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Guzik David

Obadiah 1

1. The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

2. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.

3. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

4. Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

5. If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?

6. How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!

7. All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.

8. Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?

9. And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

10. For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

11. In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

12. But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

13. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;

14. Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.

15. For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

16. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

17. But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

18. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.

19. And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

20. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

21. And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.

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Obadiah 1

OBADIAH - JUDGMENT AGAINST ISRAEL’S BROTHER A. Judgment against Edom. 1. (Oba 1:1-4) Obadiah announces judgment against Edom and her pride. The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom (We have heard a report from the LORD, and a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, “Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle”): “Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you shall be greatly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; you who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” says the LORD. a. The vision of Obadiah: The Hebrew name Obadiah means “Worshipper of Yahweh” or “Servant of Yahweh.” There are 13 “Obadiahs” in the Old Testament, and one of these may the Obadiah who wrote this book. · An Obadiah was an officer in King Ahab of Israel’s court and hid God’s prophets in a cave (1Ki 18:3) · An Obadiah was sent out by King Jehoshaphat of Judah to teach the law in the cities of Judah (2Ch 17:7) · An Obadiah was one of the overseers who helped repair the temple in the days of Josiah, King of Judah (2Ch 34:12) · An Obadiah was a priest in the days of Nehemiah (Neh 10:5) b. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom: Obadiah’s prophecy is unique because he doesn’t deal with Judah or Israel much at all. His focus is on the sin of Edom and the judgment coming upon them. Who were the Edomites? · The Edomites are the people descended from Esau, the son of Isaac and Rebekah and the brother of Jacob (Gen 25:19-34). Esau was nicknamed “Edom” (which means, “red”) probably because he had red hair · Esau eventually settled in the area of Mount Seir and absorbed a people known as the Horites (Gen 36:8-43, which refers to Edomite rulers as dukes in the King James Version; Deu 2:12) · When Israel came out of Egypt and wanted to pass through the land of the Edomites to enter into the Promised Land, the Edomites wouldn’t let them (Num 20:14-21) · The Edomites opposed Saul and were conquered under David and Solomon (1Sa 14:47, 2Sa 8:14, 1Ki 9:26) · In the days of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Edom joined with Moab and Ammon to attack Judah, but the Lord fought for Judah and defeated them (2Ch 20:1-27, the famous battle that was led with praise) · The Edomites successfully rebelled against King Jehoram of Judah (2Ki 8:16-22) · King Amaziah of Judah brought them back under subjugation (2Ki 14:9-11) · The Edomites again attacked Judah in the days of King Ahaz (2Ch 28:17) · Centuries later, King Herod the Great (Luk 1:5) was an Edomite · They fought side by side with the Jews the rebellion against Rome in 66-70 A.D. and were crushed by Rome, never to be heard of as a people again. The predictions of Oba 1:10; Oba 1:18 were proven true c. Concerning Edom: Because of what this book says of Edom and Jerusalem, we can gather a date for Obadiah’s ministry. The only time markers we have in the book are the attack against Jerusalem (Oba 1:10-14) and the fact that this passage also seems to indicate that Edom was not under Judah’s rule at the time. · 2Ch 21:16-17 describes an attack against Jerusalem during the reign of Jehoram (848-841 B.C.) by the Philistines and the Arabians. · 2Ki 24:1-20; 2Ki 25:1-30 describe the attack of the Babylonians against Jerusalem in 586 B.C. i. Probably the better choice is the earlier attack, because Oba 1:10-14 doesn’t seem to indicate that Jerusalem was totally destroyed, as it was under the Babylonian attack. If Obadiah’s prophecy considers this time period under Jehoram (848-841 B.C.), it makes him a contemporary of the prophet Elisha and also makes him the earliest of the prophets, probably beating Joel by a few years. It also means that this Prophet Obadiah may be the same man mentioned in 2Ch 17:7. d. A report from the LORD . . . Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle: Obadiah receives a “news bulletin” from the LORD. “This just in - God is bringing nations against Edom in battle.” As a result of the coming battle, God will make Edom small among the nations and greatly despised. e. The pride of your heart has deceived you: This helps explain why God is bringing judgment against Edom. They are filled with pride, and it has deceived them. i. Pride is very deceptive. It makes us think things about ourselves and others that simply are not true. The Edomites were not the last people deceived by pride. f. You who dwell in the clefts of the rock: The Edomites didn’t have all that much to be proud about. They were a small, relatively poor and insignificant nation. Yet what they could be proud about, they were - they lived in an area of great natural fortifications and strength, so they boasted in the clefts of the rock around them. i. Though you exalt yourself as high as the eagle: And boast they did! Pride is so ingrained in fallen human nature that even if we don’t have much to be proud about, we’ll find something to exalt our self. This also reminds us that we don’t have to be rich or powerful or great to be filled will pride. Sometimes those who have the least reason for pride have the most of it. ii. The Edomites boasted in their natural defenses. The ancient city of Petra - once the capital city of Edom, known as Sela - had amazing defenses. It is a city carved into the rock, accessible by a narrow canyon almost a mile long. At the end of the canyon there is a spectacular city carved in stone, and seemingly incapable of being conquered by any army. iii. The Edomites boasted in their wisdom. The men of Edom - especially of the city Teman - were noted for their wisdom. The phrase men of the East in the Old Testament often refers to men from Edom, and passages like 1Ki 4:30 declare the great wisdom of the men of the East. As well, Jer 49:7 says of Edom: Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished? This was another source of pride for the Edomites. iv. The Edomites boasted in their alliances and trusted in their allies - their confederacy, the men at peace with you (Oba 1:7). They thought that their alliances made them strong, and they were proud because of that strength. g. From there I will bring you down: The sobering truth about our pride is that God can bring us down anytime. He can shatter our proud deception and bring us low. 2. (Oba 1:5-9) God’s judgment against Edom will be complete. “If thieves had come to you, if robbers by night; Oh, how you will be cut off! - Would they not have stolen till they had enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, would they not have left some gleanings? Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures shall be sought after! All the men in your confederacy shall force you to the border; the men at peace with you shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it. Will I not in that day,” says the LORD, “Even destroy the wise men from Edom, and understanding from the mountains of Esau? Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.” a. Would they not have stolen till they had enough? Obadiah says that the judgment coming upon Edom will be far worse than what happens when robbers come and steal, because they usually stop when they have enough. The judgment coming against Edom will be far more complete (everyone from the mountains of Esau may be cut off by slaughter). i. The Edomites were proud of their great natural defenses, but God would break their pride and bring them low. b. Men at peace with you shall deceive you: When God brings judgment against Edom, they will know the sting of treachery against them. The alliances they once trusted in would come to nothing, and they would be double-crossed by their former friends. i. The Edomites were proud of their political alliances, but God would break their pride and bring them low. c. Destroy the wise men from Edom, and understanding from the mountains of Esau: The Edomites were renowned for their great wisdom, but God would bring such great judgment that even their wise men would be destroyed. i. The Edomites were proud of their reputation for wisdom, but God would break their pride and bring them low. d. Oba 1:1-9 is paralleled remarkably in Jer 49:7-22, so Jeremiah probably had Obadiah’s prophecy before him as he wrote and ministered. 3. (Oba 1:10-14) Why judgment is coming against Edom. “For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side; in the day that strangers carried captive his forces, when foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem; even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people in the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained in the day of distress.” a. For your violence against your brother Jacob: The family lines of both Israel and Edom go back to a common ancestor - Isaac. Esau (Edom) was the brother of Jacob (Israel). This made Edom’s sin against Israel all the worse. i. Some sins become worse depending on whom we sin against. It is sin to treat someone else badly; it is worse to treat a brother or sister in Jesus badly. It is sin to speak harshly to anyone; it is worse to speak harshly to your husband or wife. b. In that day you stood on the other side: What did Edom do when strangers attacked Judah and foreigners entered his gates? Nothing. They stood by and cheered for Judah’s misery (nor should you have rejoiced). i. Sometimes doing nothing is a great sin. Num 32:23 speaks of the sin that will find you out, and the sin it speaks of is the sin of doing nothing. ii. Edom actually did worse than nothing; they rejoiced over another’s misfortune and suffering and used it as an occasion to exalt themselves (nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress). c. Nor laid hands on their substance: Edom’s sin started with doing nothing, then progressed to pride over Judah’s distress. Soon, they took advantage of their brother Judah’s misfortune and laid hands on their substance. d. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped: The final progression of Edom’s sin was worst of all - they joined in the attack against vulnerable Judah. When they encountered people from Judah fleeing southward from the attacking army, they killed them (cut off) or gave them over to the enemy as prisoners (delivered up those among them who remained). i. “Sin proceeds by degrees; neither is any man at his worst at first.” (Trapp) e. In the day of his captivity . . . in the day of distress . . . in the day of calamity: All in all, Edom treated God’s people terribly when distress and calamity came upon them. For all this, God’s judgment was coming upon them. · First they did nothing · Then they rejoiced in their distress and calamity · Then they took advantage of their vulnerable state · Then they joined in the violence against God’s people i. Are we guilty of the same - or worse - when we see others in distress or calamity? If so, God sees it as sin and He must deal with it in our life. B. Deliverance on Mount Zion. 1. (Oba 1:15-16) A promise of judgment against Edom. “For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head. For as you drank on my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yes, they shall drink, and swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been.” a. The day of the LORD upon all the nations is near: God wants Edom to know that though distress and calamity came upon Judah, it can and will come upon Edom also. That day is near. b. As you have done, it shall be done to you: God will give simple justice to the Edomites, no more and no less. What they did to the people of Judah will also be done to them. The same principle is true for us, so if we want mercy from God, we do well to give mercy to others. i. There is a sense in which God’s judgment against Edom was just the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham in Gen 12:3 : I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. The Edomites cursed Israel, so they were cursed. If we want to be blessed, we should bless the Jewish people. 2. (Oba 1:17-20) God will use Israel to bring judgment against Edom. “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,” for the LORD has spoken. The South shall possess the mountains of Esau, and the Lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captives of this host of the children of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the South. a. On Mount Zion there shall be deliverance: The trials and burdens among God’s people are only temporary, because among them there shall be deliverance. However, the attack coming against Edom will be different - Israel will be the fire and they will be the stubble, and Edom will be completely devoured. i. The word of the LORD through Obadiah proved true. The Edomites fought side by side with the Jews the rebellion against Rome in 66-70 A.D. and were crushed by Rome, never to be heard of as a people again. The predictions of Oba 1:10; Oba 1:18 were precisely fulfilled. You just won’t meet an Edomite today. b. The South shall possess the mountains of Esau: Obadiah looks forward to a coming day when Israel will occupy and possess the land that once belonged to Esau. Though the modern borders of Israel do not encompass the ancient lands of Edom, we can trust that they one day will, either in this age or in the age to come. i. The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions: Possessing these other lands can only happen when we first possess what is ours. God has given us a rich heritage of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3), but how much do we actually possess? God wants His people to possess their possessions. 3. (Oba 1:21) Saviors come to Mount Zion. Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s. a. Saviors shall come to Mount Zion: The idea isn’t that there are many saviors in an ultimate sense. Here, the word “saviors” has the sense of “deliverers.” The contrast is plain; Edom will be completely destroyed, and no saviors shall help her, but saviors shall come to Mount Zion. b. To judge the mountains of Esau: They will judge the mountains of Esau in at least three ways: · The presence of deliverers is a judgment against Edom, because Edom will have no deliverers · The judges will rule over the territory of Edom · The judges will actually sit in judgment over Edom and their sins c. And the kingdom shall be the LORD’s: The brief prophecy of Obadiah ends on this high note. The Edomites seemed to have their day against God’s people but at the end of it all, the kingdom shall be the LORD’s. He knows how to take care of God’s people and to advance His kingdom in a glorious way. i. This note of encouragement may be the central purpose for this prophecy of Obadiah. We wonder if it ever had much of a reading in the streets or palaces of Edom; but it certainly was received as welcome encouragement among the suffering people of God. Obadiah tells all God’s people: “Don’t worry about those who ignore your need, those who rejoice at your problems, those who take advantage of your crises, those join their hands with others in attacking you. I will take care of them.”


Jon 1:1-17 - JONAH RUNS FROM GOD A. Jonah’s attempted escape. 1. (Jon 1:1-2) God’s call to Jonah. Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” a. The word of the LORD came to Jonah: God spoke to Jonah in His own unique and powerful way and He told Jonah to do two things. First, go to Nineveh; second, cry out against it - that is, rebuke them for their sin and call them to repentance. b. Go to Nineveh: The city of Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire and was a large and prominent city in its day. It was not a city of Israel at all; God called Jonah to go to a pagan, Gentile city and call them to repentance. i. Ancient historians say that Nineveh was the largest city in the world at that time. It was the large, important capital of a dominating empire - surely an intimidating place to go. c. For their wickedness has come up before Me: Why did God want Jonah to go? Because God saw their wickedness. None of man’s wickedness is hidden before God - He sees it all, and it may come to a point where it demands the specific warning and judgment of God. 2. (Jon 1:3) Jonah’s attempt to flee from God’s call. But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. a. But Jonah arose to flee: Why didn’t Jonah want to go to Nineveh and do what the LORD told him to do? i. It may have been because he was given a difficult job to do. Nah 3:1-4 gives us a good idea of how wicked the people of Nineveh were. Jonah had every reason to expect that at the very best, he would be mocked and treated as a fool. He might be attacked and killed if he did what the Lord told him to do. ii. It was also because Jonah didn’t want the Assyrians in Nineveh to escape God’s judgment. Imagine a Jewish man in New York during World War II hearing God say, ‘I’m going to bring terrible judgment on Germany. I want you to go to Berlin and tell Nazi Germany to repent.’ Instead of doing it, the man heads for San Francisco and then hops on a boat for Hong Kong. iii. It is easy to discuss Jonah’s reasons for not doing what God told him to do, but what is our reason? God told Jonah to go and to preach; every Christian has the same command in Mat 28:19-20. With Jonah’s example before us, we have even less reason than Jonah for our disobedience. b. To flee to Tarshish: Why did Jonah choose Tarshish as his destination? Because this city was thought to be towards the end of the earth, and is always associated with ships in the Bible. Jonah wanted to go as far as he could to escape God’s presence, but this was a futile attempt. i. Nineveh was to the east of Israel and Tarshish was about as far as you could go west, on the coast of what is today Spain, past the straits of Gibraltar. In heading for Tarshish, Jonah intended to get as far away from Nineveh and the calling of God to go there as he possibly could. c. Found a ship going to Tarshish: We don’t doubt that Jonah felt like going to Tarshish. There was in impulse within him driving him there, but it was a dangerous impulse. We may take Jonah as an example of the danger of doing things under impulse i. “Now, I very commonly meet with persons who say, ‘I felt that I must do so and so. It came upon me that I must do so and so.’ I am afraid of these impulses - very greatly afraid of them. People may do right under their power, but they will spoil what they do by doing it out of mere impulse, and not because the action was right in itself.” (Spurgeon) · An impulse may be very brave, yet wrong (Jonah was very brave in embarking on such a long sea-journey) · An impulse may appear to be self-denying, yet wrong (it cost Jonah much in money and comfort to go on this long sea-journey) · An impulse may lay claim to freedom, yet be wrong (wasn’t Jonah free to go to Tarshish?) · An impulse may lead someone to do something that they would condemn in others (what would Jonah say to another prophet disobeying God?) · An impulse can make us do to God or others what we would never want to be done to our self ii. Many people take their inner impulses and say, “The LORD told me this or that.” This is dangerous even when it doesn’t seem so immediately. “What have you to do with the devices and desires of your own hearts? Are these to be a law to you? I pray you, be not among the foolish ones who will be carried about with every wind of fancy and perversity. ‘To the law and to the testimony,’ should be your cry, and you may not appeal to inward movements and impulses.” (Spurgeon) d. So he paid the fare: It seemed easy enough. Perhaps even Jonah felt that the LORD provided the money for the fare! This shows the danger of being guided by circumstances. i. “Providence or no providence, the Word of the Lord is to be our guide, and we must not depart from it under pretext of necessity or circumstances. It is very easy to make up a providence when you want to do so. If you sit down and try to find in the ways of God to you an excuse for the wrong which you mean to commit, the crafty devil and your deceitful heart together will soon conjure up a plea for providence.” ii. Nevertheless, when you run away from the LORD, you never get to where you are going and you always pay your own fare. When you go the LORD’s way, you not only get to where you are going, but He pays the fare. e. From the presence of the LORD: Jonah should have read Psa 139:7-10 : Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. You can’t escape the presence of God. i. “All the while the ship sailed smoothly over the sea, Jonah forgot his God. You could not have distinguished him from the veriest heathen on board. He was just as bad as they were.” (Spurgeon) B. God prevents Jonah’s escape. 1. (Jon 1:4) God sends a storm. But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. a. The LORD sent out a great wind: Remember that the Lord stirred up the storm. We often think of Jesus calming the waters, and He can do that. But He can also stir up the storm. b. So that the ship was about to be broken up: The ship and the sailors were in a dangerous place. This was all due to Jonah being on the ship. There was nothing wrong with the sailors being on the ship, but Jonah had no business there - though on other circumstances it might have been fine for him to go to Tarshish. i. Jonah might have wondered: “I can go to Tarshish if I want to. I paid the fare. I’m not a stowaway.” Yet, “Apologies for disobedience are mere refuges of lies. If you do a wrong thing in the rightest way in which it can be done, it does not make it right. If you go contrary to the Lord’s will, even though you do it in the most decent, and, perhaps, in the most devout manner, it is, nevertheless, sinful, and it will bring you under condemnation.” (Spurgeon) 2. (Jon 1:5-6) The sailors of the ship seek their superstitious gods. Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.” a. Every man cried out to his god: When in trouble, man does his best to fix the problem. In this case, they threw the cargo overboard. When that isn’t enough, man also instinctively turns to his god. If we don’t know the true God - the God of the Bible - before we are in trouble, we may sincerely turn to a false and imaginary god, one of our own making. i. Many people assume that they can put off doing their business with God until they choose a “better” time to do it. Nevertheless, it is extremely presumptuous to think that in the moment of crisis we will be able to call upon the true God if we have not dealt with Him before. b. Was fast asleep: How could Jonah sleep in the middle of this storm? Perhaps because the storm outside seemed insignificant to him in comparison to the storm inside, the storm that came from his resistance against God. i. What a curious and tragic scene! All the sailors were religious men, devout in their prayers to their gods. Yet their gods were really nothing, and could do nothing. There was one man on board who had a relationship with the true God, knew His Word, and worshipped Him - yet he was asleep! ii. “Jonah was asleep amid all that confusion and noise; and, O Christian man, for you to be indifferent to all that is going on in such a world as this, for you to be negligent of God’s work in such a time as this is just as strange. The devil alone is making noise enough to wake all the Jonahs if they only want to awake . . . All around us there is tumult and storm, yet some professing Christians are able, like Jonah, to go to sleep in the sides of the ship.” (Spurgeon) iii. The nature of Jonah’s sleep is also instructive, and too much like the sleep of the careless Christian: · Jonah slept in a place where he hoped no one would see him or disturb him. “Sleeping Christians” like to “hide out” among the church · Jonah slept in a place where he could not help with the work that needed to be done. “Sleeping Christians” stay away from the work of the Lord · Jonah slept while there was a prayer meeting up on the deck. “Sleeping Christians” don’t like prayer meetings! · Jonah slept and had no idea of the problems around him. “Sleeping Christians” don’t know what is really going on · Jonah slept when he was in great danger. “Sleeping Christians” are in danger, but don’t know it · Jonah slept while the heathen needed him. “Sleeping Christians” snooze on while the world needs their message and testimony iv. Some sleeping Christians protest that they are not asleep at all. · “We talk about Jesus” - but you can talk in your sleep · “We have a walk for Jesus” - but you can walk in your sleep · “We have passion for Jesus - I just wept in worship the other day” - but you can cry in your sleep · “We have joy and rejoice in Jesus” - but you can laugh in your sleep · “We think about Jesus all the time” - but you can think while you are asleep; we call it dreaming v. How can you know that you are not asleep? “‘Then, what do you mean by a man’s being really awake?’ I mean two or three things. I mean, first, his having a thorough consciousness of the reality of spiritual things. When I speak of a wakeful man, I mean one who does not take the soul to be a fancy, nor heaven to be a fiction, nor hell to be a tale, but who acts among the sons of men as though these were the only substances, and all other things the shadows. I want men of stern resolution, for no Christian is awake unless he steadfastly determines to serve his God, come fair, come foul.” (Spurgeon) c. What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God: The captain knew that his crew cried to their gods, but it did nothing. Perhaps Jonah’s God could do something in the crisis. i. It must have seemed ironic to Jonah that the sailors demanded that he call on his God. His only reason for being on that ship was to escape his God. 3. (Jon 1:7-8) The sailors discover that Jonah is the source of the trouble. And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” a. That we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us: It is hard to know what motivated the sailors to think that the storm was sent because one of them had wronged their God. Perhaps it was because of some spiritual insight, and they sensed a spiritual power in the storm. Or, perhaps it was just fortunate superstition. b. The lot fell on Jonah: Once the lot fell on Jonah, the sailors wanted to know as much as they could from Jonah, so they could discover a remedy and save their lives. c. What is your occupation: 2Ki 14:25 says that Jonah was a recognized prophet. When he was asked, “What is your occupation?” and he answered, “prophet” then the sailors must have been even more terrified. 4. (Jon 1:9-10) Jonah tells them about who he is and what he has done. So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. a. The God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land: Jonah knew the truth about God, even though his claim to fear the LORD was only partially true because he was running from the LORD. i. Even a believer who is in a state of rebellion can give glory to God if he will only tell the truth about God. Although, it is tragic that Jonah’s life contradicted his knowledge of God. ii. However, at the moment when Jonah said, “I fear the LORD,” he may have already repented of running away, turning back to God because of the present circumstances. c. Why have you done this? Even an unbeliever who knows some truth about God can rightly rebuke a Christian who is resisting God. “Why have you done this?” is the most logical question in the world, even for an unbeliever to ask a believer. 5. (Jon 1:11-16) Jonah, at his own request, asks to be thrown into the sea, and the sailors reluctantly agree. Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?”; for the sea was growing more tempestuous. And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. Therefore they cried out to the LORD and said, “We pray, O LORD, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O LORD, have done as it pleased You.” So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the LORD and took vows. a. What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us? The more the sailors hear, the worse the situation gets - the sea was growing more tempestuous. b. Pick me up and throw me into the sea: Why did Jonah ask to be thrown into the sea? · Perhaps out of compassion for the sailors · Perhaps out of a desire to be forced into complete dependence upon God alone. After all, There is no safer place than casting yourself totally upon God · Perhaps out of a feeling that anything was better than his continual resistance against and running from God · Perhaps because he had already truly repented. If this is the case, it illustrates that repentance is not only a matter of heart and mind, but also a matter of action c. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land: The sailors did not want to throw Jonah into the sea, because they believed his God was for real and they dreaded the consequences of throwing a prophet, even a disobedient prophet into the sea. Still, when all hope seemed to be lost they took precautions (“We pray, O LORD, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood”) and threw Jonah into the sea. d. The sea ceased from its raging: The immediate end of the storm proved that Jonah’s God was for real, and that Jonah’s resistance to that God was the real problem. In a logical response the sailors feared the LORD exceedingly, sacrificed to God and made promises to serve Him. i. The sailors moved from fearing the storm to fearing the LORD, just the disciples in the boat did when Jesus calmed the storm (Mar 4:35-41). ii. “Brethren, I wish I had meet words with which I could fitly describe the peace which comes to a human heart when we learn to see Jesus cast into the sea of divine wrath on our account. Conscience accuses no longer. Judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory can look back upon past sins, with sorrow for the sin it is true, but yet with no dread of any penalty to come. It is a blessed thing for a man to know that he cannot be punished, that heaven and earth may shake, but he cannot be punished for his sin.” (Spurgeon) e. And took vows: Notice that the vows of the sailors came after they were delivered. Based on this, many commentators believe that the sailors came to a true faith in God. i. Spurgeon preached a sermon with four wonderful points based on the actions of the crew in this chapter. · Sinners, when they are tossed upon the sea of conviction, make desperate efforts to save themselves · The fleshly efforts of awakened sinners must inevitably fail · The soul’s sorrow will continue to increase as long as it relies on its own efforts · The way of safety for sinners is to be found in the sacrifice of another on their behalf



King James Version

This is the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version). "Public Domain"




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