Daily Encouragement

December 14 – Jonah (My Favorite OT Book)

Jonah 1:1-4-11
Revelation 5:1-14
Psalm 133:1-3
Proverbs 29:26-27

Jonah 1:1 — This wasn’t the first prophetic message of Jonah. We know he was a popular prophet of victory, he was from Gath Hepher, and he was a contemporary of Jeroboam II who reigned from 793-753 BC (2 Kings 14:23).

Jonah 1:2 — Why is Jonah afraid of preaching to Ninevah? It was the Assyrian hub, and it would grow into the largest city in the world during the 7th century BC. The Assyrians were a particularly brutal people, here’s an example of their artwork commemorating their victories.

Author’s photo, Oriental Institiute
Author’s Photo, Oriental Institute

In just a generation (722 BC), the Assyrians would brutally conquer the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Jonah 1:3 — Count the times the word “down” is found. Down to Joppa. Down into the ship. Down into the sides (Jonah 1:5). Down to the bottoms of the mountains (Jonah 2:6).

Jonah 1:4 — Let’s count all those who obey the Lord in this book:

  • The wind and the sea (Jonah 1:4, Jonah 1:15)
  • The lots (Jonah 1:7)
  • The crew (Jonah 1:16)
  • The great fish (Jonah 1:17, Jonah 2:10)
  • The people of Ninevah (Jonah 3:5)
  • The King of Ninevah (Jonah 3:6-7)
  • The gourd (Jonah 4:6)
  • The worm (Jonah 4:7)
  • The east wind (Jonah 4:8)

Jonah obeys … eventually but reluctantly.

Jonah 1:9 — Does Jonah really fear the LORD God? The mariners appear to fear the Lord more (Jonah 1:10, Jonah 1:14) and then fear the LORD “exceedingly” (Jonah 1:16).

Jonah 1:13 — Doesn’t this picture look like us in our lives before we met Christ? The prospects look dim, our fear is great, our possessions are worthless (Jonah 1:5), and we need supernatural help (Jonah 1:15). The psalmist writes about a similar situation (Psalm 107:28-29). Peter knew of Jonah and the psalmist, and when he was in a similar situation, he effectively declared Jesus to be the LORD God of Israel (Matthew 14:28).

Jonah 2:6 — From the Institute for Creation Research (ICR):

bottoms of the mountains. In Jonah’s day, so far as we know, men had no means to explore the sea floor, yet Jonah somehow knew that mountains had “roots” extending deep into the earth’s crust. In fact, this may even be another way of referring to his descent into “hell.”

Jonah 2:7 — Like Hezekiah, Jonah prayed only when it was pretty late in the game.

Jonah 3:4 — Notice his message was just eight words.

Jonah 4:2 — Jonah is quoting Joel 2:13 almost verbatim! Joel was written about 50 years before Jonah’s ministry. Jonah isn’t just a mouthpiece for the LORD – he’s able to quote Scripture verbatim!

Jonah 4:11 — Jesus loves the little children, yes, all the children of the world!

Revelation 5:5 — Ron Hamilton wrote a great song based on this verse, reminding us not to weep because of the Lamb!

Revelation 5:12-13 — George Frederic Handel incorporated this text into Handel’s Messiah.

Revelation 5:14 — The only one to be worshipped is the LORD God. See Revelation 22:9, Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8, Romans 1:25, Colossians 2:18.

Psalm 133:1 — May we be united in the truth and living in peace (Ephesians 4:3). Sadly, quarrelsome brethren have destroyed many a church.

Proverbs 29:27 — You can’t make everyone happy! Better to have the right kind of enemies than the wrong kind of friends!

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