Jonah 1:1-4:11, Revelation 5:1-14, Psalms 133:1-3, Proverbs 29:26-27
Today is the 14th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and here we are at the end of another of our weeks together and we only have about two and a half of these left in this year. So, we are definitely moving forward and as we keep pointing out, we’re moving fast through a lot of territory in the Bible because of the shorter duration of the books as we get to the end. So, we’re working our way to the minor prophets in the Old Testament and we read Obadiah yesterday, which brings us to the book of Jonah today and we’ll read the entire book of Jonah in today’s reading.
Introduction to the book of Jonah:
And Jonah is another one of the minor prophets but it…it…it’s kind of a prophetic book with a twist. Jonah lived in the northern kingdom of Israel pretty much due west from the southern portion of the Sea of Galilee. And he lived, obviously in the divided kingdom era under King Jeroboam the second. Here’s the twist. Most of the prophets in the Bible were called by God to their own people to go and offer a prophetic message that was calling them to repentance to a renewal of the covenant that they had broken. Jonah’s mission was different than that. He was called to go and speak a message to the city of Nineveh, which is one of the largest cities in the world at that time. And it’s its ruins still exist today near the modern city of Mosul in Iraq. Nineveh, actually kinda made the news in the last several years because there was a lot of destruction to those ruins by…by Isis. Anyway, Jonah was not happy about his assignment at all. God wanted him to go to a people who were considered enemies of Israel and for that matter, the enemies of God. So, instead of going to God’s and Israel’s enemies, Jonah went the other direction and went to the Mediterranean coast to the city of Joppa, which is like Jaffa, which is near Tel Aviv now. Incidentally, this is the same place where later on in the New Testament the apostle Peter would go and receive a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven that would radically transform his understanding of what God was doing in the world, especially among Gentiles. But Jonah’s story is obviously very famous. Jonah ends up in the belly of a great fish and then three days of repenting go by and then he’s spewed out on the shore alive. And, so, for those who believe in Jesus there is obvious foreshadowing’s of Christ in that story. But Jonah contains parallels with our own lives in dramatic ways when…when we allow fear or misunderstanding or pride or…or just simple dislike of what we’re being asked to do. When we allow these things to lead us on a path of disobedience and rebellion, then…then we are signing up, like we are starting to take the first step on the run from God. But God is everywhere. Running from God is impossible. So, even though Jonah ended up getting swallowed in the open sea by a great fish, that fish was his salvation. As uncomfortable as that must’ve been, he would have died any other way. And although, I mean when I sit and think about the journey Jonah went on, its terrifying beyond belief, even though he would’ve been terrified, even though he would’ve been a supremely uncomfortable, God used that fish to deliver Jonah alive and gave him another chance to fulfill his mission. And I doubt that anybody here doesn’t know what it feels like to be on the run from God at times and…and we’ve probably all experienced the way that life swallows us alive when we do that. And yet, we’re still here. So, we may find that the things that engulf us are also transporting us back to firm footing again where we can make a choice. This is called grace. This is what God does in our lives and we’ll watch this play out in the life of Jonah. So, we’ve been reading from the Common English Bible this week, which is what we’ll do today. And we will read Jonah in its entirety. And Jonah has four chapters. So, we’ll begin with Jonah chapter 1.
Father, as we and another of our weeks together and realize that there’s just…just a couple more week endings that are left in this year, we are continually reminded of Your faithfulness and we thank You for it. In fact, it’s not just a thanks…thanks, for being faithful. We worship You. We are experiencing a love that is beyond our comprehension and we are grateful, and we are humbled. We reach for You God as we reach into these last weeks of this year. We ask that You speak to us through the power of Your Holy Spirit and through Your word as You continue to lead us on the narrow path. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website and it is where you find out what’s going on around here.
And I’ve been saying it all this week, it’s Christmas time pretty much wall to wall around here because we got a couple of things going on. And, so, let’s get to that. We are a virtual community as I’ve said several times this week and we have an annual Christmas party, but we hold it virtually and we release it as a program. And, so, every year we call in our holiday wishes and prayers and stories to each other and we compile those and create one of the most touching things, you’ll see, touching things that we do in a year as a community. So, we’ve been taking those calls all week and they’ve been flooding in and today’s the last day for that. So, if you’ve been procrastinating, today is the day. And it’s pretty simple. We use the same methods that we use to call in our prayer requests to each other. So, press the Hotline button in the app or you can dial 877-942-4253. There is a couple of rules. One rule is, since that is the prayer line and that’s what it’s for you might…you might be carrying some things this season that you don't…like you really have no business carrying these alone. It’s like slumping your shoulders and it feels like something’s tied you your ankles and you’re just slogging through. And there’s tens of thousands of us here and…and we pray for each other and it matters. And, so, the prayer line is for…for prayer…prayer calls but we’re using it for these Christmas greetings too. The…the request is don’t combine a prayer request and a holiday greeting in the same call. Like, this is one time to break the rule and make two calls and keep them separate. And, so, if you have been kind waiting to the last minute, this is the last minute. So, make sure that you get your holiday greeting in today.
The other thing is the family Christmas Box for 2019 is available. The cut off for domestic shipping within the United States is this coming Wednesday. So, yeah, if…if we have supplies until then, that’s when we will cut that off. So, we’re kind of getting down to the last minute there as well. So, please check that out. We have packaged this Christmas box full of resources. Like…like you can’t get much more in the box, it’s full. And that’s full of things that are resources for the journey for the rhythm of life that we share as a community going through God’s word together. So, be sure to check those things out in the Christmas section of the Daily Audio Bible website in the Shop.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible you can do that at dailyaudiobible.com as well. There is a link and it lives on the homepage and I thank you with all of my heart for your partnership. If you’re using the Daily audio Bible app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or if the mail is your preference, the mailing address is PO Box 1996 Spring Hill Tennessee 37174.
And, as always, if you have prayer request or comment or today, holiday greeting, you can dial 877-942-4253 or just press the Hotline button that is at the top of the app and begin to share.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I will be waiting for you here tomorrow.