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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 30: Jonah

This entry is part 30 of 50 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 30: Jonah

Weekly memory verse:

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Weekly hymn:

“Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

What benefits in this life come from repentant faith in Jesus Christ?
Those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification.

Day 146: Jonah Flees God

Reading: Jonah 1–2

Notes

Chapter 1, Verse 1. Jonah. Jonah was a prophet of the northern tribes of Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II (ca. 793–758 bc), just prior to the ministry of the prophet Amos (see 2 Kings 14:25).

Verse 2. Nineveh. This was a royal city of Assyria that traces back to Nimrod (Gen 10:11). It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 612 bc.

Verse 3. Tarshish. The location of this city is unknown, but the Greek historical Herodotus thought it was in southern Spain.

Summary

In a very unusual act, God commanded his prophet Jonah to preach salvation to a foreign city. Yet Jonah ran from God’s will and was punished for his rebellion. Only a heart-felt prayer of repentance and submission resulted in his own deliverance by God.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think God wanted Jonah to preach salvation to Nineveh?
  2. Why did Jonah run?
  3. In what ways did God show Jonah mercy in this account?

Day 147: Jonah Goes to Nineveh

Reading: Jonah 3–4

Notes

Chapter 3, Verse 6. King of Nineveh. This was likely either Adad-nirari III (ca. 810–783) or Assurdan III (ca. 722–755).

READ
Did the Holy Spirit Dwell in Old Testament Believers? Or Should We Be Asking Something Else?

Chapter 4, Verse 3. Take my life. Jonah revealed his own sinful heart that actually had not changed even as a result of God’s chastisement.

Summary

Jonah finally obeyed God and proclaimed the message from the Lord to Nineveh. God worked a miracle, and the people responded in repentant faith. As a result, God withheld his judgment. This whole event contrasts with Israel’s lack of repentance and the inevitable judgment that was to come upon the nation, illustrated with Jonah’s terrible response to Nineveh’s repentance.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did God withhold his judgment from Nineveh?
  2. In what ways did the response of Nineveh contrast with Israel’s current condition?
  3. What did Jonah’s response reveal about his heart?

Day 148: Let All Things Praise the Lord

Reading: Psalm 66–68

Notes

Psalm 66, Verse 4. All the earth. This acknowledges God’s universal rule over all, but also foreshadows the future when all will worship God (Isa 66:23; Zech 14:16; Phil 2:10–11).

Psalm 67, Verse 1. Face to Shine. When a king’s face “shone” toward someone, this indicated his pleasure with that person and his intention to bless them.

Verse 3. Peoples. This refers to the Gentile nations, all of whom will one day worship the Lord.

Psalm 68, Verse 18. Ascended on high. Paul quotes this in Ephesians 4:8 with reference to Christ’s triumphant ascension into heaven.

Summary

God’s people worship the Lord now and receive rich blessings from him. One day, however, all things, including all the Gentile nations of the earth, will worship God perfectly.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways does God rule over all things now?
  2. In what unique ways will God rule over all things in the future?
  3. What should be the response of God’s people to the promise that one day all things will worship God?
READ
The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18–20

Day 149: Uzziah Reigns in Judah

Reading: 2 Chronicles 26; Isaiah 6

Notes

2 Chronicles 26, Verse 5. Zechariah. This is neither the priest mentioned earlier in 24:20, nor the prophet who wrote the book of Zechariah, but rather an otherwise unknown prophet.

Verse 16. Entered the temple. The Law forbad a king from taking the role of a Levitical priest (Num 3:10; 18:7).

Verse 22. Isaiah. This is not the inspired book of Isaiah the prophet, but rather some other book Isaiah the prophet apparently wrote.

Verse 23. Uzziah slept. This was the very year Isaiah the prophet had his vision of heaven (Isa 6).

Summary

Uzziah was a good king who did right in the sight of the Lord, and thus God gave him many victories. Yet those victories gave Uzziah pride so that he disobeyed the Lord by offering incense in the temple, and God punished him with leprosy. The same year Uzziah died, the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of heaven in which he saw the Ultimate King ruling and from whom he received forgiveness of sin and a message from the Lord.

Discussion Questions

  1. What caused Uzziah to grow proud?
  2. Why was the fact that God only gave Uzziah leprosy actually an act of mercy?
  3. On what basis were Isaiah’s sins forgiven?

Day 150: Save Me, O God!

Reading: Psalm 69–70

Notes

Psalm 69, Verse 4. Hate me. Christ quoted this in reference to himself in John 15:25. Much of this psalm has application to Christ’s earthly ministry.

Verse 9. Zeal for your house. This verse is quoted in John 2:17 and Romans 15:3.

READ
What Is the Sin That Leads to Death and the One That Does Not?

Verse 21. Sour wine. This happened to Jesus on the cross (Matt 27:34).

Verse 22. Snare. This is quoted in Romans 11:9–10.

Verse 25. Desolation. This is quoted in reference to Judas in Acts 1:20.

Psalm 70. This psalm is nearly identical to Psalm 40:13–17.

Summary

When God’s people call for deliverance from God, he answers them. We might not always understand why God allows difficult circumstances to come into our lives, but he always has a perfect plan and will never let his people be completely overcome. There is not better example of this than in the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways does the New Testament apply Psalm 69 to Jesus Christ?
  2. How can Jesus’s life and death give us confidence in the midst of trouble?
  3. What should we do when we are in the midst of trouble?
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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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