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Man’s Communication to God in Jonah May 3, 2005

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
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In Jonah, God isn’t the only one communicating. Jonah, the sailors and the people of Nineveh all talk to God. At times they are requesting direction or salvation. At others, they are expressing repentance. But in each case, God hears and responds according to His divine plan.

  • Jonah 1:17 – The sailors request direction on who’s responsible for the storm. Although they don’t specifically direct their request to the One True God of Creation, He does answer by pointing to Jonah.
  • Jonah 1:14 – These sailors now call upon God for an alternative to throwing Jonah into the water. Although presented with a clear way to stop the storm, they have a heart and ask for Divine intervention to spare Jonah. God does not respond because He has a bigger plan.
  • Jonah 1:16 – Now saved from the tempestuous seas, the sailors make some undisclosed promises to God.
  • Jonah 2:1-9 – Jonah praises God for salvation from the waves. He may also be showing a repentant spirit. In any event, the response from God was a second chance to obey the call to preach to Nineveh.
  • Jonah 3:8 – The city of Nineveh clearly exhibits repentance honoring God in His proper place and recognizing (and hating) their own sinful state. God response by sparing the city of the destruction they justly deserved.
  • Jonah 4:2 – Jonah prays to God with pseudo praise and plenty of excuses. This is the first volley in an amazing defiant conversation with a merciful God.
  • Jonah 4:9 – Jonah finally responds to the question God posed, but he does so with a clearly defiant and self-loathing attitude. God’s response is to articulate the lesson He’d been priming Jonah for over the previous 3 chapters.

Next week will be dedicated to a class discussion of the question, “Does God Communicate Today?” Remember that your answer to that question will be shaped by three ideas:

  1. Your view of God
  2. Your view of the Scriptures
  3. Your view of prayer

The survey gives some thoughts on these ideas. But I’ll also post some directional thoughts on each of these later this week.

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