Lessons From the Prophet Jonah

  • June 07, 2021
Monday 07

Jonah 1

If you’ve ever tried to ignore the Lord’s commands or silence the Holy Spirit’s conviction, you’ve probably learned the same lesson Jonah did. He disliked God’s instructions and attempted to avoid the unwanted assignment by running away. But He soon discovered that you can never outrun God.

Rebellion toward our heavenly Father often takes one of two forms: a bold outright refusal to obey His instructions or a more passive approach of quietly pursuing our own agenda while disregarding biblical commands we don’t like. Whichever route we take, we can’t silence God. His Spirit’s conviction will follow us—even if we fill life with distractions to help us ignore Him.

What we must understand is that God is willing to pursue us, and that can involve stripping away diversions and bringing negative consequences to get our attention. He is a loving heavenly Father who disciplines us if we continue down the road of disobedience.  

 The Lord is always with you, but whether your relationship feels tense or peaceful depends on your willingness to do what He says. Let’s use Jonah’s example as encouragement to obey promptly rather than waste time running away and suffering the consequences.

Bible in One Year: Job 26-30

Other Daily Content

Audio New
Mighty Angel, Little Book

Dr. Stanley talks about how the little book given to John by the angel is believed to be the title deed to the entire earth.

1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,

2 Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."

3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

4 The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.

5 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.

6 So the captain approached him and said, How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish."

7 Each man said to his mate, Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us." So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.

8 Then they said to him, Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?"

9 He said to them, I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land."

10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

11 So they said to him, What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"--for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.

12 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 on account of me this great storm has come upon you."

13 However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.

14 Then they called on the LORD and said, We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased."

15 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.

16 Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

17 And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.

1 Then Job responded,

2 What a help you are to the weak! How you have saved the arm without strength!

3 What counsel you have given to one without wisdom! What helpful insight you have abundantly provided!

4 To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit was expressed through you?

5 The departed spirits tremble Under the waters and their inhabitants.

6 Naked is Sheol before Him, And Abaddon has no covering.

7 He stretches out the north over empty space And hangs the earth on nothing.

8 He wraps up the waters in His clouds, And the cloud does not burst under them.

9 He obscures the face of the full moon And spreads His cloud over it.

10 He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters At the boundary of light and darkness.

11 The pillars of heaven tremble And are amazed at His rebuke.

12 He quieted the sea with His power, And by His understanding He shattered Rahab.

13 By His breath the heavens are cleared; His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.

14 Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?"

1 Then Job continued his discourse and said,

2 As God lives, who has taken away my right, And the Almighty, who has embittered my soul,

3 For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils,

4 My lips certainly will not speak unjustly, Nor will my tongue mutter deceit.

5 Far be it from me that I should declare you right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.

6 I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go. My heart does not reproach any of my days.

7 May my enemy be as the wicked And my opponent as the unjust.

8 For what is the hope of the godless when he is cut off, When God requires his life?

9 Will God hear his cry When distress comes upon him?

10 Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call on God at all times?

11 I will instruct you in the power of God; What is with the Almighty I will not conceal.

12 Behold, all of you have seen it; Why then do you act foolishly?

13 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, And the inheritance which tyrants receive from the Almighty.

14 Though his sons are many, they are destined for the sword; And his descendants will not be satisfied with bread.

15 His survivors will be buried because of the plague, And their widows will not be able to weep.

16 Though he piles up silver like dust And prepares garments as plentiful as the clay,

17 He may prepare it, but the just will wear it And the innocent will divide the silver.

18 He has built his house like the spider's web, Or as a hut which the watchman has made.

19 He lies down rich, but never again; He opens his eyes, and it is no longer.

20 Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night.

21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone, For it whirls him away from his place.

22 For it will hurl at him without sparing; He will surely try to flee from its power.

23 Men will clap their hands at him And will hiss him from his place.

1 Surely there is a mine for silver And a place where they refine gold.

2 Iron is taken from the dust, And copper is smelted from rock.

3 Man puts an end to darkness, And to the farthest limit he searches out The rock in gloom and deep shadow.

4 He sinks a shaft far from habitation, Forgotten by the foot; They hang and swing to and fro far from men.

5 The earth, from it comes food, And underneath it is turned up as fire.

6 Its rocks are the source of sapphires, And its dust contains gold.

7 The path no bird of prey knows, Nor has the falcon's eye caught sight of it.

8 The proud beasts have not trodden it, Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.

9 He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the base.

10 He hews out channels through the rocks, And his eye sees anything precious.

11 He dams up the streams from flowing, And what is hidden he brings out to the light.

12 But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?

13 Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living.

14 The deep says, `It is not in me'; And the sea says, `It is not with me.'

15 Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, Nor can silver be weighed as its price.

16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire.

17 Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold.

18 Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.

19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20 Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding?

21 Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living And concealed from the birds of the sky.

22 Abaddon and Death say, `With our ears we have heard a report of it.'

23 God understands its way, And He knows its place.

24 For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens.

25 When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by measure,

26 When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the thunderbolt,

27 Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out.

28 And to man He said, `Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.'"

1 And Job again took up his discourse and said,

2 Oh that I were as in months gone by, As in the days when God watched over me;

3 When His lamp shone over my head, And by His light I walked through darkness;

4 As I was in the prime of my days, When the friendship of God was over my tent;

5 When the Almighty was yet with me, And my children were around me;

6 When my steps were bathed in butter, And the rock poured out for me streams of oil!

7 When I went out to the gate of the city, When I took my seat in the square,

8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, And the old men arose and stood.

9 The princes stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths;

10 The voice of the nobles was hushed, And their tongue stuck to their palate.

11 For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me,

12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper.

13 The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, And I made the widow's heart sing for joy.

14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.

15 I was eyes to the blind And feet to the lame.

16 I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know.

17 I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth.

18 Then I thought, `I shall die in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand.

19 My root is spread out to the waters, And dew lies all night on my branch.

20 My glory is ever new with me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.'

21 To me they listened and waited, And kept silent for my counsel.

22 After my words they did not speak again, And my speech dropped on them.

23 They waited for me as for the rain, And opened their mouth as for the spring rain.

24 I smiled on them when they did not believe, And the light of my face they did not cast down.

25 I chose a way for them and sat as chief, And dwelt as a king among the troops, As one who comforted the mourners.

1 But now those younger than I mock me, Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.

2 Indeed, what good was the strength of their hands to me? Vigor had perished from them.

3 From want and famine they are gaunt Who gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation,

4 Who pluck mallow by the bushes, And whose food is the root of the broom shrub.

5 They are driven from the community; They shout against them as against a thief,

6 So that they dwell in dreadful valleys, In holes of the earth and of the rocks.

7 Among the bushes they cry out; Under the nettles they are gathered together.

8 Fools, even those without a name, They were scourged from the land.

9 And now I have become their taunt, I have even become a byword to them.

10 They abhor me and stand aloof from me, And they do not refrain from spitting at my face.

11 Because He has loosed His bowstring and afflicted me, They have cast off the bridle before me.

12 On the right hand their brood arises; They thrust aside my feet and build up against me their ways of destruction.

13 They break up my path, They profit from my destruction; No one restrains them.

14 As through a wide breach they come, Amid the tempest they roll on.

15 Terrors are turned against me; They pursue my honor as the wind, And my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.

16 And now my soul is poured out within me; Days of affliction have seized me.

17 At night it pierces my bones within me, And my gnawing pains take no rest.

18 By a great force my garment is distorted; It binds me about as the collar of my coat.

19 He has cast me into the mire, And I have become like dust and ashes.

20 I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.

21 You have become cruel to me; With the might of Your hand You persecute me.

22 You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride; And You dissolve me in a storm.

23 For I know that You will bring me to death And to the house of meeting for all living.

24 Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, Or in his disaster therefore cry out for help?

25 Have I not wept for the one whose life is hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy?

26 When I expected good, then evil came; When I waited for light, then darkness came.

27 I am seething within and cannot relax; Days of affliction confront me.

28 I go about mourning without comfort; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.

29 I have become a brother to jackals And a companion of ostriches.

30 My skin turns black on me, And my bones burn with fever.

31 Therefore my harp is turned to mourning, And my flute to the sound of those who weep.

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Publish Date June 23, 2021
Obedience Changes Everything

Jesus can change our life for the better, but that requires us to step out in obedience.

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