The book of Jonah and its spiritual meaning
The book of Jonah and its spiritual meaning
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 Johna 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. Johna (1:1-3)
Is witnessing easy? Think about it.... When was the last time you went to try to save someone's soul? Some person that you've never met......No witnessing is against our heart, and it is apart of that great heart of Jesus.... Now when Jonah was told to preach to sinners by God he tried to run away from God. He must have thought "oh how wicked are these people in Tarshish i'm not going there, they may kill me!" So he feared going out and witnessing more then God in his heart at the time. Where is Tarshish? It is presant day Spain (about that area) so he tried to run to the other side of the world to follow his own path instead of the word of God. How afraid of these people he must have been. He knowingly defied the word of GOD. He's just like us! He wants to go the way of the world instead of following God. Truly this is the heart of man and how it moves us away from the Word Of God.
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." 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. Jonah (1:4-7)
Jonah's decision to go against God was a tough decision. He must have not slept for a long time during this decision. He probably went ship to ship until he found the ship he wanted (or that would take him). He toiled for a long time running away. Using all the strength that he had left as a man.This section says that the ship was about to brake ,and Jonah was sleeping! Imagine this GREAT storm. Wow how worried that ship master must have been when he saw that Jonah was asleep. What do you think that the ship master was thinking? "What?! how is this person asleep ,and we all are about to die! Get up, for this must surely be your fault!" When that ship master let him on the boat their was something written all over Jonhas face.
.............For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Johna (1:10)...
That ship master asked him what was wrong. Johna was trying to hide something even from these men. Yet he was probably turned down ship after ship until he had no more streangth to lie and said " I run from God himself and seek refuge on your ship to Tarshish". I don't feel that the ship master took these words lightly. He probably gave all his money to this man after these words. Jonha has now come to the end of the things that his human strength can endure. When we reach this point in our hearts and in our lives now the glory of God can work for us. Even the men of the ship had their owen strength to do what was in their hearts. Even in the face of death they could not follow the heart of God..
......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. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Jonah 1:12-13
So even these other men had that heart to defy God. Until the hearts of all the men where gone thinking "we cannot do anything eles, we leave our fate into Gods hands". Then God could work for them. They threw Johna overboard and the winds stoped that ship was saved from the wrath of God. (some times i think what if they did not give up themselves to God, then they would have died). For the wages of sin is death.
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. Jonah (2:1-2)
So Johna was swallowed up by a great fish. For 3 days and 3 nights he was in the belly of this fish (like Jesus Christ he suffered for 3 days and 3 nights). This is the shadow of Jesus Christ. Since Jonah had that heart to give up every thing that he had now God could change his heart. Before his heart could change (since it was at that time against God's) he had to go through suffering. That fishes belly must have stank and hurt. The pain of going so deep into the ocean and the acids in this great fishes belly burning him. At the moment Johna's heart changed he was ready to leave his way of life and follow God. We too must go through these times to be recognized as the children of God
Hebrews (12:6) FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH HE CHASTENETH, AND SCOURGETH EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVETH. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
So he was spat onto the shore with the word of the Lord in his heart. God prepared all those hearts to have the Gospel preached to them. God dose that for us as well.
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 on Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. Jonah (3:4-5)
With 8 words all of Nineveh changed their heart towards God.... How blessful this book of Jonah is. It is showing us that even though we don't have the heart to preach the Gospel. We don't have the heart to witness to our friends and family's. That if we seek his word continually that we can do nothing but sucseed in his grace. If God has prepared hearts to change towards his glory and grace. Then we need only to speak 8 words......