Teacher's Guide: Jonah
1Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3But 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.
4But 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. 5Then 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.
6So 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. 7And 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.
8Then 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? 9And 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. 10Then 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.
11Then 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. 12And 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. 13Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 14Wherefore 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. 15So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 16Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. 17Now 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.
Jonah decided to go his own way perhaps because he was afraid, or perhaps he just felt overwhelmed, or maybe he was just being plain stubborn. Whatever reason God had called Jonah to do this task and he ran away!
Have you ever been in a situation, where you know God had called you to do this service, and you were so very thankful for it, but at times you felt so overwhelmed that you didn’t know if you could do it? I have been there a few times, I am in a place like that now, and what I realize is, that I am very honored that God has chosen me, but I know that I cannot do it alone. I know that it will take the Holy Spirit to do the work through me. There are times when I cry out to God because I don’t know what to do next, and the way gets hard and stressful and there have been times when I worried and worried and God would speak to my heart and remind me that I was not fully trusting Him, and then I have to repent and ask God to forgive me and to help me. Sometimes I want to see the full picture. However, God only allows me to take one day at a time, but I know that it’s best that way otherwise He would show me the end. So I choose in my heart even if my flesh doesn’t feel like it, I choose to trust My Father who has never and will never let me down! I belong to Him and what He does with me is up to Him and I have the promise that whatever happens it will be for His glory and for my good! Praise the LORD, in that, I DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR or be overwhelmed! God’s promises are always true. The same truth goes for you dear one with whatever situation God has placed you in.
1Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, 2And 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. 3For 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.
4Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 5The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. 6I 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.
7When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 8They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. 9But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
10And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
If you are in a situation, where you know God didn’t place you, if you placed yourself there and you are feeling overwhelmed, then you need to run, not walk, run as fast as you can back to the Master! Call out to Jesus for forgiveness like Jonah and ask for guidance on how to get back.
It is not a fun thing when you are out of the will of God and God has had to place you in a very uncomfortable position in order to get you to turn back. I have been there and NEVER want to be there again! If you will ask, He will lead you and put you back on the right track and you can have peace in your heart! Even if the way you want to go seems easier, it’s always best to follow the LORD because He does see the big picture and He has a plan and you definitely do not want to miss out on that! You and I must do the hard thing now, die to self, obey God, and reap the joy of the harvest later! Praise the LORD there WILL be a harvest! God is so good!
1When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
2Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
3The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
4Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
5They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
If you feel all alone, as if God has placed you in a certain place, called you into a specific task, and now you feel as if you are alone, know that you are not. He is there and will always be there holding your hand. Even if you can’t feel Him, there is a reason and you need to pray for more faith and just keep moving in the direction He is leading and never stop praying and mediating upon His word. Never stop crying out to Him day after day, night after night for guidance because we have this promise in Psalm 50.
Psalm 50:15 "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
What an amazing promise, of course reading the rest of the chapter you will find more added to this promise. Notice HE doesn't say I will deliver you in a minute, tomorrow, next week, or next year. HE doesn't put a certain time on it. Sometimes when we are going through a hard time, trials, and trouble, we want to get out of it now, right now because it is uncomfortable. We get in a hurry but GOD is not. I'm sure when the gold smith puts the gold into the fire, if the gold could speak it would beg to be out of that pain, but the gold smith says no, you are not yet purified.
Sometimes GOD will deliver you right now but other times we must wait on HIS timing. Many times if we just listen, we can hear the voice of GOD whispering to our spirits, Little child of mine, this is for your good, I will not deliver you from this just now because all the good that you need from it has not yet been fulfilled, but if you had my knowledge, my wisdom, if you could see what I see, and know what I know, you would much prefer me to wait until the time I have appointed to deliver you, because it is the best time…trust Me.
We may have to wait for a time, but GODS promises are true, HE said HE will deliver, and it's as good as done, believe it. It's so comforting that we can trust our FATHER no matter what. HE will never do anything but good for us. Anything we must go through in life, GOD gives us the amount of grace needed to get past it. What a loving and amazing FATHER we have.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
I’m so thankful that God’s mercies are new every morning and that He is faithful even when we are not! Yes we will have to face the consequences if we disobey Him, but He will forgive us and we can get back in His will when we surrender, repent and obey.
I pray for you, whatever you are facing, that you know God is with you and that you will be thankful that you have been chosen for such a time as this! Go with God because He is always with you.
Dear Righteous, Holy Father…
Thank You for Your love and thank You for who You are. There is none like You. You are Almighty, and I worship You. Father thank You for choosing me in the things You have called me to do. Help me to always trust You and be obedient and forgive me for the times when I have strayed. I want to please You Father, help me to always look to You and follow Your paths. Thank You for all the blessings and for making a way and for doing the work through me. Thank You for Jesus. Jesus I love and adore You and my life is Yours to do with as You will. I worship You Master always. You are worthy of all praise. In Your Holy, Righteous name I pray. Amen.