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The prophet and the pagans

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Explore God's Word Daily

Jonah boardes this ship to get as far away as possible from telling pagans about God. But now he finds himself...telling pagans about God! And God's prophet and the sailors both end up in places they could never have predicted as they cast off from the harbor in Joppa...

A surprising example

Read Jonah 1 v 11-13

  • - What's happening to the storm?
  • - Remember, Jonah looks down on people outside Israel, and doesn't want to help them. Given this, what is surprising about the pagan sailor's treatment of Jonah in verse 13?

 

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TIME OUT

Are the areas of your life in which your behavior isn't measuring up to the standard of those around who don't know Jesus?

If there are, how do you need to change?

 

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A surprising transformation

Read verses 14-16

  • - What do the sailors do in verse 14, before throwing Jonah overboard in v 15?
  • - How has their view of the LORD changed since verse 5?
  • - What do they do in verse 16, and why?

Two remarkable things have happened. First, the sailors have turned from pagans who feared nature and cried to made-up gods (v 5), to those who now have a right respect for and awe of ("greatly feared") the Creator God, who has saved them from the storm (v 16).

And second, they call God the name by which He revealed Himself to His people. Knowing someone's name is a sign of relationship between them--these sailors apper to know the LORD. The sacrifice is a way of saying: "Thank You for saving me." The vow is a way of saying: I'll follow You."

  • - Jonah was on the boat because he didn't want pagans to be saved. What's the great irony about what God has done on the boat through him?!
  • - The pagan sailors have ended up on dry land, sacrificing to the God of Israel. Where has Israel's prophet ended u (v 15)?

 

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PRAY

Thank God that He uses His people, despite their sin, to reach and save those who don't know Him. Thank God that this means He can use you!

And ask God to use you to do just that. Name a few people you know who you have not been telling about Jesus, and ask God to give you an opportunity too obvious to miss, and too easy to mess up!

 

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  • - We've reached the end of verse 16. What's the cliffhanger?

 

 

 
Originally published November 05, 2012.

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