He could not understand such forgiveness and
compassion and love!
Then I thought of another Bible character who
misunderstood the concept of grace! He is mentioned in the
parable of Matthew 18:23-35. He is usually called "the
unmerciful servant." He was forgiven a huge debt by his Lord
... but could not bring himself to dismiss a small debt a fellow
servant owed him!
Matthew 20 presents us another such picture!
The "laborers in the vineyard" had worked 12 hours and been
given a full day's wages! BUT when the Householder paid those
laborers who had only worked a hour or two ... he gave them also
a full day's wages! This ultra act of kindness upset the
full-day workers! They got aggravated over the goodness of
And then ... there's old Jonah! Perhaps he's
the ultimate example! He was so disturbed over God's grace
exhibited to the people of Nineveh that he actually wanted to
die! (Perhaps Jonah understood the goodness of God here ... but
just disagreed with God's decision in the matter!)
After all, we are recipients of it daily
(make that hourly ... or even constantly), aren't we?
Paul used an expression in Ephesians 1:6 that
exactly describes what I mean. He said (as a result of our
salvation) we should live
"To the praise of the glory of His grace!"
Praise God for His Goodness ... Grace ...
Mercy ... and Love!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Of all the Books of the Bible, Jonah just may
be the most doubted! Few "liberals" any longer believe in
the historical accuracy of Jonah and his life.
It is mocked by the devil and his crowd more
than ever I believe.
I just read a book in which the author tried
to argue that it really doesn't matter if Jonah really lived or
not. That ... fact or fiction ... the message is the same!
(Of course one can understand why the devil
fights it so! It is said to be a picture of the death,
burial and resurrection of Jesus! That alone makes Satan hate it!)
Then I thought ... let's ask the Expert!
But let's see what
Jesus says about
"But he answered and
said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after
a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of
the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights
in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and
three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall
rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:
because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a
greater than Jonas is here." Matthew 12:39-41
(Sounds to me like Jesus accepted Jonah as a man of history! The
Lord had no trouble with the account of the great fish either!)
Furthermore, see Matthew 16:4 ---
"A wicked and adulterous generation
seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it,
but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and
Even Doctor Luke records this:
"And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to
say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there
shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the
Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the south
shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation,
and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the
earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than
Solomon is here. The men of Nineve shall rise up in
the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for
they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater
than Jonas is here." Luke 11:29-32
If Jesus accepted Jonah and the events of his
life as facts of history ... so do I!
Let's never be ashamed to take the same
position Jesus did on any issue!
I think we'll just keep studying Jonah!
(A little Book with a big message!)
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 9:
We only meet Jonah one other time in
Scripture. In 2 Kings 14:25-26 we are told:
"He (King Jeroboam II of Israel) restored
the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of
the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel,
which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of
Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher. For
the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very
bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor
any helper for Israel."
In this text God (speaking through Jonah)
tells a rather wicked King (Jeroboam) that He is going to bless
Israel with land expansion because of their terrible suffering.
It is purely a case of God's Grace being displayed!
And is not the Book of Jonah the very same
A wicked King and civilization (the Assyrians
whose capital was at Nineveh) were very wicked too. Yet
God's Grace moved upon them ... and repentance was granted them
... and God blessed them with further national life!
There is a direct parallel between these two
appearances of Jonah in Scripture!
And God blessing!
Perhaps this is a truth Jonah did not see at
Maybe Paul expresses it best of all:
"But where sin abounded, grace did much
Glory to God!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 10:
I've been wondering about the "focus" of this
little Minor Prophet of Jonah. (It only has 4 chapters --- 48
Most would say the subject is the city of
Nineveh. The wickedness of the people there! (And indeed history
reveals that they were exceedingly ungodly!)
BUT, surprisingly, the Book of Jonah says
MORE about the sins of Jonah than it does about the sins of
Jonah is disobedient. He runs from God's
call! Jonah is deceptive. He is not at first honest with the
sailors on the boat! Jonah is suicidal at times too! Then he
obviously has an old bad attitude a great deal of the time! Plus
He disagrees with God's very Will about the Assyrians ... and
lets God know so! He is stubborn and rebellious.
Yes, much more about Jonah is presented than
BUT I have come to believe that the focus
goes even further than a wicked city or a disobedient prophet!
I see the real Subject
of this Book as the LORD Himself!
The Saviour of both Nineveh and Jonah is One
and the Same Person, the Lord God Almighty!
Listen to the Book as it declares:
"Salvation is of the LORD." (Jonah
Or ... listen to Jonah describe God's Nature:
"And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I
pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my
country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that
thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of
great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil." (Jonah
All the way through the account God is
patient and kind and longsuffering! He is just as Peter says in
the New Testament: "The God of all grace!"
(1 Peter 5:10)
I rest my case!
Read Jonah again today. Not to see the
Assyrian Ninevites ... or even the ever so human prophet ... but
the God Who gave His only begotten Son that sinners may be
Praise His Good Name!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 11:
Jonah wanted to flee to Tarshish!
Of course he never got there!
The name of that city means (in Hebrew)
"yellow jasper." No doubt this is a term used in the
financial world of Jonah's day.
It's first found in Scripture in Genesis 10:4
then secondly in 1 Chronicles 1:7. Both times it is
listing the second son of Javan, the fourth son of Jephthah (son
of Noah). It is reasonable then to believe that "Tarshish" is a
location with European ties. (That's where the sons of Japheth
seemed to settle.)
It is thought that Tarshish may be at the
southern tip of Spain. (Other ideas are suggested ... but
the fundamental consensus is there on the Iberian Peninsula.)
The point is this: Jonah was trying to
get as far away from Nineveh as he could!
God said go east. Jonah went west!
God said walk (the only way to go to
Nineveh)! Jonah said I'll sail!
God wanted Jonah to do UP to Nineveh.
Jonah went DOWN into the ship and DOWN into the sea instead!
Running from God!
By the way, in the Bible "Tarshish" is often
linked with business and money and trade!
2 Chronicles 9:21 ---
"For the king's ships (Solomon's) went to
Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came
the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and
apes, and peacocks."
Jeremiah 10:9 ---
"Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold
from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the
founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are
all the work of cunning men."
Ezekiel 27:12 ---
"Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of
all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead,
they traded in thy fairs."
Therefore Tarshish could represent a love of
money and possessions!
That has misled many a preacher who was
supposed to be going to his Nineveh!
BUT wherever Tarshish is ... it is the place
where God did NOT want his prophet!
It's the place outside the will of God!
How about you, dear Christian friend?
Where are you headed today?
Toward God's will or away from it?
The "safest" place on earth for a Believer is
in the direct center of God's will ... wherever that may be!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 12:
I was studying Jonah as I came across these
The Bible teacher was discussing Jonah's
running from God.
Adam and Eve hid from God!
Cain went out from the Presence of the
He literally set his "compass" 270 degrees
(due west) when God had told him to go in the very opposite
Then the teacher said this: When God saves
us He expects us to "set the inner compass
of our lives toward Jesus!"
That "hit" me powerfully!
IF my compass is set toward the Lord ...
that's where I'll be going for sure!
Sometimes when I fly I take my little cheap
(Wal-Mart) compass with me. Occasionally if the flight isn't
full and I'm sitting near the stewardess ... I'll ask her to
phone the cockpit and see if my compass is in "sync" with
theirs! Almost always I can tell THEM what heading we're
You see, the heading we fly determines the
destination we reach!
How about you dear friend?
Is your compass "set?"
I mean ... is it set toward JESUS?
"Looking unto Jesus the author and
finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:2
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek
those things which are above!" Colossians 3:1
Focus on the Saviour!
That way ... you can't go wrong!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 13:
Notice with me how God usually handles a
"city" in the Word of God! It only comes into view as it
affects the lives of his people!
For example, in John 11:1 we see the story of
Bethany, a "suburb" of Jerusalem: "Now a
certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of
Bethany, the town
of Mary and her sister Martha."
It's the same kind of situation when we get
to the Bible city of Joppa too!
It is first seen in Scripture in Joshua 19:46
--- "And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the
border before Japho." (Japho in the King James Bible is
translated Joppa 3 times.) It means "beautiful!" Here it's only
mentioned because it is being given by the Lord to the Tribe of
Our first detailed experience with Joppa
however occurs in the Book of Jonah!
There a disobedient prophet runs from God!
He rebelliously purchases a ticket to sail WEST when God had
told him to walk east!
His sinfulness certainly blights the city
(Joppa) whose name means "beautiful!"
The next time we see Joppa in detail is in
the Book of Acts. It's mentioned 10 times there in the "Peter
and Cornelius" story!
There a prophet (really an apostle) is
vacationing in Joppa ... and gets a message from the Lord to go
to a GENTILE named Cornelius and tell him how to get saved!
Peter, unlike Jonah, leaves his place and
goes to obey the Lord! Cornelius and his household do get
Look what God has done!
He has turned Joppa back into a spiritually
"beautiful" city again!
Thank God that the disobedient Jonah was not
the last preacher to go through Joppa!
Obedient Peter made things right!
Friend, where do YOU live?
Are you making it a lovelier place to your
Lord ... by your obedience to Him and reverence of His dear
If not ... join the "city beautification
Live for Jesus!
God will bless you for it!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 14:
There is considerable opinion today that
Jonah may have had a deeper motive behind his running from God!
Let me share that reasoning with you today.
In Jonah's day the Assyrians (whose capital
city was Nineveh) were violent warriors! They attacked
surrounding areas regularly and viciously!
The annals of history tell us that they were
cruel to their victims to an extreme!
They killed mercilessly! They skinned
some of their captives alive! They boiled others (alive)
in big pots of water or oil! They mutilated bodies and
raped women and slaughtered children and infants!
And their next target (or at least soon)
would be the state of Israel! The Jews! Jonah's people!
Now if God could destroy that wicked crowd at
Nineveh ... Israel and Judah would be much safer!
Can you begin to see WHY Jonah may have not
wanted revival to fall on the Ninevites?
These fierce warriors may have already begun
their raids into some Jewish outposts! To do anything to stall
God's wrath on one's enemies would be stupid, wouldn't it?
That may be the dilemma Jonah faced!
He apparently decided he would rather
die ... than have his people (the Jews) die!
And ... by the way ... Jonah was right in his
fears! In 721 BC the nation of Israel fell into Assyrian
hands and was carried away captive!
Paul felt such nationalism too! His
burden was so great that he even said:
"For I could wish that myself were
accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen (the
Jews) according to the flesh!"
BUT there comes a time when a Christian must
subordinate his love of country for His obedience to God!
Perhaps that's what Jonah would not do!
Our great God demands first place in our
lives ... and He deserves it too!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 15:
The baseball "all-star" game was held last
night in Houston, Texas. In any such event the "pitchers"
are of paramount importance. Sometimes announcers call
those men on the mound ... "hurlers!"
That's the exact verb being used of God
Himself in today's Jonah verse! Have you ever thought of
our Lord as a "Hurler?" A "Pitcher?"
Jonah 1:4 says:
"But 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." I
have capitalized the verb in our focus. It translates a
Hebrew verb: "tul." It means to hurl or to cast or
to throw or even to send out!" It's a Hiphil perfect verb
... suggesting that the action has a CAUSE behind it (Jonah's
rebellion and disobedience) and that God is now through hurling
those winds (completed action)! I do believe God controls the
Then I noticed something exciting. God
"hurled" (same verb = "tul") several other things in Scripture
In fact even in the Book of Jonah ... because
God HURLED the wind (storm) ... the sailors HURLED the ship's
cargo into the roaring sea! Jonah 1:5 ---
"Then 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."
But that's not the only "HURLING" in Jonah.
No! No! Next comes the Prophet himself! In
Jonah 1:12 the once sleeping preacher finally said:
"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." And
they did! Jonah 1:15 --- "So they
took up Jonah, and cast
him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her
But there are other times when GOD did
some hurling too!
God HURLED Judah out of her land because of
her backslidings! In Jeremiah 16:13 we are told:
"Therefore will I (the Lord God)
cast you out of
this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor
your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night;
where I will not shew you favour." What a HURLER!
And God plans to HURL some wicked nations
also! He is speaking specifically of Egypt in Ezekiel 32:4
--- "Then will I leave thee upon the land,
I will cast thee forth
upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven
to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of the whole
earth with thee."
BUT thankfully, I have also found a time when
God refuses to allow His children to be HURLED away! The
Psalmist, quoting the Lord, says: "The
steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he
delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not
be utterly cast down
(our verb: "tul"):
for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand."
God knows how to HURL ... and He knows how to
Praise His Name!
Let me end today with a particularly New
Testament truth! Jesus says: "And
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My
Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no
man is able to pluck them out of my Father's
hand." (John 10:28-29) Praise God ... no
HURLING is mentioned here. We are saved ... eternally.
Glory to His Name!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 16:
I've still been thinking about that "storm"
in Jonah chapter one!
The actual word used for the "storm" in Jonah
1:4 is "wind!" It's the Hebrew noun "ruach" and means wind
or breath or even spirit! God sent His Spirit into the sea
to teach Jonah a lesson! (The Holy Spirit of God can be a
Gentle Breeze or a Rushing Mighty Wind!)
My point is this: God spoke to Jonah
through a storm!
He did so often!
Think of Job!
"Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said ...."
Job 38:1 What lessons came from that storm!
The Hebrew noun for whirlwind is "saar" and means tempest or
storm as well as whirlwind!
Then remember Elijah. At his lowest
point, God said: "Go forth, and
stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD
passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and
brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD
was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake;
but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And
after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not
in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." 1
Even Jeremiah spoke of God's using the storm
to deal with the earth and its inhabitants!
"Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone
forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall
grievously upon the head of the wicked." Jeremiah
There was a violent storm at our home in
Cumming last night. We were all praying for God's safety
(even though I'm hundreds of miles away in Michigan)! I'll
assure you ... God was in THAT storm too!
Here's something strange. The word
storm is only used 14 times in the whole Bible! (Add 4 more
times for the adjective "stormy!")
If you don't believe God can be in the storm,
Psalm 107:25 --- "For
he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the
Psalm 148:8 ---
"Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his
Ezekiel 13:13 ---
"Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it
with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing
shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to
In Psalm 83:15 Asaph prays to God:
"So persecute them with thy tempest, and
make them afraid with thy storm."
And in Psalm 107:29 we see the Lord's power
over the weather: "He maketh the
storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still."
The Lord's storm can teach or it can punish!
Isaiah 29:6 --- "Thou shalt be visited of
the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great
noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire."
Read Nahum 1:3 ---
"The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at
all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind
and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
Friend, when you storm comes ... remember,
God is right in the middle of it! In fact He is riding it!
2 Samuel 22:11 ---
"And he (our great God) rode upon a
cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the
Psalm 18:10 --- "And he
rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings
of the wind."
And still speaking of the Lord, Psalm 104:3
says: "Who layeth the beams of his
chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who
walketh upon the wings of the wind."
This all sure puts Jonah's storm in better
perspective for me!
How about you?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 17:
In Jonah 1:9 the Prophet says to the
questioning sailors: "I am an
Hebrew; and I
fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and
the dry land."
Jonah specifically called himself a "Hebrew!"
Why did he say "Hebrew" instead of
"Israelite?" Or why did he not just call himself a
"Prophet of God?"
One teacher suggests that perhaps the term
Hebrew would have been better understood by the mariners.
Or by the early readers of Jonah's Prophecy.
However, there is surely a "spiritual" reason
Here's a "hint" maybe.
The first time the word is used in the Bible
(Genesis 14:13) Abraham is being described.
"And there came one that had escaped, and
told Abram the Hebrew;
for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of
Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate
Abraham, the Hebrew!
Now do remember: Abraham was a man who
lived a long way from the "Holy Land" in Ur, a heathen Chaldean
city. God told him to GO to some (yet) unnamed place ...
AND ABRAHAM OBEYED!
Could Jonah have had this Abraham the HEBREW
in mind when he gave his answer to these perplexed sailors?
Now ... here's another HEBREW, Jonah!
And he, like Abraham, heard the call of God to GO to a distant
land! But he, unlike Abraham did NOT go (at least did NOT
go at first)!
One Hebrew says YES! (The first one in
the Old Testament!) That's Abraham.
Another Hebrew says NO! (The last one
in the Old Testament!) That's Jonah.
And the only New Testament HEBREW I can find
is in Philippians 3:5 where Paul says of himself:
"Circumcised the eighth day, of the
stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an
Hebrew of the
Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee."
As if not to be defeated by stubborn
rebellion, God uses "inclusio" here and ends the Bible with
another OBEDIENT servant. Paul, the submissive HEBREW!
Here's the Bible "pattern:"
Friend, today into what category do you fall?
An OBEDIENT Christian (like Abraham and
Or a DISOBEDIENT one (like Jonah)?
By the way, the noun HEBREW means "one from
Glory to God!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 18:
I've learned an exciting NEW truth today
about the two "key" Names of God (Jehovah and Elohim)!
Again, notice with me Jonah 1:9 ---
"And he (Jonah) said unto them, I am
an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD,
of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land."
The Name LORD translates (as you know) the
word we call "Jehovah." It literally is 4 Hebrew letters (all
consonants) and is called the Tetragrammaton by Bible scholars.
It is spelled YHVH or YHWH. It quite surely contains the Hebrew
verb that simply means "to be" and would be translated "I AM!"
Now I have always taught and preached that
this Name speaks of God's eternal essence! He is always the
same! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! He never
BUT just recently I have learned an
additional truth! The Name highlights not just God's eternality
... but (maybe even more so) His Presence!
The Name could be said to mean "I
am present!" Therefore, Jehovah is the eternal I AM Who
is ALWAYS PRESENT with and for His people!
(Has always been present ... is present
... and always will be present!)
Then notice the Name "God" which translates "Elohim."
The main "issue" with this Name is that It is plural! Now it is
NOT an adopted term merged into Hebrew from some local heathen
tribal custom! This is what the liberals say! Neither is it an
indication of polytheism (many gods)! The God we serve is ONE
GOD! Then, again, WHY the plural Name Elohim?
I've always taught that personally it looks
like a "hint" toward the Trinity! The Father, Son and Holy
Spirit are the Godhead ... yet the Godhead is ONE!
But again, recently, I've learned this
additional truth! It had escaped me for 58 years! Elohim (as a
plural) is considered grammatically to be a
"plural of majesty!" In English we
add "s" to the end of a word to make it plural in number. That
means two or more. To do the same thing in Hebrew ... they add
the letter "m." Hence, Elohim! BUT in Hebrew there is
not only a plural of number ... BUT ALSO A
PLURAL OF MAJESTY! Therefore in Hebrew the "plural" (the
"m" ending) can add one of two things: an emphasis on number OR
an emphasis on QUALITY! And that
is exactly what we have right here! God (Elohim being plural)
is a God of great Quality and Majesty and
Additionally, YHVH (Jehovah) is the Name by
which He is primarily known to the Gentiles! And Elohim is the
Name by Which He is primarily known to the Jews! And look here
at old Jonah! He uses both Names! Is he learning something
about the great Nature of our God? Will he respond properly to
what he learns! Will he be willing to preach Jehovah Elohim
(the Lord God) both to the Jews and to the Gentiles? Only heaven
will reveal the fullness of that answer!
Wow! What can be gleaned from one little
verse in a Minor Prophet (when that Minor Prophet is inspired by
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 19:
What a series of questions!
And all in Jonah chapter 1!
The sailors are seeking information from the
Once on the ship heading (Jonah thought) away
from God ... and once the storm had "hit" ... the questions
What meanest thou, O
For whose cause is
this evil upon us?
What is thine
Whence comest thou?
What is thy country?
Of what people art
Why hast thou done
What shall we do
The building intensity of the questions seems
to match the growing velocity of the storm!
Here's a man of God ... even when disobedient
to his Lord ... still magnetically drawing questions from those
It is ever so!
If you belong to God ... and let it be known
... you WILL draw the curiosity and interest and questions from
the men and women of this world!
By the way, if there are NO questions ...
there may be no difference between you and the world in which
you live! You just plainly may be too much like them to evoke
I believe Simon Peter also anticipated this
"question drawing" quality of the truly Christian life!
For he said: "But
sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always
to give an answer
to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is
in you with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:16)
Did you see the words
"to every man that asketh you" in that verse?
If one is living right ... he will be like
"salt!" And real salt creates thirst!
(Of course a storm thrown in every now and
then helps to "peak" the questions ... but the Lord can handle
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 20:
I've come across an interesting little "verb"
here in Jonah. It is used several times. (Four to be
exact.) In our King James Bibles it is translated as
Here it is in chapter two.
"Now 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 1:17
It seems to me that God quite easily "prepared" this huge fish.
It's no problem for the Lord to make a great sea creature.
And, as far as I can tell, that giant animal obeyed God
Next see Jonah 4:6 ---
"And the LORD God
prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over
Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him
from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd."
Just some fresh vegetation to help comfort a
grumbling preacher! Even this is a miracle! For that
big plant to grow so quickly and in such a convenient place is a
work of the Lord! Notice please there there's no implied
difficulty in God so creating such an unusual plant! It
nearly sounds like a tree!
Then Jonah 4:7 tells us:
prepared a worm
when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that
it withered." And God's little prepared worm obeyed
Him completely as well!
Are you counting?
The Lord just seems to have no trouble
Even in Jonah 4:8 ---
"And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God
vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah,
that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It
is better for me to die than to live." God
controls the wind! He prepared its velocity and direction
and consequences! (And, as again and again in the life of
Jesus, the wind "obeyed!")
Here's my point today. Four times in
Jonah God prepared things apparently effortlessly! (Fish,
gourd, worm and wind!)
BUT when it came to
preparing a preacher ... that was a different situation!
It took time and effort and compassion and
(what else) to even partly get old Jonah ready to obey the Lord!
In fact, the book ends with God still trying
to fully prepare this Prophet's heart
These old ways of ours can be stubborn!
And, what a shame it is!
We should yield ourselves to Him as easily as
did the fish or the wind!
Let God prepare you today, dear friend!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 21:
Jonah's "Psalm" in chapter 2 is interesting!
In it he describes his ordeal with the great
fish! He tells us about being thrown overboard! He describes
going under water! He even relates how seaweeds wrapped
themselves around his head as he sank! He went so low that he
was entangled in the "mountains" below the ocean surface! He
felt as if he was in "prison" there!
He describes his lowest point like this:
"Out of the belly of hell cried I!"
Later he added "Thou
(God) hast brought up my life from corruption!" (Jonah
These words of Jonah have led some scholars
to believe that Jonah actually died ... and God raised him from
the dead to go preach to Nineveh! The word "hell" in verse 2 is
"sheol," which is translated "grave" 31 times in our King James
Bible! (And "hell" 31 times and "pit" 3 times!) Others just
believe that Jonah was as far down as he could go .. before he
cried out to God for help!
Either way ... this truth remains the same:
Jonah found God real to his soul when at
the lowest point of all his life!
This could be said of many in Scripture!
Ask Naaman the leper!
Or Bartimaeus the blind man!
Or Lazarus the dead man!
Ask Mary Magdalene the demon possessed woman!
Or Onesimus the runaway slave!
Jonah proves the point made by David in Psalm
139:7-10. "Whither shall I go from thy
spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend
up into heaven, thou art there:
if I make my bed in
hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings
of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the
sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand
shall hold me."
In such bad shape, Jonah found God real in
his life! Listen again to the prophet:
"I cried, and Thou heardest my voice!" (Jonah 2:2) He
then adds "O Lord my God!" (Jonah
2:6) Plus his great declaration:
"Salvation is of the Lord!" (Jonah 2:9)
Here's what I'm thinking: if God was with
Jonah at his lowest moment ... might He not also be with us at
our lowest point?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
"He hath said, I will
never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5
"And, lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Even after the rapture it will be true:
"Then we which are alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to
meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1
What a faithful Saviour we have!
Praise His dear Name today!
It's an hour later
now. I had thought this study was complete. But as I shaved
for the day, God added to it!
Jonah's "great fish"
experience can be diagramed like this ... U. It's in the shape
of a "U." He started above board on ship. He went down ... way
down ... to the very bottom ... got right with God and started
upward ... rapidly upward ... all the way back to the surface of
earth and then on to Nineveh! (That's the shape of a U again!)
Up ... down ... then back up!
He found the Lord ...
or really the Lord found him ... at the very bottom!
Then I wondered, WHY is
God so good at finding folks at the very bottom, the very dregs
of humanity ... the chiefest of sinners?
Then it "hit" me!
I know Someone Else who
experienced such a "U" situation. You can read about Him in
Philippians 2! He began in Heaven! Equal with God! He came
down to earth then down to into slavery (servanthood) then down
to death ... even the death of the Cross (the very lowest one
can go)!!! But that is not the end of the Story! He then went
up! Up out of the grave ... up to a mountain Top (Olivet) ...
then ascended up to heaven! Then up to the Father's Right
Hand! Then exalted up to a Name that's above every name! (I
hope you can see the "U" shape here!)
Jesus is so good at
helping us low-down sinners because He came down ... all the way
down ... to an Old Rugged Cross to die for our sins! Glory to
And we too shall some
day be exalted with Him, completing the upper end of our final
It seems God is making
us like Him in many ways! We truly are being "conformed into
His Image!" Romans 8:29
And dear friend, this
just MAY BE the central message of the whole Book of Jonah! (Or
maybe the whole Bible!)
Praise the dear Lord!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 22:
Another "key" verse in Jonah is found at
(Jonah) 2:9 where the Prophet says: "But
I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I
will pay that that I have vowed.
Salvation is of the
Jonah has been safely "rescued" from the
belly of the great fish ... and he knows the Source of his
deliverance! The Lord Himself! Thus he breaks out into praise!
"Salvation (deliverance) is of the Lord!"
Now that word "salvation" is captivating! In
Hebrew it is spelled: "yeshuah" and is pronounced "yesh-oo'-ah."
It means victory or deliverance or salvation or welfare or even
Its Bible uses range from a "whale" escape
here to being redeemed from hell itself!
BUT here is an interesting fact.
Not only is "yeshuah" a common noun ... it is
the basis for several Bible names too!
For example: Joshua, Hosea and Isaiah all
are derived from "yeshua!"
All have meanings that deal with the issue of
Joshua means "Jehovah is salvation!"
Hosea simply means just that: "Salvation!"
And Isaiah means "Jehovah has saved!"
Joshua, the warrior!
Hosea the husband!
And Isaiah the preacher!
OH! I'M FORGETTING SOMETHING!
There's one more Bible Name that means
"salvation!" He is most often met in the New Testament!
It is JESUS!
His Name is also built on that Hebrew
foundation ... salvation!
To say JESUS SAVES is a bit redundant! (It's
Jesus means "saves!"
Let's put all these names together!
Let's "synthesize" them!
Joshua, the warrior! (But it is Jesus THE
Hosea the husband! (But it is Jesus THE
And Isaiah the preacher! (But is is Jesus
Then ... most of all ... it is Jesus THE
SAVIOUR! (The ONLY SAVIOUR!)
Truly, Jonah was right!
"Salvation is of the Lord!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 23:
The word is rather unpleasant. But it's in
Jonah 2:10 says: "And
the LORD spake unto the fish, and it
vomited out Jonah
upon the dry land."
The verb "vomit" is only used sparingly in
Scripture. (No more than about 10 or 11 times!)
Here's a quick overview.
The wicked rich man, who has spend his life
gorging on "riches," will some day vomit them back up! Job
20:15 --- "He hath swallowed down riches,
and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his
To those who overeat this warning is posted!
Proverbs 25:16 --- "Hast thou found honey?
eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled
therewith, and vomit it."
And several times one finds the terrible
association between a drunk man and his own vomit. For example,
Jeremiah 48:26 --- "Make ye him drunken:
for he magnified himself against the LORD: Moab also
shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision."
Even a land can get so "sick" of its wicked
inhabitants that it "vomits" them out! Look at God work in
Leviticus 18:25 --- "And the land is
defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and
the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants."
Even the New Testament gets involved! Peter,
when talking about those false prophets who have departed from
the faith and returned to the garbage of the world says:
"But it is happened unto them according
to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit
again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the
mire." 2 Peter 2:22 (The proverb he's quoting is in
BUT, amazingly the most startling instance of
"vomit" in the whole Bible is in Revelation 3:16! Our Lord is
talking to the Laodiceans. "So then
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue
thee out of my mouth." Yes, "spue" means vomit! God
gets sick! God vomits!
What a range of meaning!
From a great fist to THE GREAT GOD!
Friend, today I hope you're feeling well.
BUT MORE THAN THAT ... let each of us be
careful not to make God sick! Godly living thrills our Lord!
One more example: If God's people live in
their land and obey His commands ... "Ye
shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and
that the land, whither I bring you to
dwell therein, spue you not out." Leviticus 20:22
What an amazing incentive to live for God!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 24:
After the experience in the belly of the
great fish and after being "vomited" up on dry land, Jonah again
heard the voice of God! "And the word of
the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go
unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching
that I bid thee." (Jonah 3:1-2)
Quickly we are told that
"Jonah arose, and
unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was
an exceeding great city of three days' journey." (Jonah
I have enlarged and capitalized the verb
"went" for you!
It's a translation of the Hebrew word "yalak"
and means "to walk" (122 times in the King James Version)!
Jonah walked hundreds of miles to Nineveh!
Notice there's no mention here of a chariot
or a bus or a plane ride! In those days folks walked for long
distances regularly! But preacher, what did he do during those
long days of hiking? He was still "in school!" Much as Paul
was those 3 years in Arabia! (Galatians 1:17 ---
"Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them
which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and
returned again unto Damascus.") Or like Moses was those
40 years in the desert! Graduation exercises were held at the
Burning Bush Theological Seminary! GOD was teaching his
How do you folks think Jesus traveled? As
far as I can tell from Scripture He apparently WALKED everywhere
he went but once! (Then He rode a little colt!) The walking
Saviour! (He came to me one glorious day!)
A 900 mile walk for Jonah! (Then three more
days through Nineveh preaching God's Word!
"Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city
of three days' journey." Jonah 3:3)
How are you Christians at walking?
You'd better be pretty good!
Listen to the Scriptures:
Genesis 5:24 --- "And
Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
Genesis 6:9 --- "These
are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and
perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."
Psalm 26:3 ---
"For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have
walked in thy truth." (Compare this to 3rd John 4 ---
"I have no greater joy than to hear that
my children walk in truth.")
Romans 8:1 ---
"There is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not
after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans 13:13 --- "Let
us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness,
not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."
2 Corinthians 5:7 ---
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
Ephesians 4:1 --- "I
therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk
worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."
Ephesians 5:2 --- "And
walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given
himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a
Ephesians 5:15 --- "See
then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise."
Colossians 1:10 ---
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being
fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of
1 John 1:7 --- "But if
we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship
one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 2:6 --- "He that
saith he abideth in Him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk,
even as He walked."
There is even coming a day (our last day on
earth) when we shall also say: "Yea,
though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff
they comfort me." Psalm 23:4
And the thing what we'll be doing for all
eternity? Revelation 3:4 tells us: "Thou
hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their
garments; and they shall
walk with me in white: for they are worthy."
Forever walking with Him!
Old Jonah set a pretty good precedent, didn't
Walking (with God) to a city!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 25:
Today let's look at Jonah the preacher!
We have what is the essence of his great
sermon to Nineveh!
Jonah 3:4 gives it to us word for word:
"And Jonah began to enter into the city a
day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and
Nineveh shall be
That's just eight words in English!
(It's just five words in Hebrew!)
I am absolutely sure Jonah believed he was
preaching a message of judgment and doom to these wicked
So sure that even after they repented he
thought God might destroy them anyway! (Or at least he hoped
so!) That's exactly why he went outside the city in Jonah
chapter 4 and waited around ... for some "fire" to fall!
Finally, Jonah's (and Israel's) enemies were
going to be judged of God!
BUT ... Jonah's message contained more than
he realized. He preaching was "beyond" his own
See that little word
"overthrown" in Jonah's sermon? Read Jonah 3:4
again: "And Jonah began to enter
into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty
days, and Nineveh shall be
Well, that little verb has more than one
It is in Hebrew "haphak" and only secondarily
does it mean "overthrown!" Of its 94 times in the King
James Bible, only 13 times is it translated "overthrown!"
Get this: 57 times it is translated just "turned!"
God knew what Nineveh was going to do.
He knew repentance was in the air! The word he has Jonah
use means to "turn" (exact what repentance is)!
Jonah said more than he realized!
(Perhaps many of the Old Testament Prophets
did this! I'll guarantee you preachers something.
The Word of God we preach is so deep and so vast and so
wonderful that much of what we preach is beyond us! We
never fully fathom the sublime truths we handle! The Bible
is a living Book! It is the very Word of God!)
Jonah thought "OVERTHROWN!"
God thought "TURNED!"
God (really, the Grace of God) won!
God was again Conqueror! (Really more
than Conqueror! Romans 8:37!)
By the way, once in the Old Testament that
verb for "overthrown" is translated "converted!" (Isaiah
If old Jonah had only possessed a good Hebrew
lexicon! Of course necessity would have required it to be
"portable!" It could have saved the amazing old preacher a
lot of grief!
Next time you read the Bible ... remember
that it may be saying a lot more than you're hearing at the
moment! It's just like David in Psalm 119:96 says:
"I have seen an end of all
thy commandment (Word) is exceeding broad."
Broad here means large, wide, vast!
What a Book is the Bible!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 26:
The Bible teacher said this: "The very
CENTER of the book of Jonah (at least theologically) is chapter
3, verse 5: "So the people of Nineveh
believed God, and
proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of
them even to the least of them."
"SO THE PEOPLE
OF NINEVEH BELIEVED GOD!"
In Jonah (only 48 verses) e-verything before
this verse leads up to the salvation of these wicked Assyrians.
And everything after this verse flows from
the salvation of the Assyrians!
(Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria in
BUT isn't that true of
the whole Bible?
Everything in the Bible before the CROSS
leads up to that grand event of history!
And everything after the CROSS flows from the
victory won there!
And the CROSS makes possible our belief!
The CROSS is God's means of our salvation!
Thank God for the repentance of Nineveh
(central to Jonah)!
Thank God for the Cross of Calvary (central
to the Bible)!
By the way, that's true of each of our
individual lives also!
Everything before we got saved led up to that
Everything after it flows from what happened
at that epochal event!
Could hear an "AMEN" please?
Praise the Lord for "salvation!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 27:
A whole city repented!
I mean from the "King" right on down to the
Jonah 3:8 tells us that the King said to his
people: "But let man and beast be covered
with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn
every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is
in their hands."
Verse 10 further proclaims that they
"turned from their evil way."
Here is a genuine miracle!
Thousands of sinners were here repenting and
believing! (Jonah 2:5 says "they believed
Can anyone remember what goes on in heaven
when a sinner repents?
(Not to say what happens when thousands
Let's let Jesus tell us:
Luke 15:6 ---
"And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends
and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have
found my sheep which was lost."
Luke 15:7 --- "I say
unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner
that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons,
which need no repentance."
Luke 15:9 ---
"And when she hath found it, she calleth her
friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with
me; for I have found the piece which I had lost."
Luke 15:10 ---
"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the
angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
Luke 15:23 and 24 ---
"And bring hither the fatted calf, and
kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son
was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And
they began to be merry."
That ought to be enough proof!
Heaven rejoices when sinners repent!
BUT with Jonah it's a little different!
He DOES NOT rejoice when Nineveh repents!
He is angry!
Jonah 4:1 --- "But
it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry."
How "un-like" God this behavior really is!
It may be Jonah's lowest moment!
Thank the Lord we have a merciful Heavenly
Dear friends, across this big wide world
today there WILL be folks who truly get saved! That's for
sure! God's people are working everywhere. More than that ...
the Holy Spirit of God is still convicting sinners and drawing
them to Jesus!
In this we can rejoice!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 28:
The Passage is in Jeremiah ... but it applies
to Jonah as well!
Of course Jonah lived before Jeremiah and
would not have had access to this text.
In Jeremiah 18:7-8 the Lord says:
"At what instant I shall speak
concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and
to pull down, and to destroy it;
If that nation, against
whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of
the evil that I thought to do unto them."
What a promise of Grace!
Jonah did finally learn this truth about God!
(Or is this the truth about God from which Jonah was running?)
Listen to Jonah while he is all mad and upset
"And he (Jonah) prayed
unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not
this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled
before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious
God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and
repentest thee of the evil." Jonah 4:2
What did God do wrong at Nineveh?
He was simply being true to His great Nature!
He was keeping the promise He made in
God keeps His Word!
He is faithful!
He is unchanging!
And He is forgiving!
And we had all better say "Glory to God!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 29:
One Bible teacher quickly made this
statement. "There are similarities between Job and Jonah!"
That started my mind to thinking!
Both experienced great trials in their lives.
These trials came from God ... and the men knew so!
Both were puzzled at the ways of God!
Both had some pretty harsh things to say
Both spoke rather boldly to God!
BUT there is this difference!
Job got his problems resolved! He
repented! He worshipped!
We just don't know!
Think about it!
(Oh! What an amazing Book we study!)
Thank God for the Bible!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JONAH ... LESSON 30
On this last
day of July my heart is turned toward an old preacher named
and I have been studying him for two months now!
Let me quickly
share with you a few closing observations about the "Runaway
Prophet" and his 48 verse Book.
notice Jonah 4:3 --- "Therefore now, O
LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is
better for me to die than to live." This dear man of God
is again self-centered and suicidal! Remember Jonah 1:12.
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."
But this "depression" text is worded in a
fashion quite similar to an earlier passage of Scripture. We
are told in 1 Kings 19:4 a bit about Elijah, also at a low
moment in his ministry! "But he himself
went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down
under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might
die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for
I am not better than my fathers."
Two Prophets! Both discouraged! Both have
been running! And both want their earthly lives to end!
Furthermore, as far as we know, both their ministries are about
to be concluded.
But there the similarities cease!
Elijah is dejected because of persecution!
Jezebel has sworn to kill him!
Jonah's dejection is a result of unwanted
success! Of revival! Of multitudes believing God!
By the way, count the times "I" and "my" and
"me" occur in Jonah's speech of 4:2-3! Is he "self centered"
here or not? "And
unto the LORD, and said, I
pray thee, O LORD, was not this
was yet in my
country? Therefore I
fled before unto Tarshish: for I
knew that thou art a
gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great
kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O
LORD, take, I
my life from
for it is better for me
to die than to live." I've
colored the personal pronouns red for you. (No wonder he was in
such bad shape!)
Jonah, get your eyes off yourself and on
And get this closing picture of Jonah too.
As chapter 4 opens, the King of Nineveh is sitting inside the
city in sackcloth and ashes, praying that the city will be
spared! "For word came unto the king of
Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from
him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes."
(Jonah 3:6) Meanwhile Jonah is sitting outside the city
sulking and bitter, hoping the city will be destroyed!
"So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on
the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat
under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of
the city." (Jonah 4:5) What a sad contrast!
And then there is the account of the little
"worm!" God had graciously grown a bush (tree) over Jonah's
head to shield him from the sun and improve his spirit. Then
... "God prepared a worm when the morning
rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered."
(Jonah 4:7) One writer said, "No early bird got this worm!" It
destroyed Jonah's gourd bush! Jonah is angry for the gourd's
destruction! (Presumably he's also mad at the worm!) And here's
the whole point! That noun for worm is "tola" and means
"crimson!" It is used of Jesus in Psalm 22:7! There He calls
Himself a "worm" ... as He dies on the Cross!
"But I am a worm, and no man; a
reproach of men, and despised of the people." Jonah's
frustration at the little crawling worm is a picture of his
frustration at the Worm/Lamb of God, the coming Saviour of the
world! Jonah is terribly upset at the salvation of multitudes
of sinners! And that's WHY Jesus came ... to save the lost via
His death on the Cross!
In Jonah's mind it was pleasant for HIM to
receive God's grace! (Deliverance from a great fish! Safety on
a 900 mile trip to Nineveh! A gourd tree for shade! Communion
with God! Being part of God's "chosen" people!) BUT it was NOT
pleasant for God's grace to be extended to such people as those
vile Assyrians, the Ninevites! Jonah liked a "selective" grace
of God, didn't he? (As long as he could be the selector!) He
needed to learn that the grace of God cannot be harnessed or
controlled! No one tells God Almighty what to do!
Also Jonah would have loved to sit outside
the city and care for a new plant/tree that shaded his head! He
would have taken up horticulture in a minute! BUT he had no
concern for the thousands of "newly-planted" little believers
inside that city! They needed some care too! But, first things
first! (I'd call that a case of "misplaced values" for sure!
We often have them too, folks!)
Lastly, watch what God was doing with Nineveh
and Assyria. This great revival occurred around 860 BC. God
spared this nation. And in 721 BC it (Nineveh ... the Assyrian
Empire) took Israel captive and dispersed the 10 tribes
throughout their territory! God spared Nineveh ... then used
them to scourge His own rebellious unrepentant people! Wonder
of wonders! Maybe old Jonah knew this was coming! After all, he
was a Prophet! What an example of God's great Hand of
providence! HE is in control! In Psalm 75:6-7 we read:
"For promotion cometh neither from
the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is
the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Glory to His Name!
Someone let me know today if these little
"glimpses" of Jonah have been a source of help. All we're doing
here is studying our Bibles together!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell