The Bible

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June 17, 2020 Bible Study
Minister Mable Randall, Associate Minister Mt Moriah Missionary Baptist Church
June 10, 2020
Minister Kathy Rooks, Associate Minister, Mt Moriah Missionary Bapist Church
 
July 1, 2020
Minister Gregory Jackson, Associate Minister, Mt Moriah Missionary Baptist Church
July 8, 2020
Rev. Lerry Watson, Associate Minister Mt Moriah

 Mount Moriah Baptist Church
“The Citadel of Faith”
2789 Millerfield Road
Macon, Georgia 31217
www.mtmoriahmacon.org
 
The Reverend Dr. Stanley Kimble
Senior Pastor


Bible Study:  Jonah
A Survey Of The Prophets


Introduction
 
In II Kings 14.23-27, there is a Galilean prophet called Jonah, son of Amittai, is mentioned as one who prophesied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the days King Jeroboam II.  The book is marked by symmetry, balance, wordplay, irony, and surprise, the book purports to teach Jonah and all readers about the problem of a gracious acceptance for one's own people. 
 
The Old Testament counterpart of John 3:16, this book declares the universality of God’s love embracing even pagan nations. Its authorship and historicity are disputed. If one is willing to accept the miraculous, there is no compelling reason to deny its historicity. There is a strong possibility that the book is about Jonah and not by him. The author relates how Jonah refused God’s call to preach to the people of Nineveh, his punishment for this disobedience, his ready response to a second summons, and his bitter complaint at God’s sparing the city following her repentance. Christ Himself alludes to Jonah when speaking of His own death and Resurrection (Matt. 12:39, 16:4; Luke 11:29-32).
 
The book of Jonah is considered by many to be quite unique among the prophetic books.  It does not contain a collection of oracles against Israel or foreign nations, but presents a prose narrative about the prophet himself.  The book does not portray the prophet as an obedient servant of the Lord [Yahweh] nor does it present the prophet as one calling the people to repentance.  The book does feature a recalcitrant prophet who flees from his mission and sulks when his hearers repent.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The book is divided into two parts, Chapters 1-2 and 3-4, but the two parts are united with one central character, Jonah; a similar plot, and an identical theme, the breadth of God's saving love.
 
The book definitely calls Israel back to her universal mission of preaching to all nations the prevalence of God's mercy and forgiveness. 
 
Journey Into The Word
 
1.1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,  Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.  But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. 
 
The opening verse presents the word of the Lord as speaking directly to Jonah.  Do you believe God still speaks to His servants?
 
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Maybe for emphasis, but verse 3 depicts Jonah fleeing from the presence of the Lord on at the beginning and the ending of the verse.  How could one imagine fleeing from the presence of the Lord.
 
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Nineveh was a great city, but it was a wicked geographic location.  The call of the faithful sometimes beckons us to be a light in darkness.  Discuss
 
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Verse 3 gives a glimpse of Jonah as one desiring to do his own thing.  Consider his reaction if God had told him to go to Tarshish.  Discuss.
 
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But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.  Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.  So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
 
The 'Lord sent a great wind out into the sea' to disturb the calmness of the sea to disturb the journey of the vessel. Discuss
 
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Jonah is down in the bottom of the ship and the mariners are throwing things overboard to lighten the load.  What things in life could we throw overboard to lighten our heavy loads?
 
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Jonah was asked to call upon his God!  How often are we asked to pray for others like Jonah?
 
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And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.  Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?  And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.  10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
The lot fell upon Jonah and he identified himself as a Hebrew who feared God.  Jonah confessed his situation, but are we willing to confess our sins?
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11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.  12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.  13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.  14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.  15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.  16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.
God caused a storm at sea until Jonah was thrown overboard.  God spoke to their situation.  Do you believe God still causes man to be moved to God's plan?
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The sea did not cease from raging until Jonah was thrown overboard.  The act of throwing Jonah overboard solved the problem.  What does this story tell us about today's church problems? 
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17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
God prepared a great fish!  Jonah spent three days and nights in the fish.  Does God prepare problems for us to move us to His will?
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2.1  Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,  And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.  For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.  Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.  The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.  I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.  When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
In Verse 1, Jonah prays while in the belly.  Jonah gives us the motivation to pray through our struggles.  Discuss
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Jonah prayed while in the depths of the earth.  Jonah experienced an occurrence that only he could explain.  He prays when life is almost gone.  Discuss.
 
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They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.  But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.  10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah prays and God hears his prayer.  The great fish vomits Jonah up on dry land.  Discuss.
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Jonah used the only agent of salvation possible!
Discuss.
 
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3.1  And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying,  Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.  So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.  And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty  days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.  So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
 
God gives Jonah the command to go to Nineveh and preach.  God does not accept our alternatives.  Discuss.
 
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Jonah goes to Nineveh and walks into the city proclaiming the word of God.  His actions indicate a God directed leadership.  Discuss.
 
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Jonah delivers an immediate prophecy to the people.  This prophetic mission was important to fulfill God's plan.  Discuss
 
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The people believed the message the prophet delivered unto the people of Nineveh.  Discuss.
 
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For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.  And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.  Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
God's message through the prophet moved the king to action.  Does this serve as a model for the response political leaders should have when given a prophetic message?
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10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
God repented because the people of Nineveh refrained from doing evil.  Discuss.
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4.1  But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.  And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.  Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.  Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?  So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
Jonah became very upset about God's actions.  Is it probable that Jonah desired for God to destroy Nineveh?  Discuss
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And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.  But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.  But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.  And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.  And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.  10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
God used a gourd to show Jonah the example of tolerance Christian Believers must have for sinners and fellow Christians.      Discuss.
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11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

 
 
 
 

 
.Lesson Preparer:  Stanley Kimble      ©  Unauthorized Copying Is Prohibited