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Retold: Jonah and the Whale

Rebellious Prophet & Merciful God

Have you heard of Jonah and the whale? What if I told you this story had very little to do with fish? As we continue our series, Retold, David Leventhal teaches through the book of Jonah, showing us that God is the creator of the earth and is sovereign over it. His justice is impartial and his mercy may extend to anyone…whether we like it or not.

David LeventhalAug 2, 2020

In This Series (12)
Retold: Jesus Calms the Storm
David LeventhalAug 30, 2020
Retold: The Prodigal Son
David MarvinAug 23, 2020
Retold: The Beginning of the Church Part 2
Todd WagnerAug 16, 2020
Retold: The Beginning of the Church
Todd WagnerAug 9, 2020
Retold: Jonah and the Whale
David LeventhalAug 2, 2020
Retold: Daniel and the Lions' Den
Todd WagnerJul 26, 2020
Retold: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
David PenuelJul 19, 2020
Retold: David and Goliath
Tyler BriggsJul 12, 2020
Retold: The Ten Commandments
Tyler BriggsJul 5, 2020
Retold: Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
Blake HolmesJun 28, 2020
Retold: Ruth and Naomi
David MarvinJun 21, 2020Dallas
Retold: The Good Samaritan
Todd WagnerJun 14, 2020

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Is there anything that God is calling you to do or confess right now that’s making you want to turn and run?
  • Who do you not want the mercy of God to apply to? Who do you think deserves justice instead of mercy? Could God be calling you to take the good new of Jesus to even your worst enemies?

Summary

Have you heard of Jonah and the whale? What if I told you this story had very little to do with fish? As we continue our series, Retold, David Leventhal teaches through the book of Jonah, showing us that God is the creator of the earth and is sovereign over it. His justice is impartial and his mercy may extend to anyone…whether we like it or not.

Key Takeaways

  • Jonah is not the hero of this story. He’s actually the antagonist!
  • The LORD God is the creator of the earth & He is sovereign over it. His justice is impartial & His mercy may extend to anyone…whether we like it or not.
  • Salvation, and all that it implies, belongs to the Lord (Jonah 2:9).
  • Disobedience always takes you in the wrong direction.
  • When reading the Bible, pay attention to repeated words.
  • In disobeying God, Jonah is moving himself into the world of chaos, evil, and death. This would have been intuitive in the mind of a Hebrew at this time.
  • When Jesus calms the sea, he demonstrates his power over chaos, evil, and death.
  • Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.
  • When we obey, we say we trust the one giving the instruction. Obedience is a sign you know and trust God.
  • Repentance is always an option…for now.
  • For hundreds and hundreds of years, the Assyrian people in Nineveh have shown zero interest in the God of Israel. But, when Jonah calls them to repentance, they immediately repent of their wickedness and turn to God (Jonah 3:5).
  • Be assured of this—Jesus is coming back to deal with evil once and for all. He has not come yet—which means the door to the ark is still open—but it will not always be so.
  • You have the option of repenting today, but you are not promised tomorrow.
  • Arrogance & pride always leads to a “mercy for me; justice for you” attitude.
  • It’s not that Jonah is opposed to divine mercy or forgiveness…but he takes issue with who God grants it to. He was more than welcome to accept God’s mercy when he was in the belly of a fish.
  • Jonah teaches us to go to the person we hate the most, and be gracious and merciful with them.
  • Calling someone to repentance does not absolve them of consequences. It is saying, “I want you to be made right with God.”
  • If we are brutally honest, we don’t want mercy for our enemies. We just want justice.
  • God LOVES humanity…all humanity—even the rebellious prophet kind—and He wants them to come to know him.
  • Jonah had lost sight of the God’s calling to the Covenant people. From the very inception of the nation of Israel, God’s plan was that they would be a blessing to all nations.
  • We love mercy when it’s extended to us…or to people we like. But we can get sideways when mercy is given to those we hate.
  • God pitied Nineveh, but destroyed the plant. Jonah, on the other hand, pitied the plant, but demanded the destruction of Nineveh.
  • The church should be a place where Ninevites, prodigal sons, and tax collectors are welcome. Where they can come and hear about the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 145:8).
  • Like Jonah, Jesus also spent three days in a “tomb." But unlike Jonah, Jesus was pleased to see God’s mercy extended to you. He lived a perfect life and was unjustly put to death on a cross. And through his death and resurrection, he is able to be your substitute. The death you deserve can be credited to him—if you’ll come by faith.

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