From the series "The Major Message of the Minor Prophets"
Sermon from Pastor Sam Medeiros | Worship leader: Tawnya Hons
Passage: Jonah 1:1 - 4:11
The prophet Jonah lived in the Galilean city of Gath-hepher (about four miles north of Nazareth) during the reign of Jeroboam II (793-753 B.C.), king of Israel (cf. 2 Kgs. 14:25). Jeroboam II was northern Israel’s most powerful king, and during his administration, the borders of the nation were expanded to their greatest extent since the time of David and Solomon.
Assyria, however, five hundred miles to the east, was a constant threat. The fact of the matter is, due to Israel’s progressive rebellion, the prophets Hosea and Amos, contemporaries of Jonah, had declared that Jehovah would use Assyria as an instrument of punishment against his people (cf. Hos. 11:5; Amos 5:27). Any patriotic Israelite would have longed for Assyria’s destruction!
Just try to imagine the frustration that must have filled Jonah’s heart when he received the Lord’s word instructing him to proceed to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, with a divine message.
The story of Jonah is a story of extremes. Everything here is extreme. Jonah's response is extreme. God's correction is extreme. God's love is extreme. The intensity of this teaching is extreme.
There are several important truths in this book. The first truth is that God is sovereign controlling all things. The second truth is that God uses people to communicate His message. The final truth and the purpose of the book is to communicate that our God loves His creation. He wanted the Ninevites to be saved.
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