Jonah: Lesson 2

Jonah 1:3 says, “But Jonah rose up to flee from the presence of the Lord.” God had commanded Jonah to arise and go to Nineveh and preach coming judgment upon that city. Jonah arose alright, but did exactly the opposite. As a Jew, he could not bring himself to preach a message to the Gentile city that would bring repentance and God’s favor upon them. Instead of going east, he headed directly west.

Here is a picture of a prophet of God out of communion with God. Jonah is an eloquent type of various aspects of the Christian life and faith:

    - He is the perfect picture of a backslider.

    - He is the type of a sinner for whom Christ died.

    - He is the type of the death and resurrection of Christ.

Notice how sin blinds the eyes of God’s servant and twists his reasoning. [Mention the fact of sin being in a believer’s life and the sin of disobedience. Consider Peter’s disobedience.]

Jonah was a prophet. He knew he had been called of God; he knew he had been given a message from God. Yet foolishly, he allowed himself to be sidetracked. “He rose up to flee from the presence of the Lord.” Take Lot, for example. Lot lost everything for forsaking God. The way of transgressors is hard.

Jonah knew better than that, but his disobedience so twisted his judgment and blinded his eyes that he imagined he could get away with it. In all likelihood Jonah was familiar with the words of David in Psalm 139. [Quote this] What fools God’s children can become when they live in disobedience to God’s will and Word. Consider Elijah and David. Backsliding is a common disease in the church today.

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