Jonah the Run Away Contd (Jon 1-2; 1Chron. 4:9-10)
Watch & Be Ready
Often like Jonah or Jabez; we may find ourselves experiencing failure, hurt, and pain. We feel we have greatly failed ourselves in which ever area we’ve been called or chosen to do. We may even think we’ve failed the Lord. Often we feel we’ve missed the mark. We may also feel we’re not good enough for anything. Through these thoughts, the enemy deceives us. We’re often greatly encouraged through God’s Word to always watch and be ready. For we’ve an adversary, who always goes out of his way to condemn us. Therefore Scripture tells us to watch and be ready, to be on the lookout, for our adversary the devil goes around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Him we are to resist and he shall flee from us (see 1 Pet 5:8-9).
“What does this have to do with Jonah, Jabez or prayer?” Do I hear you ask? Let’s take a look at our previous study. We recall the Lord gave Jonah the instruction to go to Nineveh, the great city of that age. His instruction was to warn, preach repentance to Nineveh, for they were heading toward destruction. Jonah naturally did not agree to the Lord’s instructions. For he was angry, believed and thought, Nineveh had no need to be spared. Rather, because of their sin, he felt they needed to be judged and destroyed.
Yet God; who is Gracious, Loving and Merciful, desired to give them another chance. We know He does not delight in the death of a sinner. It has never been God’s will for us to be cut off from His Presence. For throughout Scripture, He had His specialized agents, His servants the prophets; whom He sent to Israel wooing her back to God.
In Ezekiel; we see the Lord speaking with his prophet and says:
_ _ if a wicked man (sinner) turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” (Ezek 18:21-23 NKJ)
God of 2nd Chances
For our Lord, is always, able, ready, willing to forgive and restore us to Himself, when we call on His Name; He hears us. You see the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, cleansing us from all our unrighteousness, when we confess our sins(1 Jn 1:9).
When Jonah had been found out, the captain and sailors of the ship, asked Jonah: Who he is; questioned his mustering and employment. He let them know he is a prophet, a man of God, running from the Lord, his God. That he had been unwilling to go and fulfill his instructions, given him through the Lord.
Although he ran away
Often when we run from God; our Lord seeks us out. With open arms, He always, readily, receives us back to Himself. He is willing, to give us 2nd chances, restoring us.
When like the Prodigal, we may end among the swine, decide to return to our Father. Repentant we come before our Lord, confess we messed up, and Father welcomes us back, giving a joyous celebration.
Yes they had a raving party. They rejoiced, except for the elder brother, who came back from the field. Which are we going to be? The runaway who returned repentant? Or are we going to be the elder brother, who became critical and judgmental, over the runaway? Remember, the Lord; knows the thoughts and intents of our heart. There is nothing which we are able to hide from Him. He is sure to find us out, yet quick to forgive, when we repent of our foolishness.
- Now the Lord had prepared and appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fishes belly. And said, I cried out of my distress to the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of Sheol cried I, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, unto the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your waves and Your billows passed over me. (Jon 1:17 – 2:3 amp).
Now Jonah badly messed up, when running from the Lord. Often we too run from the Lord. This is nothing new for the Lord, for all of us like the Runaway Prophet, or the Prodigal, have messed up somewhere along the line. Yes even Simon Peter, one of our Lord’s first disciples, apostles denied the Lord three times.
Tracing back in scripture we see how human we really are. How easy is it for us to run away. From the beginning; we see these simple faults, mistakes, sins; we as man and woman messed up. Because of our rebellious, sin nature, original sin, we sold out to the enemy of our souls. Yet our Lord is still gracious , merciful and forgiving; when we call on His Name He hears us. He is always willing and ready to forgive us our sin, our short comings, our slips, spills or messes; when we call on Him.
- We find forgiveness of our sin, as recorded in 1 Jn 1:9 through John the apostle. In his letter, starting from verse 7: –
But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]. If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. If we say (claim) we have not sinned, we contradict His Word and make Him out to be false and a liar, and His Word is not in us [the divine message of the Gospel is not in our hearts]. (see 1 Jn 1:7-10 amp)
Therefore when Jonah ended up in the drink, the Lord prepared a fish to either transport Jonah or to have him for lunch. Talk of being between a stone and a hard place, Murphy’s Law, or Hob son’s Choice. Jonah literally had a choice, whether to choose life, or to choose death. Blessing or cursing, the Lord suggested Jonah rather; to choose life over death.
What had Jonah decided? He decided to pray to His Lord, confess His disobedience, his unwillingness, his rebelliousness; repented, when the Lord heard his prayer; He answered him. He gave His instructions once more, then restored him.
Our Lord did the same with Simon, whom He surnamed Peter. You see when we willingly come, turn to our Lord; with all our heart, repentant, the Lord is able, willing to restore us, to our former estate. There are numerous proofs in Scripture, where we find our Lord , restore that which was lost.
[God’s voice may be heard] if there is for the hearer a messenger or an angel, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show to man what is right for him [how to be upright and in right standing with God]. Then [God] is gracious to him and says, “Deliver him from going down into the pit [of destruction]; I have found a ransom (a price of redemption, an atonement)! [then the man’s] flesh shall be restored; it becomes fresher and more tender than a child’s; he returns to the days of his youth. He prays to God, and He is favorable to him, so that he sees His face with joy; for [God] restores to him his righteousness (his uprightness and right standing with God__with its joys). He looks upon other men or sings out to them, I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it did not profit me, or He did not requite me [according to my iniquity]! [God] has redeemed my life from going down to the pit [of destruction], and my life shall see the light! (Job 33:23-28 amp).
There is more to follow; in due course. How does Jabez, Jonah, or/and prayer fit in this study? We shall cover that later in this study. Remember; even as Jonah messed up, prayed, repented and had been restored; even so Jabez’ prayer for God’s blessing, had been answered.
- Jonah, David, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Peter messed up; They repented of their misconceptions, sin and/or wickedness; the Lord heard their cries: He answered them (Jon 1:6; Jon 2:1-10).
- Jabez asked the Lord to bless him indeed, to go with him, enlarge his territory, keep him from evil, for it not to harm him: God granted his request, making him more honorable than his brothers (1Chron 4:9-10).
- en we call upon the Lord in the time of trouble, the Lord shall hear us (Ps 18:3-6).
- He shall keep us in perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him (Is 26:1-4).
- When the time had been right; the Lord restored Peter (Jn 21:10-22)
- Then the Lord restored and delivered Jonah (Jon 2:10).
- Jonah obeyed his 2nd call, given him by the Lord (Jon 3:1-40).
What are we to do?
We need: –
- To confess our iniquities
- Confess our shortcomings
- Confess our sins
- Repent from our wickedness
- Repent of disobedience
- Turn from evil
Father; I realize my need for repentance, before You. I understand when I call on You in the time of trouble, You hear from Heaven, and You are ready and willing to forgive me of my sins. I confess my sins, shortcomings, iniquities; that I am born in sin. I understand the wages of sin is death, yet the gift of God is eternal life in and through the acceptance of Christ Jesus; as my Lord Master and Saviour.
Lord; You say if and when I acknowledge, confess with my lips; You, Jesus, are Lord. I believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the Truth); in my heart; God raised You from death; I shall be saved (Rom 10:9).
When I believe (adhere to, trust in, rely on Christ) I am justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), confess (declare openly, speaking out my faith freely with my mouth) confirming my salvation. (Rom 10:8-10).
Lord, I also realize that through my acceptance of You as my personal Lord, Master and Saviour, You make me the Righteousness of God in and through You (2 Cor 5:21). I therefore have been made a New Creation (2 Cor 5:17).
Heavenly Father through Your Word living in me; the receiving of the baptism and power of the Holy Spirit. I now receive the ability to speak in new tongues as Your Holy Spirit gives me utterance. (See Jn 15:26-27; Jn 16:13-14; Mk 16:15-17; Lk 11:13; Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4; Acts 4:12; 1Cor 14:2; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 2:1-14).
When we call on His Name He hears us. Should there be any prayer requests, be free to contact us: – http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in His Harvest
Ian R Lottering
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