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How God Communicated in Jonah April 26, 2005

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
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We see God’s communication to mankind shown in three major ways in the book of Jonah — His voice, His hand and His messengers. Each was used in God’s wisdom to clearly and fully articulate his message to the intended recipient.

  • God’s Voice: A direct word from God. It could be audible or it could be delivered otherwise. However, in these cases, God sees it necessary to deliver the message directly Himself.
    • Jonah 1:1 — The first command from God. Jonah’s response was to run.
    • Jonah 1:7 — God spoke to the sailors through the lots they cast. The sailor’s response was to believe God’s direction.
    • Jonah 2:10 — The second command from God. The fish’s response was immediate obedience
    • Jonah 3:1 — The first command from God, repeated for Jonah. This time, Jonah obeys.
    • Jonah 4:4 — The first question from God. Jonah does not respond.
    • Jonah 4:9 — God asks the same question again. Jonah responds, but in a defiant manner.
    • Jonah 4:10 — God gives the lesson he’s teaching through the story. No response is recorded, but the lesson is likely for us as it was for Jonah.
  • God’s Hand: God working through events. He’s not simply “using” something that would happen anyway. Instead, He’s purposely creating or preparing circumstances to convey His truth to Jonah.
    • Jonah 1:4 — God prepares a great wind.
    • Jonah 1:17 — God prepares a great fish.
    • Jonah 4:6 — God prepares a gourd.
    • Jonah 4:7 — God prepares a worm.
    • Jonah 4:8 — God prepares an east wind.
  • God’s Messengers: God using other people to convey His message. At times, these people and even the recipients of the message may not necessarily see God at work. But in each case, God’s Will is being fulfilled and the messenger communicates God’s Word.
    • Jonah 1:6 — The sailors unwittingly deliver God’s message to Jonah.
    • Jonah 1:12 — Jonah unwittingly sends God’s message to the sailors.
    • Jonah 3:4 — Jonah delivers God’s message to Nineveh.
    • Jonah 4:10 — Nineveh unwittingly sends God’s message to Jonah.

After reviewing this, the obvious questions are “Does God communicate today?” and, assuming He does, “How is God’s communication today similar to or different from what we see in Jonah?” Share your thoughts on these questions by completing the survey. We’ll also look forward to discussing this on Sunday.

Note: Handout 6, a copy of the book of Jonah with color-coded notes about God’s communication, was distributed on Sunday. If you’d like a copy of it, just ask, I’ll send it to you.

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