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Summary: Part 1 of a 4-part series on the book of Jonah.

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Each Man Cried to His Own God

Jonah: It’s More Than Just a Fish Story Series (Part 1 of 4)

Aug. 13, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor

Introduction:

I Opening Illustration

II Historical context (Jonah is part of the 12 minor prophets. Small books, around 55 verses, cover 300 years of Israel’s history. Jonah is 58 verses).

A Jonah lived/prophesied during the 8th century BC (Jeroboam II).

1 Prophet:

a Stir people to repentance/revival

b Signal people of the impending punishment for their sin

2 Very human, flawed (a spin doctor would have omitted Jonah’s frailties, weakness)

3 He’s not the first to run (Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, Peter)

B Whale (big fish) is perhaps the most well-known part of the book of Jonah.

1 Some see it as a parabolic (Pinocchio)-disobedience brings punishment

2 I see it as historic for two reasons:

a I believe the Word is inerrant, without error, inspired Word of God

b Jesus, my Savior, saw Jonah’s whale adventure as real. Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." 39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. Matt 12:38-41 (NASB)

As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, "This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. 30 "For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 32 "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. Luke 11:29-30, 32 (NASB)

I The Ninevites are crying out to their own god. "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." Jonah 1:2 (NASB)

A The Ninevites (Assyrians) are the sworn enemies of Israel (modern day Syria/Iran/Iraq). 220 miles north of Baghdad.

1 Israel has been threatened by Assyria at least 3 times prior to Jonah’s prophetic ministry under the reign of Ashurnasirpal II & Shalmaneser III.

a Israel had fought Assyria at Qargar in 853 BC

b Jehu had paid tribute to Assyria in 841 BC

2 Assyria was cruel

a The following description is rated R due to gore & violence

aa Dismemberment with the hand to be last. Shake hands with you before you die.

bb Decapitate & make family & friends march in a parade with your head on a pole.

cc Stake heads 8 high on a pole, skinned people alive, pull out tongues & genitals of live victims, burned the young.

b Their gods/beliefs stood in total opposition to God (Jehovah) & His people (Hebrews)


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