Presence of God

Jonah: Lesson 5

Read Jonah 2

Jonah 2:1 - “Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God.”

Jonah did not pray when the storm was raging. He slept. From the fish’s belly, however, he prayed. He prayed to the Lord. Jonah 2:2 says that Jonah cried to the Lord from “the belly of hell.” Are the fish’s belly and the belly of hell (or Sheol) the same place? If they are the same, would not the Holy Spirit have used the same word in both instances?

There are two different words translated “belly” in these two verses. In the first instance, it is the word “me-ah,” which means “an abdomen.” In the second instance, it is the word “betan,” which means “a hollow place.” The idea given is that immediately after Jonah was swallowed and was still alive and conscious, he prayed.

He did not survive long; for, soon after, he cried from Sheol. Jonah prayed from the fish’s abdomen and cried to God from “the hollow place of Sheol.” If this is so, the miracle is not that Jonah remained alive for three days, but that he died and after three days and nights arose from his grave in the belly of the fish. This would be very much in keeping with what our Lord said in Matthew 12, “As Jonah was…so shall the Son of man be three days and nights in the heart of the earth.” This makes Jonah the perfect type.

Jonah had an appalling experience. Jonah also knew that he was being punished. Jonah 2:3 says, “Thou hast cast me into the deep.” Jonah’s prayer:

    Jonah 2:3 - “All Thy waves and billows passed over me.”

    Jonah 2:4 - “I am cast out of Thy sight.”

    Jonah 2:5 - “Weeds were wrapped about my head.”

The Importance of the Tabernacle

Read Exodus 25:1-9


In the Creation account, we see the creation of the stars of the universe occur in five words – “He made the stars also.” Interestingly enough, 50 chapters are given over to explain the Tabernacle and its function. This shows us something of the importance of the Tabernacle.

The great lesson of the tabernacle is that God came down to dwell with His people. From Genesis to Deuteronomy we have accounts of God visiting men. These visits culminated in God’s dwelling with men in the Tabernacle or tent. John picks up the same thought and uses the same word “tabernacled,” to describe God dwelling among men in the person of Christ. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled [or pitched His tent] among us.” The Tabernacle served as God’s dwelling place for 500 years among the children of Israel. The Temple superseded it, during the reign of Solomon.

Please note that God could not dwell among His people while they were in Egypt. They must be redeemed (1) by blood and (2) by power. They must be free from the shackles and sin of Egypt. Before God could fellowship with them in this unique way they had to be redeemed and sanctified. [Express practical truth here]

It is important to consider the symbolism of the Tabernacle. One must consider also the physical features of the Tabernacle. When considering some of these we will no doubt consider Hebrews, especially chapters 9-10. The remainder of the lesson is taken up with the materials and the measurements of the Tabernacle. These can be considered at a future reading.


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