Lessons from Jonah 1
I read through Jonah in the NRSV at the beginning of March and Holy Spirit spoke some very specific things to my spirit. The wisdom and understanding given to me isn't what's usually taught in church from the book of Jonah. I know it's commonly taught; but if it was taught in churches the way the Lord taught me I think it would serve as meat for the Body and not the milk that's often addressed in this book. Keep in mind my churching has been limited to seven churches throughout my lifetime, and neither of those churches were spirit-filled to the point that they allowed the Holy Spirit to have free reign. At this point in my life I want Holy Spirit to have free reign because honestly ... I screw things up. When I will to be led by the Spirit things work out for my great - my love for the Godhead and others grows stronger and I'm continually seeking after Them for more. That being said, this may not be revelation for you but I know it is for someone.
- Jonah 1:1-2 Now the Word of the Lord came to Jonah saying, "Go at once to Ninevah. - God can give a word to ANYONE (even someone He's knows will disobey; look at me) and send them to the nations as a prophetic voice to deliver it. A nation can be one person, a few folks or it can be a group of people (Abraham = I will make you a nation/Jacob = Israel).
- Jonah 1:3 He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish so he PAID HIS FARE and went on board. - We often finance our own destruction. He made a conscious decision to disobey God. How many times do we do that? I know we want to criticize Jonah, but seriously, we do this all the time. I know I do; 90% less than in the past but still. There are commands in the Bible cover to cover that we ignore every day because we want/choose to. God said forgive, but so many in the Body are sick and under demonic oppression because of unforgiveness. God said to take care of the poor, needy, widows and orphans but there are many who receive nothing. That's all disobedience which is sin which opens the door to the demonic realm.
- Jonah 1:4 The Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. - This is the first warning and offer to repent and obey. God loves us so much that He will send angelic hosts to 'stir the waters' in our lives so that we snap out of the deception that makes us think consequences won't follow disobedience and to save us. I'm a supreme witness of this. But our human nature loves to fight against the very things that protect us (see Numbers 22:22-25).
- Jonah 1:5 They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. - Our disobedience will cost everyone we're connected to. Covenant makes blessings spread to them, but it also makes consequences fall on them as well. My son had to suffer the consequences of my disobedience. We have to take God seriously - the written and rhema.
- Jonah 1:6 The captain came and asked Jonah, "What are you doing sound asleep? Get up and call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we don't perish. - People connected with us recognize our complacency and choice not to act, repent and acknowledge the need for supernatural help. God always sends a prophet (a dream, a word ... something) that tells us we're trippin' and need to get it together before something worser happens. Six months before I lost everything my son woke up out of sleep (at 8 years old, mind you) and said God told him that if I didn't stop worrying about everything I didn't have I'd lose more. He was the prophet sent to deliver the word of wisdom to set me straight. Obviously I didn't listen.
- Jonah 1:9-10 "I am a Hebrew. I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land. Then the men were even more afraid and asked him, "What is this you've done!" - When God is trying to redirect us, our consequences will bring the fear of the Lord onto those connected with us. Even if they're quote unquote not believers in Messiah Jesus. When God is moving others will get a spirit check to alert them that a powerful presence is at work.
- Jonah 1:12 Jonah told them to throw him overboard. - Two things come up here. 1. Jonah was still trying to run from God's presence and instruction. I believe this is true because he got on the boat in the first place going in the opposite direction honestly believing he could hide from God. So he either thought he'd be hiding still or at least die and not have to obey. 2. He had prophetic knowledge that the ship's crew wouldn't be delivered until they cut ties with him. Associations matter (watch the video Soul Ties).
- Jonah 1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land but they couldn't. - These men understood covenant. They were trying to save Jonah even though he'd brought destruction upon them because they entered into an agreement for his safety (life) in traveling from one place to another. They tried to save him even though he had no serious concern for their well being. Or his for that matter. Think over your life and see if you've known someone caught in that level of destruction. Someone so bent on following their own path they have no concern for consequences, themselves or others.
- Jonah 1:14 Then they cried out to the Lord, "Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this man's life." - These non/pre-believers had more fear, and therefore knowledge, of God than Jonah who was brought up with the Torah. That's like some of us who grow up in chuch/religion but don't get the Godhead on the heart level. I was this way for many years. I could quote the Bible but had no evidence of relationship, the Kingdom or power in my life (1 Corinthians 4:20).
- Jonah 1:15 So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea. - They had to cut ties with Jonah. Who do you need to cut ties with so that you can get back in God's will? This is a common church lesson ... cutting ties with those we need to. The reverse is true, too. Sometimes you're the one holding someone back and they need toss your tush. You can't get upset if someone needs to leave you to do what God has called them to do.
- Jonah 1:16 Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. - This is wild. Jonah isn't fazed after disobeying God or the life-threatening storm, but these pagan seaman have received revelation about who God is and acted on it. They have now entered into relationship with God Most High. These non/pre-believers understood more about covenant than Jonah did and he was raised in covenant as Abraham's offspring. This is a type and shadow of us gentiles who are now in covenant with God because of our belief in Christ Jesus. He went first to the Jews (Jonah) but their disobedience allowed us (the pagan sailors) to come in.
- Jonah 1:17 But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah and he was in the belly three days and three nights. - This, of course, is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ who was dead three and three. It's also, of course, another picture of Passover (Jesus, is our Passover Lamb so we don't have to die) and of God as Jehovah Jireh - The God who Sees and Provides provided the large fish so Jonah didn't have to die (Jehovah Jireh provided the ram so Isaac didn't have to die). When Jonah was in the fish he overcame, when Jesus was in hell taking the keys He overcame and now we overcome.