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Jonah the runaway prophet

Jonah
Jonah does not want the Assyrians in Nineveh to have the opportunity to repent.
Contributed by SIKU – Edge Group
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Jonah was a prophet of God to the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He did not mind telling his own people to repent but when God told him to preach to the Assyrians in the city of Nineveh he did not want to go. The Assyrians were a growing military threat to the people of Israel. Jonah wanted God to judge and destroy them, not give them a chance to repent. – Slide 1
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So the disobedient prophet decided to run away from all his responsibilities. He headed off for the port of Joppa. – Slide 2
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He boarded a foreign ship heading for the faraway trading post of Tarshish. – Slide 3
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But not long after setting sail, God sent a terrible storm which tossed the ship around in heavy waves and threatened to break it into pieces. – Slide 4
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All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. They desperately threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. – Slide 5
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In fear they cast lots to find out who on board was responsible for this calamity. Jonah’s name was drawn. ‘What have you done?’ they asked him. Jonah confessed he was running away from the Lord. – Slide 6
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‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea and it will become calm,’ Jonah said. ‘It’s my fault that this great storm has happened.’ <br/>After pleading with God not to hold them guilty for killing an innocent man, they threw Jonah over the side of the ship. – Slide 7
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Immediately, the raging sea grew calm. The heathen sailors on board offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to Him. – Slide 8
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Jonah sank in the dark waters. But God had not finished with His disobedient prophet. He had prepared a great fish for a special mission. – Slide 9
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The great fish swallowed Jonah and the prophet was kept alive for three days and nights in the specially made belly of the fish. – Slide 10
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A distressed Jonah prayed to God promising to sacrifice to God and declare, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ – Slide 11
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The Lord then commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land. God repeated His instruction to Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach that the wicked people there must repent and turn to God. This time Jonah obeyed. – Slide 12
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For three days Jonah moved around the city declaring, ‘In 40 days God is going to destroy this city.’ <br/>The people of Nineveh believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and everyone, including the King, put on sackcloth. The King ordered everyone to call urgently on God and give up their evil ways and their violence. <br/>‘Who knows?’ said the King, ‘God may show compassion and turn from His fierce anger so that we will not perish.’ – Slide 13
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When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He did not bring on them the destruction He had threatened. Jonah was mad with rage. He really wanted God to destroy these enemies of the Israelites. – Slide 14
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Sulking, he went to a place east of the city and waited to see what would happen. As he waited in the hot sun God provided a leafy plant for him so he could sit in the shade. – Slide 15
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But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. Jonah grew hot and bothered under the hot sun. He was so angry he wished he was dead. <br/>God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’ – Slide 16
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‘It is,’ Jonah fumed. ‘And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.’ <br/>God spoke, ‘You are concerned about this plant, although you did not plant it or make it grow. What about the people of Nineveh? As their Creator, should I not have concern for the 120,000 people inside the city who don’t know right from wrong?’ <br/>Jonah did not know what to say. God had the last word. – Slide 17
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