Summary: One of the greatest blessings is for God to send to man His word. The prophet Amos warned the people of his day the dangers when he said, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirs
The book of Jonah #01.
The duty of Jonah.
Jonah 1:1, 2. 08/17/05
There are some books in the Old Testament that in some chapters can become quite boring. Especially when you come to the book of Chronicles and you get all the begets. But if you are reading the entire Bible, when you come to the book of Jonah, there is not a boring chapter in it. Even though there are only 4 chapters, the book of Jonah is loaded with information. You will also soon discover that the entire book is really talking about the duty of a servant of God. That is nice since the world is more interested in their rights than they are their responsibility. So, the book of Jonah is a warning to us and any Christian who persists in doing his own thing apart from the will of God. If you haven’t understood as yet, God puts high priority on obedience to His will and Word.
There are actually four points I want us to look at in our study tonight. The first is THE SOURCE OF DUTY. You don’t have to wonder about the source because we are told in the very first verse, “the Word of the Lord came unto Jonah.” I think that tells us the importance of the Word of God that has to do with duty. It also teaches us that it is the Word of God that tells us about our duty. So, we have to know something about the Word of God in order to realize what our duty is for the Lord. Ignorance of the Word of God is ignorance to our duty and that matters most in life. Keep the Word from people and you keep people from doing the will of God which is exactly what Satan wants.
Duty to the Word of God must take priority. We find that Jonah, as we know the story, did not always make God’s word his priority. Now there was nothing wrong with Jonah going to another city; but the motive behind him going was wrong and that was to not have anything to do with the Lord’s will.
When Ann and I were singing, I announced that the Lord had called me to preach the Gospel. Now some told me don’t you do that as you go out and sing? I said yes; then you don’t have to make any changes, just keep singing. Now I know that the Lord wasn’t calling me to sing primarily but to be the pastor of a church. There is a difference.
One of the greatest blessings is for God to send to man His word. The prophet Amos warned the people of his day the dangers when he said, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” God takes the Word away when people refuse to honor it. You think about that as we think about those dummies removing the Ten Commandments from our schools and court houses. God doesn’t force His Word on anyone but they will suffer the consequences.
We see not only the source of duty but also THE SERVANT OF DUTY. The Word of the Lord came to Jonah. Jonah lived in a time when the world power was Assyria with Nineveh being the main center of government. Morally and spiritually speaking, things were pretty bad. Jeroboam was king of Israel and it was said about him that he did that which is evil in the sight of the Lord. So it was a time for Jonah to preach against sin not I’m alright and you’re alright.
We need to say something about Nineveh here too. Nineveh certainly did not deserve the warning that God want Jonah to give them. They were a wicked people. But that can now be said about a lot of our cities in America and seems like there are more added to that category every year. The only reason Nineveh was going to get a warning was because of God’s grace. The same can be said about cities in our time. We can even say that about ourselves.
Now Jonah did not want God to forgive Nineveh, for Nineveh was an enemy to Israel. Jonah knew something about God’s grace and figured He knew He would forgive Nineveh if they repented. I want you to look at chapter 4:2, “I fled before unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”
Next we see THE SPECIFICS OF DUTY. There are some points I want us to see in verse 2. I know we have read them many times but may have overlooked some key words. Words like “arise”. Really what God was saying was let’s get going.