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Jonah For Today

Chapters 1 to 4

                              JONAH FOR TODAY

                              Chapters 1 - 4


From the New Living Translation



Jonah Runs from the LORD

1 The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 "Get up
and go to the great city of Nineveh! Announce my judgment against
it because I have seen how wicked its people are."
3 But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction in order to
get away from the LORD. He went down to the seacoast, to the port
of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a
ticket and went on board, hoping that by going away to the west
he could escape from the LORD.
4 But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the LORD flung a
powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that
threatened to send them to the bottom. 5 Fearing for their lives,
the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw
the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. And all this time Jonah
was sound asleep down in the hold. 6 So the captain went down
after him. "How can you sleep at a time like this?" he shouted.
"Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will have mercy on us and
spare our lives."
7 Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the
gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, Jonah
lost the toss. 8 "What have you done to bring this awful storm
down on us?" they demanded. "Who are you? What is your line of
work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?"
9 And Jonah answered, "I am a Hebrew, and I worship the LORD, the
God of heaven, who made the sea and the land."
10 Then he told them that he was running away from the LORD.
The sailors were terrified when they heard this. "Oh, why did you
do it?" they groaned. 11 And since the storm was getting worse
all the time, they asked him, "What should we do to you to stop
this storm?"
12 "Throw me into the sea," Jonah said, "and it will become calm
again. For I know that this terrible storm is all my fault."
13 Instead, the sailors tried even harder to row the boat ashore.
But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn't
make it. 14 Then they cried out to the LORD, Jonah's God. "O
LORD," they pleaded, "don't make us die for this man's sin. And
don't hold us responsible for his death, because it isn't our
fault. O LORD, you have sent this storm upon him for your own
good reasons."
15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging
sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16 The sailors were awestruck
by the LORD'S great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and
vowed to serve him.
17 Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah.
And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.


CHAPTER 2

Jonah's Prayer

1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. 
2 He said, "I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he
answered me. I called to you from the world of the dead,* (Heb.
"from Sheol") and LORD, you heard me! 3 YOU threw me into the
ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. I was
buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. 4 Then I said, '0
LORD, you have driven me from your presence. How will I ever
again see your holy Temple?'
5 "I sank beneath the waves, and death was very near. The waters
closed in around me, and seaweed wrapped itself around my head. 
6 I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was locked
out of life and imprisoned in the land of the dead. But you, O
LORD my God, have snatched me from the yawning jaws of death!
7 "When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to
the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy
Temple. 8 Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all
God's mercies. 9 But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of
praise, and I will fulfil all my vows. For my salvation comes
from the LORD alone."
10 Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach,
and it did.


CHAPTER 3

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

1 Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 "Get up and go to
the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I
have given you. "
3 This time Jonah obeyed the LORD'S command and went to Nineveh,
a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4 On the
day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: "Forty days
from now Nineveh will be destroyed!" 5 The people of Nineveh
believed God's message, and from the greatest to the least, they
decided to go without food and wear sackcloth to show their
sorrow.

***

6 When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he
stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He
dressed himself in sackcloth and sat on a heap of ashes. 7 Then
the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: "No
one, not even the animals, may eat or drink anything at all. 8
Everyone is required to wear sackcloth and pray earnestly to God.
Everyone must turn from their evil ways and stop all their
violence. 9 Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will have pity on
us and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us."

***

10 When God saw that they had put a stop to their evil ways, he
had mercy on them and didn't carry out the destruction he had
threatened.


CHAPTER 4

Jonah's Anger at the LORD's Mercy

1 This change of plans upset Jonah, and he became very angry. 
2 So he complained to the LORD about it: "Didn't I say before I
left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to
Tarshish! I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. I knew how
easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people. 
3 Just kill me now, LORD! I'd rather be dead than alive because
nothing I predicted is going to happen."
4 The LORD replied, "Is it right for you to be angry about this?"
5 Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a
shelter to sit under as he waited to see if anything would happen
to the city. 6 And the LORD God arranged for a leafy plant to
grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah's
head, shading him from the sun. This eased some of his
discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.
7 But God also prepared a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm
ate through the stem of the plant, so that it soon died and
withered away. 8 And as the sun grew hot, God sent a scorching
east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until
he grew faint and wished to die. "Death is certainly better than
this!" he exclaimed.

***

9 Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry
because the plant died?" "Yes," Jonah retorted, "even angry
enough to die!"
10 Then the LORD said, "You feel sorry about the plant, though
you did nothing to put it there. And a plant is only, at best,
short lived. "But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in
spiritual darkness,* (Heb. "people who don't know their right
hand from their left") not to mention all the animals. Shouldn't
I feel sorry for such a great city?"

***

                            ...................


THE LESSON FOR TODAY


The lesson in prophecy for today is that THE EVIL THAT GOD HAS
PROMISED TO COME ON A CITY OR NATION BECAUSE OF THEIR SINS AND
WICKEDNESS, ***NEED NOT HAPPEN IF THAT NATION WILL  REPENT  AND
TURN FROM ITS SINS***

ALL THAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THE PROPHETS CONCERNING DESTRUCTION AND
PUNISHMENT ON ***ANY*** NATION - ISRAEL OR JUDAH OR ANY GENTILE
NATION - GOD WILL NOT BRING ABOUT IF THAT NATION WILL 
***REPENT***!!!

THE TEACHING HERE IS WHAT THE LORD SAID IN EZEKIEL 18:21-32

"...REPENT, AND  TURN  YOURSELVES  FROM  ALL  YOUR 
TRANSGRESSIONS; SO  INIQUITY  SHALL  NOT  BE  YOUR  RUIN.

CAST  AWAY  FROM  YOU  ALL  YOUR  TRANSGRESSIONS,  WHEREBY  YOU 
HAVE  TRANSGRESSED;  AND  MAKE  YOU  A  NEW  HEART  AND  A  NEW 
SPIRIT:  FOR  WHY  WILL YOU  DIE  O  HOUSE  OF  ISRAEL?

FOR  I  HAVE  NO  PLEASURE  IN  THE  DEATH  OF  HIM  THAT  DIES, 
SAYS  THE  LORD  GOD:  WHEREFORE  TURN  YOURSELVES  AND  LIVE!"


This is STILL the message from the Lord. God will work out His
plan for this earth ANOTHER WAY! He can still bring the Kingdom
of God to earth ANOTHER WAY! The Kingdom to come and Christ's
return to be King over all nations, DOES NOT HAVE TO COME WITH
THE VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION THAT IS WRITTEN IN THE PROPHETS. 

THIS IS THE WHOLE MESSAGE OF THE BOOK OF JONAH. GOD IS MERCY AND
LOVE AND HAS ABUNDANCE OF PITY!!  IF YOU NATIONS OF THE WORLD
WILL DO AS THEY DID HERE IN OLD ANCIENT NINEVEH - THE MIGHTY CITY
OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE - IF YOU WILL DEEPLY REPENT AND TURN FROM
ALL SINS - YOU NEED NOT BE PUNISHED WITH DESTRUCTION!

WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE PROPHETS IS NOT SET IN STONE ***IF***
NATIONS WILL ***REPENT*** THEY WILL FIND MERCY AND LOVE FROM THE
LORD, HE WILL PUT AWAY THE EVIL HE THOUGHT TO DO TO YOU. GOD HAS
NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE WICKED; HE WANTS SINS TO BE PUT
AWAY SO PEOPLE WILL NOT DIE BUT SO THEY CAN LIVE!!

IF THE NATION YOU LIVE IN WILL NOT REPENT THEN THE PROPHECIES
HERE WRITTEN IN THESE PROPHECY BOOKS OF THE BIBLE WILL SURELY
COME TO PASS. BUT ***YOU***CAN REPENT, YOU CAN DECIDE TO THROW
AWAY YOUR SINS, YOUR WRONG ATTITUDES, YOUR FALSE TRADITIONS, YOUR
PROUDNESS, YOUR FOLLOWING THE WAY OF THE MAJORITY. YOU CAN
SEARCH FOR TRUTH, YOU CAN HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS.
YOU CAN FALL ON YOUR KNEES, MAYBE WITH TEARS, YOU CAN DECIDE TO
LEAVE THE WRONG SINFUL LIFE AND SERVE GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.

IT IS ALL THERE FRIENDS, GOD IS THERE READY TO HELP YOU, READY TO
LEAD YOU ALONG THE PATHWAY OF HOLY RIGHTEOUSNESS. YOU CAN ENJOY A
GOOD LIFE NOW (BUT TRIALS AND TEST DO COME), AT LEAST YOU WILL
KNOW YOU ARE ON THE LORD'S SIDE, AND YOU WILL KNOW YOU WILL BE
WITH CHRIST WHEN HE DOES COME TO ESTABLISH THE WONDERFUL GLORIOUS
KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH, IN THAT AGE TO COME THAT HAS BEEN SPOKEN
ABOUT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD.

IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SURRENDERED YOURSELF INTO THE HANDS OF GOD, I
URGE YOU TO DO SO. DO NOT LOOK TO MEN, DO NOT LOOK TO YOUR
FRIENDS, DO NOT LOOK TO ANYONE NO MATTER HOW CLOSE THEY ARE TO
YOU. YOU NEED TO LOOK TO GOD AND CHRIST ONLY. YOU NEED TO DEVELOP
A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM. THEY NOT ONLY BECOME YOUR
PERSONAL GUIDES THROUGH THEIR SPIRIT, BUT THEY BECOME YOUR CLOSEST
FRIENDS. YOU MAY BE ALONE, BUT YOU HAVE THE LORD SPEAKING TO YOU
THROUGH HIS WORD THE BIBLE AND THROUGH PRAYER. YOU HAVE THIS
WEBSITE DEVOTED TO HELPING YOU GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE.

YOU WILL NOT BE ALONE!  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  THERE ARE THOUSANDS
AROUND THIS WORLD WHO USE THIS WEBSITE FOR THEIR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
EACH AND EVERY WEEK. I SEE THE DAILY STATS FROM MY SERVER. FIVE
HUNDRED TO A THOUSAND LOG-ON TO THIS WEBSITE EACH AND EVERY DAY,
SOME DAYS IT GOES UP TO 2,000 FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

IT IS NEVER TO LATE TO REPENT OF SIN AND TURN TO RIGHTEOUSNESS,
TO ACCEPT JESUS AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR, IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO
DESIRE TO LIVE BY EVERY WORD OF GOD. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO
HUMBLE YOURSELF AND TO SAY, "LORD I GIVE MYSELF INTO YOUR
SERVICE, PLEASE GUIDE ME, PLEASE TEACH ME, PLEASE FILL ME WITH
YOUR SPIRIT THAT YOU HAVE PROMISED WILL GUIDE US INTO ALL TRUTH.
PLEASE LET ME BE THE CLAY IN YOUR POTTER'S HANDS AND SHAPE ME
MORE AND MORE INTO YOUR CHARACTER."

I TELL YOU FOLKS, IF THAT PRAYER IS SAID WHOLEHEARTEDLY, MAYBE
WITH SOME TEARS; YOU WILL FIND THE WAY OF THE LORD AND YOU WILL
BE SPIRITUALLY BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE.

IT IS THE THEME AND THE MAIN LESSON OF THE GREAT PROPHETIC BOOK
OF JONAH,


                         ........................

Entered on this Website September 2008 


 
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