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Jonah Chapter Two: Salvation is of the Lord March 24, 2005

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
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We now find Jonah in the depths of the sea, not dying or struggling, but praying. The close of the previous chapter had a large fish, which God had prepared for the purpose, swallowing Jonah whole and holding Jonah in its belly.

Although said in various ways and in the style reminiscent of the Psalms, Jonah essentially says, “Thank you, God, for saving me from dying.” He also promises to fulfill a vow to God.

Upon completion of the prayer, God directs the fish to get rid of Jonah and the fish complies, depositing Jonah on the beach, much closer to Nineveh than Jonah originally intended to be.

Key Questions to Consider:

  • Is the book of Jonah a literal re-telling of a factual, historical event or is it a story intended to provide some spiritual moral? Or is it an embellishment of true story — for example, a fish didn’t actually swallow Jonah, he was swallowed by the waves and re-deposited on the sand “as if” a big fish had swallowed him? Why do you believe that?
  • Can you spot the poetry in verses 2-9? There are several parallel thoughts that convey a basic message. What is that message?
  • What kind of sacrifice did Jonah promise to make? When do you think he made that sacrifice?
  • What kind of vow had Jonah made and how did he intend to pay it?
  • Jonah ends his prayer/psalm with “Salvation is of the Lord.” What kind of salvation did he mean? Spiritual, physical or both?
  • By returning Jonah to dry land, was God indicating that Jonah had “learned his lesson?”

Tomorrow — Jonah Chapter Three: A Wicked City is Saved

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