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Jonah

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Everyone is to call urgently upon the name of the LORD and give up their evil ways ... God will bring down kingdoms and exalt his people. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Jonah


1
Jonah
  • The Original Lonesome Dove

2
The Original Lonesome Dove
  • Why the original lonesome dove?
  • Jonah means dove in Hebrew
  • and it is a catchy phrase.
  • reflects something of the story
  • Jonah fled from his homeland and people trying to
    flee from Gods call.

3
The Oddball Prophet
  • Jonah is the oddest of prophets.
  • only prophetical book in the OT that doesnt have
    any prophetical oracle other than one line.
  • It is a story of a prophet, and an odd one at
    that.
  • He runs from his call, and sulks when he hearers
    actually repent.

4
Chapter 1
  • In chapter one, God calls Jonah to go to preach
    to Nineveh and the Assyrians.
  • How could he do that?
  • They were dirty pagans why worshiped idols and
    were cruel beyond belief to their enemies.
  • Why would Jonah want to preach to people who his
    people had decided were the worthiest souls for
    eternal perdition and damnation on the planet.

5
Jonah vs. Nahum
  • There is a whole book in the Bible written to
    celebrate their downfall Nahum.
  • The whole message of Nahum could be summed up as,
    Praise God those Assyrians have been wiped off
    the map!
  • Assyrians deserved the hell that awaited them
  • no one should lift a finger to provide any kind
    of solace or protection from their coming doom
    and fate.

6
Run, Jonah, Run!
  • So Jonah ran. He ran from God and boarded a ship
    headed toward Tarshish.
  • The irony of Jonahs running from God is that, in
    so doing, hes acting himself like an unbeliever
    as if God was some kind of local deity that one
    could escape by running away.
  • Later he refers to Yahweh as the God of heaven
    and earth, the sea and the land.
  • He knew better than to run from that kind of God
  • And so he was the original lonesome dove.

7
The Storm God Sent
  • So God sent a huge storm and the sailors fear
    they will all die.
  • We find that, in the middle of the storm, these
    pagan sailors are really wonderful people after
    all.
  • The story is told to really emphasize this.
    These pagan idol worshippers did their best to
    save Jonahs life even endangering their own
    lives in the process.

8
Jonah and the Storm
  • They start by crying out to their own gods, but
    as soon as Jonah tells them that his God is the
    creator of the sea and dry land, they cry out to
    the LORD!
  • The text specifically says they cried out to the
    YHVH of the Hebrew people and that they greatly
    feared YHVH!
  • This point is that these pagans were very
    interested in and influenced by what they learned
    about the YHVH of the Hebrew people.

9
Jonah in the Belly
  • So finally, after pleading to the LORD for mercy,
    and only at Jonahs insistence, they threw Jonah
    overboard where he was famously swallowed by the
    great fish.
  • From the belly of the fish, Jonah repents and
    calls upon the LORD himself.
  • Was he convicted by the example of the sailors
    who called upon the LORD before he did?

10
The Assyrians and their Massive City
  • So Jonah finally gets spit out on the land near
    Nineveh and the word of YHVH comes to him again
    commanding him to go to Nineveh to proclaim the
    word to them.
  • He makes his way into the city the text notes
    that it is a huge city so large it takes 3 days
    to walk across - to proclaim to them the word of
    YHVH.
  • The text also says something that for some reason
    falls out of most English translations.

11
Nineveh, Gods Town!!
  • I would translate v. 3, So Jonah got up and went
    into Nineveh as God commanded. Now Nineveh was a
    huge city belonging to God, three days journey
    across.
  • The phrase belonging to God is completely
    dropped from English translations although
    interestingly, it is in the Old Greek
    translation, the first translation of the OT.

12
Nineveh is Gods Town!
  • The point emphasizes that God really has
    jurisdiction and concern even here in Nineveh.
  • If you really believe God is the Lord of heaven
    and earth, this is part of his care and
    authority.
  • Dont rule these Assyrians out as completely
    worthless pagans!
  • This is Gods city just like Jerusalem.

13
The Message of Doom!
  • The message Jonah proclaims is unambiguously one
    of doom. Forty more days and Nineveh will be
    overturned.
  • Thats funny. The LORD is not even mentioned in
    this sermon.
  • There is no tinge of hope or grace. 40 days and
    the ax will fall, period.

14
The Ax will fall!
  • If you read the story carefully, you cannot help
    but wonder if that is really what the LORD told
    Jonah to say.
  • Earlier God told Jonah only to preach against the
    wickedness of the city.
  • There was no mention about impending judgment
    only about serious wickedness.
  • Is this the LORDs message or Jonahs prejudice?

15
Those Repentant Ninevites!
  • Ninevites did what Israel almost never does upon
    hearing the word of the LORD.
  • They believed God, repented, called a fast with
    sackcloth and ashes.
  • The king gets into the act. He rises from his
    throne, covers himself with sackcloth and ashes,
    sits down in the dust, and issues a royal
    proclamation while sitting in the dust!

16
Royal Proclamation
  • he issues a decree that man and beast would fast
    and go about wearing sackcloth and ashes.
  • he actually decrees that even animals must fast
    and wear sackcloth and ashes!!
  • Everyone is to call urgently upon the name of the
    LORD and give up their evil ways

17
Jonahs Anger at the LORDs Compassion
  • When God saw how they turned from their evil
    ways, God had compassion
  • did not bring upon them the judgment Jonah said
    was impending.
  • It is at this point that we encounter the story.
  • Jonah becomes very angry because God has
    expressed such compassion toward such an unworthy
    people.

18
Jonahs Anger, Gods Mercy
  • I guess he found it personally embarrassing that
    what he proclaimed would happen didnt.
  • Made him feel like a false prophet?
  • Actually, Jonah could have seen his words
    profoundly fulfilled
  • since the word overturned in 40 days and this
    city will be overturned could and sometimes does
    refer to a spiritual overturning which would
    mean, repentance.

19
Take my life!
  • He prayed to the LORD and said, God, this is
    exactly why I ran off to Tarshish.
  • I knew what a compassionate God you were, that
    you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger
    and abounding in love, a God who relents from
    bringing calamity.
  • Now LORD, take my life for it is better for me to
    be dead than to live.

20
Jonah Quotes Scripture
  • Jonah quotes from two of the most powerful
    passages in the Hebrew scriptures
  • celebrate Gods compassion and tendency toward
    kindness and mercy Exod 34 and Ps 103.
  • Moses asks to see Gods glory and God reveals it
    to him on Mt. Sinai
  • YHWH, YHWH, a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,
    maintaining faithfulness and love to the
    thousands . . .

21
Psalms of Worship
  • In the Psalms, this theme reappears
  • our God is truly compassionate and merciful,
    faithful and loving.
  • Now Jonah turns that all on its head saying,
  • Thats exactly why I didnt want to serve you,
    God. You are just too merciful!
  • the compassion and mercy YHVH has shown to Israel
    should not be shown to these wicked idol
    worshippers!

22
The joke is on Jonah
  • Jonah has had unparalleled success.
  • No other prophet has seen such success.
  • Is he pleased and praising God?
  • No, he is angry that God has spared Nineveh and
    wants to die.
  • The mercy which God had shown to Israel does not
    belong to other nations! God should have
    destroyed the city.

23
The Vine and the Worm
  • So Jonah went outside of town and waited to see
    what the LORD was going to do.
  • The LORD decided to teach him a little lesson.
  • He provided a shady vine to grow quickly - relief
    from the sun.
  • Jonah enjoyed the comfort immensely but not for
    long.

24
The Vine and the Worm
  • God the next day sent a little worm to eat its
    way into the vine and kill it.
  • Then God sent a hot scorching wind to kill it
    further and to anger Jonah.
  • Jonah is angry again and ready to die.
  • So God confronts him. Do you have a right to be
    angry about the vine, Jonah?

25
An Abrupt Ending
  • Jonah responded, You bet I do! Im angry enough
    to die!
  • Youre so upset about this vine which you didnt
    cause to grow or tend. Yet Nineveh is a city of
    over 120,000 people and many cattle. Shouldnt I
    be concerned about that great city?
  • and that is the end!

26
The End of it all
  • God drew Jonah right in so that he saw his own
    wicked soul as in a mirror.
  • He saw his own silly face staring back at him in
    the reflecting pool.
  • And what he saw embarrassed him.
  • He was more concerned about his reputation as a
    prophet (whose words should powerfully come to
    fulfillment) than about the souls of those to
    whom the message was addressed.

27
The Power of Hate
  • He hated the Assyrians so much, he was more upset
    by the death of the vine that shaded his head
    than about the lives of those spared in Nineveh.
  • He hated Ninevites so much he was saddened by
    their salvation and would have cried for joy if
    they all died.
  • The book warns of the danger of religious hate
    and nationalistic blindness

28
A Missional Calling
  • The point of the story - and where it is
    actually quite prophetic -
  • that Israelites need to repent,
  • like Jonah the prophet, of their arrogance and
    superiority!
  • They need to start loving others who are
    non-Israelite
  • take up their missional calling to proclaim Gods
    saving power for the pagan!

29
Loving the Unlovely
  • It is just too easy to write people off as
    unworthy and impossible.
  • God had called Israel to be a blessing to the
    nations (Gen 12) and a kingdom of priest and holy
    nation because the whole earth belongs to the
    LORD (Exod 196).

30
God loves the Ninevite!
  • Israel at this time had adopted something of a
    let the world go to hell attitude
  • sought severe separation from all foreign
    influences or presence.
  • Jonah is saying, God loves those people and they
    arent so bad as all that!
  • Dont forget that Nineveh is my city as well as
    Jerusalem!

31
Haggai Dealing with Apathy
  • Dealing with People who Just Dont give a Damn!
  • Outline
  • 1st Message A Call to Action (11-15)
  • 2nd A Word of Encouragement (21-9)
  • 3rd Confirmation of Blessing (210-19)
  • 4th The Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom

32
Haggais Background
  • began prophesying in the fall of 520 BC (11)
  • Work on Gods temple had ceased about 15 years
    previously
  • due to opposition from Judahs neighbors (Ez.
    41-5, 24)
  • Darius I (521-486 BC), Persias Third King, now
    ruled the empire.
  • Zerubbabel ruled as Judean Governor

33
Haggais Zeal for the Temple
  • Haggai possessed great zeal for Temple
  • wanted people to complete project immediately
  • but many people had become apathetic
  • didnt care about the temple as much as their own
    comfort
  • God used Haggai to stir their hearts to get back
    to work.

34
Haggais Message
  • First Message Call to Action (11-15)
  • he challenged his hearers with a question
  • Is it time for you yourselves to be living in
    your own paneled houses, while this house remains
    a ruin? (v 4)
  • People had had plenty of time to work on their
    own houses but had neglected Gods house.
  • People are under a curse because Gods house lies
    in ruins. (17f)

35
Haggais Success
  • People were stirred to action and work on temple
    began again (112f)
  • But Haggai had another challenge
  • How does this look in comparison to Solomons
    temple?
  • It was just a shack in comparison!
  • But Haggai prophesies that Gods spirit really is
    with them!
  • New temples glory will be greater! (29)

36
Silver and Gold is Mine!
  • 24-9
  • Promise that the wealth of the nations will flow
    into Israel for rebuilding efforts!
  • subtle reference back to Exod 1235-36
  • Just as the wealth of Egypt was used to build the
    wilderness tabernacle
  • so will the wealth of nations be used to build
    this second temple.
  • Herod comes to mind.

37
Greater Glory of the Temple
  • Gods temple has advanced in glory
  • the church is Gods temple, and Gods Spirit
    dwells in her (I Cor 316)
  • Individual believers are the temple of the Holy
    Spirit (I Cor 619-20)
  • The Lord himself will be the temple of an
    everlasting kingdom (Rev 2122)

38
Contagion of the Unclean
  • Two months after previous msg, Haggai questioned
    the priests regarded laws about clean and unclean
    things
  • If a man carried holy meat in his garment, and
    his garment touched any other food, would the
    food become holy?
  • Priests said, No! Unclean more contagious.
  • So it is with this people and this nation.
    Whatever they do and whatever they offer is
    defiled (214)

39
Misconceptions
  • People thought they would become holy by building
    their homes near the temple.
  • Instead, they profaned the temple by their
    unclean living.
  • Many people today think that spending time in
    church will insure blessing or forgiveness.
  • Instead, unholy living hurts the ministry of the
    church and tears it down.

40
I will bless you!
  • This is really a message about blessing!
  • Due to their efforts, the curse of sin is already
    lifting.
  • they are told to mark their calendars.
  • Gods blessing would begin immediately
  • Gods favor would encourage the people to
    continue the temple work.

41
4th Message Restoration of Davidic Kingdom
  • 220-23
  • Haggai described Gods future plans
  • God will bring down kingdoms and exalt his
    people.
  • Zerubbabel, a descendant of David, would serve as
    Gods special servant (Messiah?)
  • Z. disappears from the pages of history
  • Christians see Jesus, a descendant of David
    through Z., as the ultimate fulfillment (Mat 11,
    12)

42
Malachi, My Messanger
  • Outside of the book of Malachi itself, nothing is
    known of this author.
  • Even his name is not known for certain. The name
    Malachi means, my messenger.
  • This is no other example of Malachi being used
    as a name in ancient Israel.
  • The name first appears in Mal. 11, which is a
    superscription, that is, an introductory
    statement.
  • These superscriptions were typically added later
    to the text by scribes, and thus are not the hand
    of the original writer.

43
Malachis Day
  • Malachi lived and wrote during the period that
    the Persians ruled Judah (538 332 B.C.E).
  • Malachi in 18 refers to Judah as ruled by a
    satrap (a Persian governor).
  • In 110 the temple already rebuilt.
  • It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C.
    and rebuilt from 520-515 B.C., so the book was
    written after 515 B.C.

44
Abuses in Israelite Religion
  • M bewails abuses in Israelite religion
  • marriages with foreign women (211f), sacrifices
    with diseased animals (17f).
  • no mention of the reforms of Nehemiah or Ezra.
  • dated after the rebuilding of the second temple
    and before the Ezra/Nehemiah reforms (458 B.C.
    according to the traditional date).
  • book between 515 and 458 B.C.

45
Temple Purity
  • Malachis prophecies bear witness to his strong
    interest in
  • the temple and
  • the purity of the temple priests (16-13 21-4,
    8-9 33-4, 6-11).
  • However, Malachi does not speak as a priest but
    as an outsider to the priestly caste.

46
Personal Conviction
  • man of great personal religious conviction, and
    was deeply concerned about the seriousness of
    personal sin before a Holy God (217 34
    36-7 313 41).
  • opposed to idolatry (210 12) easy divorce
    (213 16), and social injustice (35).
  • His courage is revealed by his bold attack
    against the influential priestly class and the
    social elite (11-14 21-4 32-4).

47
Historical Context
  • reflect the depraved spiritual condition before
    the Ezra-Nehemiah reforms.
  • after the completion of the 2nd Temple, the
    apathy and disillusionment against which Haggai
    and Zechariah preached continued.
  • hopes for a new Davidic state never materialized.
  • The material prosperity expected upon the
    completion of the temple failed to come to pass.

48
Historical Context
  • migration of former Jewish captives inspired by
    the prophets never occurred.
  • Zerubbabel was likely deposed by Darius as a
    dangerous political threat.
  • He simply disappear from the stage of history.
  • No clear messianic age was ushered in by the
    completion of the 2nd Temple as many had hoped
    and prophesied.

49
Peoples Skepticism
  • Malachi speaks of the peoples skepticism and
    doubt in Yahweh as their God (12).
  • The priesthood had become bored and uncaring
    about their priestly duties (113), and showed
    contempt toward ceremonial and moral purity
    (16-12).
  • The people as a whole followed the lead of the
    priests (28-9) and were cheating God out of the
    tithe (36-12).

50
Sacrifice and Intermarriage
  • The were also failing to offer proper sacrifices
    (114).
  • Their distain for the covenantal laws was
    reflected in their intermarriage with foreign
    women (210-12), idolatry (211), scandalous
    divorce (213-16), sorcery, adultery, perjury and
    social injustice (35).
  • a very low point in the history of Israels
    religion.

51
The Priestly Blessing??
  • six distinct oracles and an epilogue. In the
    first oracle (12-5)
  • The second (16-2.9) warns the priests of their
    laxity of offering sacrifices with blemished
    animals, and of their failures to instruct the
    people in righteousness.
  • With shocking crudity (22-4), the prophet
    manipulates the Priestly Blessing (Num. 624-26)
    into a curse of the harshest variety.

52
The Priestly Blessing?
  • Playing with the word face in The Lord make
    his face to shine upon you,
  • Malachi transforms to say, I (the Lord speaking)
    will strew dung on your faces, the dung of your
    festal sacrifices (23).
  • The message is simple because of the failures of
    the Priests, God transforms their blessing upon
    others into a curse upon themselves.

53
Dung of the Sacrifice
  • Instead of God making his face to shine upon
    those offering sacrifices,
  • God will take the dung of that sacrifice and
    spread it in the face of the priests.

54
Divorce and Foreign Wives
  • The third oracle (210-16) speaks to the problem
    of the men of Judah divorcing their wives in
    order to marry foreign women who are pagans.
  • the reasons for this are not clear in the text,
    modern research has made the purpose for this
    practice quite clear.
  • By marrying into the powerful pagan families of
    the region they were guaranteed protection,
    economic advancement and political security.

55
Fourth Oracle
  • According to the prophet, the ends do not justify
    the means.
  • The fourth oracle (217-35) concerns the day of
    the Lord.
  • Here he proclaims that this quickly approaching
    day will be a time of a settling of all accounts.
  • Many in Israel expected the day of the Lord to be
    a day of messianic joy.
  • Yet for Malachi, many in Israel have only
    judgment to pay.

56
Recent Harvests
  • The fifth oracle (36-12) the recent suffering
    of the Judeans due to the poor harvests, plagues
    of locusts and epidemics are divine punishment
    for their failure to pay tithes.
  • The sixth oracle (314-43) concerns the seeming
    victory of wickedness over righteousness and
    Gods apparent unwillingness to judge sin.
  • The wicked contend that it is futile to serve God
    by keeping the commandments and repentance.

57
Coming Day of Vindication
  • They claim that these spiritual practices do not
    necessarily result in financial or social gain.
  • The prophet responds with the proclamation that
    the coming day of the Lord will bring vindication
    to the righteous and judgment upon the wicked.

58
The Coming Elijah
  • The closing verses (44-6) or epilogue are
    commonly believed to be a later addition.
  • The prophet Elijah is about to come as a
    precursor to the impending day of the Lord.
  • The people are exhorted to observe the Law in the
    light of these approaching events.

59
Final Analysis
  • Two features of the book are particularly worthy
    of mention.
  • Of all passages in the whole Old Testament,
    111-12 is the most positive assessment of the
    sacrificial worship of non-Israelites.
  • This passage therefore presents many difficulties
    and has been interpreted in many ways.

60
  • The writer seems to be recognizing a certain
    validity of all sincere religious expression as
    somehow honoring to God.
  • The attitude toward foreign cults in the rest of
    the Bible is consistently negative.
  • Malachis expansive attitude is especially
    unusual in a book so concerned about purity of
    the temple worship and about the marrying of
    pagan wives.

61
The Coming Elijah
  • The last passage of the book speaks about Elijah,
    the end-times prophet who will usher in the day
    of the Lord.
  • The New Testament attributes this passage to both
    Jesus and John the Baptist (Matt. 1114 1712).
  • Also mentioned are instances in which people
    wondered if Elijah had returned as expected (John
    121 614 740).

62
The Coming Elijah
  • Orthodox Jews continue to await the coming of
    Elijah, a hope which springs from these words.
  • In the modern Passover meal, an empty place is
    left at the table in the hope that Elijah will
    come and fill it.
  • While Malachi is not the latest book to have been
    written in the canon, the hope it inspires for
    Christians provides a meaningful segue into the
    New Testament.
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