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John Brown's Commentary on Selected Book of the Bible

Jonah 3

 

 

Verse 1

John Brown

Jonah 3:1

The God of Second Chances

I. INTRODUCTION

A. In our last study Jonah was "born again" in the belly of a whale!

1. If we look at the term "born again" as experiencing the Lord in such a new and deep way that it affects every fiber of your being- Jonah was definitely born again.

2. Before the fish- he was man who didn"t see things the way the Lord did and was more concerned about what he wanted than what the Lord wanted.

a) But3days in the fish"s belly has changed him- not only spiritually bit I think it most likely that even his physical appearance was different.

(1) Remember Dr. Harry Rimmer, the President of the Research Science Bureau of Los Angeles, I told you about last week?

(a) He was the one who told of the sailor that fell overboard only to be found in the belly of a Rhinodon shark48 hour later, unconscious but alive, and released as healthy a few hours later.

(b) Well it seems that this man was on exhibit at the London Museum and billed as "The Jonah of the Twentieth Century."

(c) In1926 Dr. Rimmer went to see this man and described his physical appearance as this, "There was not a hair on his entire body and he had patches of yellowish-brown covering his entire skin. (Through The Bible- J. Vernon McGee- Vol3 , Page752)

(i) It is safe to say that after3day in that fish- JONAH WAS NOT THE SAME MAN he was when he went in!

II. Jonah 3:1-2 (NASB) NOW THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO JONAH THE SECOND TIME, SAYING,

2 "ARISE, GO TO NINEVEH THE GREAT CITY AND PROCLAIM TO IT THE PROCLAMATION WHICH I AM GOING TO TELL YOU."

A. Please notice that the message has not changed but once again, Jonah has!

1. This morning I would like to spend a little time on the statement in the first verse of chapter3: Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time.

a) What a tremendous illustration we would have missed if the Lord had given up on Jonah after the first time he tired to get his attention!

b) Aren"t you glad that the Lord is long-suffering and patient?

c) Aren"t you glad that we serve a God of second and third and even dozens of chances to get it right: to hear His voice and do His will?

(1) There is one thing I am sure of. There are very few NO people in this world that will be as patient or forgiving as the Lord is toward His children.

B. I thought it might encourage us all this morning to take a look at some of the Bible"s most notable figures, their failures, God"s patience, and their eventual success!

III. JACOB

A. Most of you remember way back in Genesis - Jacob "tricked" his brother Esau out of his birthright with a bowl of soup.

1. Jacob was a cunning and clever young man with a tendency to depend upon his own skills instead of the will of the Lord.

2. You may also remember that the Lord sent along a man even more clever that Jacob to deal with him. It was "uncle Laban", who cheated him out of many hears of his life!

a) But the Lord had appointed a "great fish" for Jacob also (if you will).

b) It was at Peniel that Jacob became "born again."

(1) As he sat there by the river Jabok, fleeing from uncle Laban from one side of the river and know he would have to face Esau (the brother that he had hurt) on the other side- he was a man conflicted!

(a) Living his life that way he wanted to, depending upon his own cunning, had destroyed his life.

(b) That night the Lord wrestled with him in prayer. The Lord didn"t want Jacob to give up. He wanted him to give in!

(c) And he did! Jacob was never the same after that. He walked with a limp from then on, but he walked with the Lord.

(i) Peniel was Jacob"s second chance!

IV. DAVID

A. Young David started out right, but allowed himself to wonder from the things of the Lord.

1. Samuel actually handpicked you David to be king BECAUSE of his heart towards the Lord.

2. We read of great and mighty exploits from this man who loved the Lord and tried to live by His words and will. The Lord made him a great warrior and King of Israel!

a) But time, money and fame took its toll on him and he ended up as a murderer and an adulterer.

b) But the Lord has a "great fish" prepared for David also:

(1) It wasn"t until his own son Absalom rose up against him to take his kingdom- and was killed that David"s heart broke!

(a) 2 Samuel 18:33 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, "O my son Absalom, my Song of Solomon , my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my Song of Solomon , my son!"

(i) This experience changed David forever and we see this in Psalm 51:7-12 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice.

9 Hide Thy face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.

12Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.

(b) But after all this the Lord still considered him a "man after his own heart."

V. PETER

A. Peter was yet another man who was a little too self-reliant.

1. He was quick to speak, quick to Acts , and so self assured that the emphatically told the Lord in Mark 14:31 (NASB) &. "[Even] if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!"

2. Yet as he warmed himself by the fire, the rooster crowed and Peter realized that he had failed miserably.

3. But, as he caught the Lord"s eye when he looked through the judgment hall- they were not eyes of hatred or even condemnation but eyes of forgiveness.

a) This touched Peter so deeply that he went outside a cried like a baby.

b) I guess you could say that Peter"s "great fish" was a rooster, but he was never the same after that.

(1) The Lord appeared to Him privately after his resurrection to make sure he was OK and encourage him to get on with the Lord"s will and work!

(a) Jesus didn"t give up on Peter even when Peter did.

(b) And because of that, after Pentecost, Peter became a great evangelist.

B. And for my last example I would like to read you a few pages from Pastor Jim Cymbala"s new book Fresh Power. Jim is the Senior Pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle.

1. (Read pages68-75)

VI. CONCLUSION

A. Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time.

1. You may have given up on the Lord- but He surely has not given up on you!

a) Why not give yourself another chance?


Verses 2-10

John Brown

Jonah 3

Jonah the Suicidal Evangelist

I. INTRODUCTION

A. In our last study of Jonah we limited ourselves to chapter3verses1-2 - Jonah 3:1-2 (NASB) Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,

2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you."

1. And we expounded the wonderful virtues of the Lord as a God of second chances.

2. And I think we would all agree that He has been more than loving and patient with us all.

a) And without His grace and mercy none of us could stand before Him with any righteousness.

B. This morning we will continue with chapter3and see what happens when Jonah arrives in the city of Nineveh.

1. I would like to point out that the entire city turns to the Lord and this is long before the "official church" gets there.

2. There will also be another great revival. It will be on a grander scale than any other and it will occur after the church has been raptured.

a) I think this proves to us that the Lord is not dependant upon the church!

b) The church can be a powerful force, but often it just sits around waiting for something great to happen and expecting someone else to do it.

(1) But the Lord will still get His will and His work done through the Jonah"s, and the Peter"s and the Paul"s- with or without the church!

II. Jonah 3:1-2 (NASB) NOW THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO JONAH THE SECOND TIME, SAYING,

2 "ARISE, GO TO NINEVEH THE GREAT CITY AND PROCLAIM TO IT THE PROCLAMATION WHICH I AM GOING TO TELL YOU."

A. The Lord told Jonah that Nineveh was a "great city" before in Jonah 1:2.

1. To give you an idea of the scope of this evangelical outreach, I will read the last verse in chapter4 - Jonah 4:11 "And should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than120 ,000 persons who do not know [the difference] between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"

2. That is over half of the city of Glendale (AZ) - that gets right with the Lord!

a) There is no "program" - no "entertainment" - no "radio spots" and no "flyers", yet the Lord accomplishes his will!

(1) And here is a beautiful example of His grace- He uses a man that has already failed him once to get this accomplished!

3. It is important to point out that Nineveh proper (that is the actual city) was not big enough to hold this many people.

a) But there were2other cities close by (Calah and Khorsabad) of which Nineveh was the capital.

b) Song of Solomon , these120 ,000 people included those cities in this same valley along the Tigris and Upper Zab Rivers.

III. Jonah 3:3 (NASB) SO JONAH AROSE AND WENT TO NINEVEH ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD. NOW NINEVEH WAS AN EXCEEDINGLY GREAT CITY, A THREE DAYS" WALK.

A. The "great fish" seems to have made a "whale" of a difference in Jonah"s life because we now see him doing things according to the word of the Lord.

IV. Jonah 3:4 (NASB) THEN JONAH BEGAN TO GO THROUGH THE CITY ONE DAY"S WALK AND HE CRIED OUT AND SAID, "YET FORTY DAYS AND NINEVEH WILL BE OVERTHROWN."

A. Jonah walks and Jonah preaches- to whomever will listen.

1. Just a personal opinion here but I think his experience inside the great fish was definitely an attraction as was most likely his looks that backed up the experience.

a) I think people were willing to listen to a man that had come back "from the dead" so to speak.

b) I would also guess that Jonah liked this part of the message- the "turn or burn" part- because remember, he didn"t like the Ninevites in the first place!

(1) But, he was still a man of "little faith" because I don"t think he expected what came next.

V. Jonah 3:5 (NASB) THEN THE PEOPLE OF NINEVEH BELIEVED IN GOD AND THEY CALLED A FAST AND PUT ON SACKCLOTH FROM THE GREATEST TO THE LEAST OF THEM.

A. The people of Nineveh believed in God!

1. Hebrews 11:6 (NASB) And without faith it is impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He Isaiah , and [that] He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

a) All the Lord has ever asked is that we believe in Him, by faith- and that is what the Ninevites did.

(1) And genuine faith is demonstrated in action as James tells us James 2:18-20 (NASB) But someone may [well] say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."

19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

VI. Jonah 3:6-8 (NASB) WHEN THE WORD REACHED THE KING OF NINEVEH, HE AROSE FROM HIS THRONE, LAID ASIDE HIS ROBE FROM HIM, COVERED [HIMSELF] WITH SACKCLOTH, AND SAT ON THE ASHES.

7 AND HE ISSUED A PROCLAMATION AND IT SAID, "IN NINEVEH BY THE DECREE OF THE KING AND HIS NOBLES: DO NOT LET Prayer of Manasseh , BEAST, HERD, OR FLOCK TASTE A THING. DO NOT LET THEM EAT OR DRINK WATER.

8 "BUT BOTH MAN AND BEAST MUST BE COVERED WITH SACKCLOTH AND LET MEN CALL ON GOD EARNESTLY THAT EACH MAY TURN FROM HIS WICKED WAY AND FROM THE VIOLENCE WHICH IS IN HIS HANDS.

A. What a wonderful example of true repentance the king of Nineveh was!

1. He didn"t let his pride or his position get in the way. Just the opposite, he used it for the Lord"s glory!

2. By example he led the way and urged every person in Nineveh to call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

a) I wonder what the reaction would be in America if this was the response of our president?

(1) Would there be mass repentance or mass retaliation?

(2) I think we have seen from these last too presidents, that the public is much more tolerant with a womanizing, "public", lost president- than one with a relationship with the Lord!

(3) But the King of Nineveh didn"t let the majority"s "opinion" stop him from doing what was right.

VII. Jonah 3:9-10 (NASB) "WHO KNOWS, GOD MAY TURN AND RELENT, AND WITHDRAW HIS BURNING ANGER SO THAT WE SHALL NOT PERISH?"

10 WHEN GOD SAW THEIR DEEDS, THAT THEY TURNED FROM THEIR WICKED WAY, THEN GOD RELENTED CONCERNING THE CALAMITY WHICH HE HAD DECLARED HE WOULD BRING UPON THEM. AND HE DID NOT DO [IT.]

A. Many texts say that the Lord "repented" concerning what He had planned for Nineveh if they did not turn their hearts to Him.

1. To repent means to "change your mind" to see things they way the Lord does, but since He is God and know the end from the beginning, He doesn"t need to "change His mind to see things the way the Lord does."

a) What this does mean it that because of the cities" repentance, He did not need to carry out what was planned.

b) It is more of a fulfillment of His ultimate desire for Nineveh than a change of mind.

B. Now, for most people involved in the Lord"s work- this would be a dream come true!

1120 ,000 people get saved- an entire region, as a result of one man"s work- Jonah.

2. Most of us would be thrilled to be used by the Lord in this way, but not Jonah.

a) Remember- Jonah had a deep hatred for the Ninevites and I think his reaction shows us that even though he was doing what the Lord asked of him, he was secretly hoping that the Ninevites would NOT turn to the Lord- because he did not want them saved!

(1) Look at his reaction:

VIII. CONCLUSION

A. Jonah 4:1 (NASB) But it greatly displeased Jonah , and he became angry.

1. Jonah didn"t just get angry- he was angry with the Lord. So much so that is verse3of chapter4he asks the Lord to kill him!

a) But that is a subject for next week"s study.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Jonah 3:4". John Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jbs/jonah-3.html.

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