Summary: After the lot fell on Jonah, there is an interesting conversation between Jonah and the mariners. The lot had divided the group on the ship into two groups. Jonah was in a group with himself with the mariners in the other group.
The book of Jonah #05
The Dialogue of Jonah.
This is our fifth study on the book of Jonah. We are learning something about the character of the man the Bible calls Jonah. So far in our study he hasn’t been too impressive but I feel sure that is going to change.
In our last study, we talked about the lot falling on Jonah. After the lot fell on Jonah, there is an interesting conversation between Jonah and the mariners. The lot had divided the group on the ship into two groups. Jonah was in a group with himself with the mariners in the other group. As we listen to their conversation, there are some things we can learn. Lets read the text together tonight in our study.
For our first point, I want to call to your attention THE SCRUTINIZING IN THE CONVERSATION. I guess you noticed as we read the text that most of the conversation was the mariners asking Jonah several questions. Remember, the lot fell on Jonah so they were interested in what he had done to bring all this on. A total of seven questions were asked Jonah. They dealt with the crime, the calling, the conduct, the citizenship, the companions, the compulsion, and the consequences. Let’s examine each one of these a little while.
First there is the question about the crime. The first question asked, “For whose cause this evil is upon us?” This question to Jonah is asking what exactly was the crime committed to bring this on. The question is a little hard to understand in the KJV. The meaning is what you did and to whom did you do it. We find the answer in verse 10 where Jonah confessed the evil deed.
Let’s think about how this would be in today’s society. In the first place, in today’s society, the lawyer for the accused would say there is no eye witness. That is the case in our text, there is no eye witness. Then the high powered lawyer would have the accused to plead the Fifth Amendment. I know the Fifth Amendment is the right of every individual but you know this, God gives no dignity to such a thing as the Fifth Amendment. God demands confession, and confession is the best thing for the sinner and the society. It was so in Jonah’s case. Would you agree with that?
Let’s look at the second question that has to do with the calling. The second question was “What is thine occupation.” Actually, this question along with questions three, four, and five have to do with the character of the accused; in this case, it is Jonah. When you get to thinking about it, it was a shameful thing that they had to ask Jonah what his occupation was. If he had been living right, they would not have to ask him his occupation. But his conduct had not given any positive indication that he was a prophet of God.
The third question, also dealing with the character of Jonah speaks of the conduct of the accused. Look at the question in verse 8, “Whence comest thou?” This question simply means what have you been doing lately. We ask it a little different today to our children when we find out they have been somewhere we learned not from them but someone else. We ask, where have you been? We give them an opportunity to give their plea. That is what they were doing to Jonah, giving him the opportunity to answer them.
The next question has to do with the citizenship of the accused. Look at the question again in verse 8, “What is thy country?” This is the fourth question asked Jonah and the third question regarding his character. These mariners had no doubt been in many places and would know something about the land they had been. Like today, some of the places they had been were known for their lawlessness and other places known as fairly a good place. Don’t tell me where a person is from doesn’t have something to do with what you might believe about them.
Jonah’s nation was Israel; and God’s intent for Israel was that they might be a blessing not a problem. We are taught that as God spoke to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12, verses 2 and 3. God told Abraham “Thou shalt be a blessing and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” I just feel like when Jonah answered them and told them he was from Israel, they thought that is not the character of Israel.
Recon there is some professing believers today have the same problem as Jonah? They do not reflect their citizenship to well. The believer’s citizenship is in heaven and his calling is to take as many as he possibly can with him and his character will speak volumes in doing so.