Jonah 1:1-4:11, Revelation 5:1-14, Psalms 133:1-3, Proverbs 29:26-27
Today is the 14th day of the December welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian and it’s great to be here. Welcome back to the Global Campfire. We’re all here. We’re all cozy. We’re all ready to take the next step forward together as we continue to take steps forward toward the end of the year and steps forward in the Bible each and every day to lead us toward the end of the Scriptures for this year. And we are moving our way in the Old Testament through the portion of Scripture known as the minor prophets. These are shorter works of prophetic utterances that are in the Scriptures. So, we’re moving through them rather quickly. Yesterday we talked about Obadiah and then we read the whole thing, all of Obadiah, which happens to be the shortest book in the Old Testament. Today we aren’t embarking on the next to shortest book in the Old Testament, but we will read the entire book today, the book of Jonah.
Introduction to the book of Jonah:
Jonah is a super famous story in the Scriptures. Jonah was a prophet. He lived in the northern kingdom of Israel. We’ve talked about this since we started the minor prophets. Just remembering that after Solomon, the kingdoms split into two and there was the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Jonah was from the northern kingdom of Israel. He lived practically…practically due west of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee and he lived during the reign of King Jeroboam the second. Jonah is a little bit different than most of the other prophets in the Bible because most of the other prophets in the Bible were instructed to speak to God’s people, the children of Israel. This is not who Jonah was sent to speak to. He was instructed to go to the city of Nineveh. And at the time Nineveh was one of the largest cities on the face of the earth. So, this is like any of the largest cities on the earth today, like Mexico City or New York City or Los Angeles or I don’t know, London…oh…I don’t know all of the major cities in the whole earth. But if we think about the largest cities, at this time Nineveh was one of the largest cities although considerably smaller than the cities that we have of today. It’s one of the major cities in the known world. The ruins of Nineveh still exist. They’re located near that of the modern city of Mosul in Iraq and a lot of the ruins of ancient Nineveh have been damaged or destroyed during the time of Isis there. Anyway, Jonah…Jonah did not want the assignment. He did not want to do what God was asking him to do. He did not want to go to a people who were the enemies of Israel and speak to them on behalf of God because if they’re enemies of Israel they’re enemies of God. And, so, rather than obeying God. Jonah went in the opposite direction, literally the opposite direction and went to the Mediterranean coast and got on a ship in Joppa which is basically the coastal suburb of Tel Aviv today. And we probably all generally know what happened to Joan after he got on that ship. He ended up not on the ship, but rather in the belly of a great fish. And after three days of repentance, he was spewed out on the shore alive, which, you know, as Christians we can see the obvious foreshadowing of Jesus in the story. And Jesus even talks about the sign of Jonah being the only sign that this generation will receive when He was walking upon the earth doing his ministry. But Jonah doesn’t just parallel Jesus or foreshadow Jesus. It parallels our own lives. When we hear instructed to do something and we don’t want to do or we let pride or our fear of obeying get in the way and we find ourselves in disobedience or rebellion then basically we can’t do anything but find ourselves on the run from God, which is incredibly foolish maybe…maybe stupid isn’t even…even too strong of a word. It’s a really foolish thing to do because it’s not possible. And, so, Jonah had a lot more difficult time of things than he needed to have. Even though he ultimately obeyed, he was swallowed in the open sea by a fish. Ironically, like we look at the fish and go like holy moly what will…that is…that must’ve been miserable. And certainly it must’ve been miserable. But the alternative was that Jonah would’ve been dead. And, so, the fish that came along actually became Jonah’s salvation. God used the fish as a vehicle to get Jonah back on track and save his life. And when we find that we are running from God and we know it, it can very much feel like life is swallowing us alive. But in the end as things are made right again, we may find that the very things that we felt like were swallowing us actually were transportation. They were moving us back onto the right path and ultimately to firm footing again where we can start over and be obedient. And, so that let’s begin and conclude. There are four chapters in the book of Jonah. We will read the entire book of Jonah today.
Okay. So, we have moved to the book of Jonah in its entirety today and we already kinda talked about it. I just want to point out that it’s not really until the end that we begin to understand why Jonah didn’t want to obey God in the first place. And so much of it is very, very focused on Jonah and his own self-image and perhaps even his place in his culture in his region where he lives among the people. Nineveh was the enemy. God was telling Jonah to go to the enemy and invite them to repent before the Lord God. Jonah, being a prophet would have preferred to prophesy anywhere but Nineveh. He would prefer to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh to his own people. Instead, God is telling them to go to the enemy and invite them to repent. How would he look if he did that? How’s he gonna explain, yeah I went all the way to Nineveh. And by the way that’s not like a walk across town. Like, we read from Jonah that to walk across Nineveh would take three days. For Jonah to obey God and actually go to Nineveh was hundreds and hundreds of miles with no airplanes and no like combustible engines to get anywhere, a very very committed journey. And, so, he’s going to go there and proclaim the word of the Lord and tell the people to repent and then come back? And how’s that gonna go over? Yes, I went to the enemies of our nation, the enemies of God and told him to repent. And, so, Jonah goes in the other direction. He’s trying to get away from this mission. And we know the story. He ends up in the belly of a fish. He ends up on dry ground again. He ends up going to Nineveh and obeying God. He walks a day into the city and proclaims the word of the Lord, that they should repent or meet complete destruction. And their response is to humble themselves before the Lord God and repent. This makes Jonah exceedingly angry, right, according to the scripture. Like he is furious about this. And that’s when he tells the Lord, this is why I didn’t obey you. This is why I didn’t come here. These are our enemies and you’ve told me to come here and tell them to repent and I knew that you are kind and merciful, or just to quote it from Jonah, “for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster.” So, Jonah’s basically saying, I knew this would happen. I knew this is what you were going to do. This is why I did not want to come here. I want to die. My life isn’t worth living anymore. It’s such a weird response unless we think well why? Like, what’s the big deal? God did something very, very kind and gracious. He reached out mercifully and gave people an opportunity to turn from their wicked ways so that they wouldn’t be destroyed. Now Jonah will have to go home and say I went to Nineveh at the instruction of the Lord and the Lord told them to repent and they repented. Our enemies whom we want to destroy if we can, they repented. God was merciful to them. Jonah is set up for ridicule completely. But it’s not just that he’s set up to look bad, his heart is not for what God wanted, which is the repentance of everybody. Jonah didn’t want those people to be spared. He wanted them to be destroyed. And that’s where it can get so personal for us. We can be merciless toward people that do not think about things the same way that we do or that do not share our political convictions or who do not share our theology on certain subjects or who cut us off in the road or who did anything to displease us. We can get merciless. If we felt like God was sending us to people that we wanted God to destroy and that we’ve done our part and bad mouthing or posting or whatever and we felt God saying, no, I want you to go to them. I want you to go to them on my behalf. This could feel a little bit like the story of Esther and not for such a time as this. This could feel like the king telling Haman to go and put the Kings robe upon Mordechai and put him on the king’s mule and march him through the city and declare this is how the king wants to honor his loyal servant. We can find ourselves doing everything we can to stay away from that situation or if we try to obey, we’re going with our nose…we’re like plugging our nose. We don’t want to do this because God might be merciful, and we might look stupid. So, it’s kind of important for us to remember that just because we hate somebody doesn’t mean God does. Just because we don’t want to tolerate somebody or their disgusting to us or their deceived according to us, God loves them. God loves them as much as He loves you and I. And, so, Jonah really does in fact bring out much for us to consider about our own lives.
Father, that’s where we are. That’s what we’re doing. We’re considering. And once again, as we do every day, thank You for Your word. It brings these things up in our lives for us to consider. And Holy Spirit, come. We’re guilty of all of this. We’re guilty of all the things we find in the Bible, but shame and condemnation isn’t the point. Repentance and change is the point, an invitation to put these broken pieces back together in our lives so that we can begin to look at the world and its people like You do. So, come Holy Spirit. Show us the places where we have just been merciless toward people even wishing for their destruction in some sort of way, their hardship in some sort of way, so that they can get what they deserve. That isn’t for us to decide. It is our job to obey You and part of obeying You is loving what You love, and You love what You have created. You don’t love all of the things that we’ve invented to destroy ourselves and to separate ourselves from You but You love us. May we love one another. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hey, DABbers it’s Valiant Val here in Vegas. I just heard our guy, People on the Water. Man, we love when you call in. You’re so beautiful and so young. He’s only 19 and he’s been in college for a couple months and he’s quitting college. And, you know, what People on the Water? That’s OK. Good. Hashtag good. You know it definitely sounds like you know what you need to do, you know, that at 19 you don’t have to have it figured out because maybe…who…I’m far beyond that and I’ve yet to figure it out. And you know what People on the Water I don’t think we fully figure it out because it’s God’s way and He never gives us all the answers to the playbook. He kind of gives us the plays and we just have to run those plays just bit by bit. That’s the way this life is, little by little. So, I’m asking you to give yourself a break and a pat on the back and for all young people and teenagers, young adults that are calling in. You all put so much pressure on yourself. Stop it. God continuously gives us assignments in life, and He never gives us all the answers at once. He gives us the ability to see to the end of the road. He sees around the corner and down the street. He sees the end before the beginning. So, Lord God I come to You right now for People on the Water and Young people Lord in general. Allow them to give them results a break Father. God thank You for the assignments that You give us throughout this life, for the very dissidents and even the new ones that we’re all on right now. God we just need to have hope and faith in You and things will work out and be fine. People on the Water, one of the things that I do, and I can’t seem to figure it out is go serve, go volunteer, go be of help to someone else. It gets you off…
Hello Deb family this is pastor Steve from southwest Ohio just calling to say that you are greatly…all greatly loved and prayed for without ceasing. I know there are several people who’ve called that are very disheartened and sad and down. Well, His word tells us that we are to look up and be glad and be thankful for every rich blessing we receive. And they are many. I’m thankful for you all within this family and I praise God for the ministry that it provides especially for me every day. Just know again that you are all greatly loved and prayed for, and this is for everyone. So heavenly Father in the name of Jesus and by the power of Your Holy Spirit we ask that You would touch every heart out there that have called and that will call and help them with whatever need they have and we’ll give you praise for doing that in Jesus’ name. Everyone take care. God bless.
Hey Daily Audio Bible it’s Winter from Texas and I just listened to December 6th and 7th back-to-back and I heard People on the Waters dad call in and People on the Waters himself call in and let me just tell you I understand the struggle of wanting to quit college. I've…I am in a profession that’s not really right for me I think, and I’ve thought every day about quitting because I don’t really need the degree to do my field. It’s just helpful in the future, you know? But you’ve got to trust God. I know you’ve heard like you’ve got to trust God and you gotta turn to God and all that. What I mean is if you went home and you were hungry and there was food in the fridge you would probably eat it. If…if you’re in a bad space and you go home to God and you’re hungry He’s willing to feed you. You need to be fed because you can’t just continue being hungry right? God will take care of you. He’s taking care of the fields, the birds. He’s taking care of me with almost seemingly meaningful things. On days when I wanted to cry, He’s given me parking spots, He’s given me green lights. He’s given me just somebody who’s there for me and who will talk with me. Like, God cares about you. And even though it seems just dire and bleak right now you’ve got to trust that He’s gonna be there for you. OK? You’re not alone. He will always be there for you. Just go home and eat. OK?
Hello DAB my name is Rachel and I’m calling from Pennsylvania it’s my first time calling, first year listening to the DAB. I wanted to call and lift up in prayer Jasmine from New York who called in on November 22nd about having issues with procrastination with God and with her schoolwork and anxiety and low self-esteem. Lord I place her before you and I pray that you would have your way in her life, that you would increase her faith and strengthen her from the inside out Lord and that you would see her heart and know that she wants to serve you despite things that are coming up. She called in because she knows she needs more of you Lord. So, I pray that you would honor her for that and that she would be lifted up. I also pray that she would be surrounded, that people would come into her path that would guide her spiritually and help her to move forward in this journey Lord whatever that may be. And I…I pray over anybody else who’s struggling with anxiety and depression and just feeling unworthy because you don’t condemn us. You correct us but you don’t condemn us. Your word says that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. So, any felling of condemnation and lack of self-worth, that’s not God. That’s the enemy. He’s the accuser of the brethren. So, I rebuke that fear spirit of accusation, that spirit of condemnation that is plaguing our people particularly around this holiday season where it’s just depression is running rampant. God, I rebuke that in Jesus’ name. Let your people be lifted up because you did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. So, I pray Lord, that you would give a sound mind unto your people, that they would be lifted up and know that you love them and that they are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Morning everyone it’s Susan from Canada God’s Yellow Flower calling, and I have a praise report today. As most of you know I’ve been looking after my son who is now 44. And when he was 39 he was diagnosed with stage four cancer. And heavens above there was no treatment for this cancer so he was put on a trial with 19 others and he’s the only one who is still in remission. We just got the report today. All the others have not done well but Keith. And I just give praise to God. The scientific part of the…of this miracle is baffling to the doctors. Keith’s case is being studied all around the world and nobody can understand it except my DAB family and my prayer warrior friends. I don’t know why God chooses to bless someone and not others. And know that I’m praying, continuing in prayer for all your loved ones and you yourselves who are suffering from this horrible disease. It’s so difficult. Keiths life is…like he only has half a lung working because his cancer’s spread to his lungs. And he needed treatments and it’s burned out his lungs. So, he’s on oxygen all the time and really can’t do a lot. But he’s with us still. He’s such a gracious and grateful young man. Thank you for your prayers and continue on please.
Hi DAB family this is Rock Ann in Georgia, and I was just calling today. I’ve been sick and out of Commission a little bit I was just calling today to tell you wow Brian I’m so excited that you’re gonna even dive a little deeper into the Book of Revelation. Maybe not every day but at the end of the prayer time. What a great way to end up the year. Thank you so much for that. This podcast and this program is so life giving and so wonderful. And I just want to thank you so much for it. You’re an amazing teacher and guide and God is using you greatly in the lives of so many people. And I just want to say thank you so much to you, to the DAB family and to all of those who pray and intercede and get involved and our so intentional about investing in the lives of the people here. I just love this program so much and love you all and pray for you so often. And thank you again until next time.