? They both died and went into eternity. The rich man had no place for God, but Lazarus was a believer. At that time before the death and resurrection of Jesus, Hades was divided into a place of comfort and a place of torment. Lazarus went to the place of comfort on the heart and bosom of Abraham. The nonbelieving rich man went to the place of torment.

The rich man called out to Abraham, wanting to go back and warn his family about the horrible place he was in. But Abraham told him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (Luke 16:29 NKJV).

But the rich man persisted. He thought if someone were to rise from the dead, they surely would believe.

Here is what Abraham told him: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” (verse 31).

Maybe, like the rich man, you think that if only your friends and family could witness a miracle, they would believe.

Jesus said, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39). Jesus was saying, “You want a sign for a nonbelieving world? Here it is: My death and resurrection from the dead.”

Here is our message to lost humanity: Christ died. He rose. He can forgive you of your sin. That is the message we have to share.