Jul 21, 2019
Crossing Over
Series: Jonah
Jonah 3
 
Through Jonah's modest message, the great city of Ninevah enacts corporate repentance before God. The writer brings a sharp contrast between Jonah's slow response and Ninevah's rapid response. In Jonah 1, the prophet called himself "Hebrew," literally "crossed over one." Jonah uses this term to conceal himself to the sailors. The term in the Hebrew connotes "sin." Without saying specifically what he did, Jonah admits "in disguise" his own guilt.
 
"This word emerges again in Jonah 3:6 when the king ""took off"" his robe in order to show repentance. Brown says he ""crossed over"" from royalty to penitent.
 
Transformation in our lives looks similar. Instead of concealing ourselves like Jonah, we cross over like the king and the rest of Ninevah."
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  • Jul 21, 2019Crossing Over
    Jul 21, 2019
    Crossing Over
    Series: Jonah
    Jonah 3
     
    Through Jonah's modest message, the great city of Ninevah enacts corporate repentance before God. The writer brings a sharp contrast between Jonah's slow response and Ninevah's rapid response. In Jonah 1, the prophet called himself "Hebrew," literally "crossed over one." Jonah uses this term to conceal himself to the sailors. The term in the Hebrew connotes "sin." Without saying specifically what he did, Jonah admits "in disguise" his own guilt.
     
    "This word emerges again in Jonah 3:6 when the king ""took off"" his robe in order to show repentance. Brown says he ""crossed over"" from royalty to penitent.
     
    Transformation in our lives looks similar. Instead of concealing ourselves like Jonah, we cross over like the king and the rest of Ninevah."
  • Jul 14, 2019A Reluctant Prayer
    Jul 14, 2019
    A Reluctant Prayer
    Series: Jonah
    Jonah has been called the reluctant prophet. He was reluctant to follow God's call to preach against the city of Ninevah.
  • Jul 7, 2019Reluctance makes us run
    Jul 7, 2019
    Reluctance makes us run
    Series: Jonah
    Reluctance Makes us Run
     
    Jonah 1
     
    Jonah, obviously uncomfortable about his commission from God, chooses to go as far away as possible --Ninevah. But, he couldn't outrun God. God, because of his grace, chases him down.
     
    Scholars note both the "downward" direction of Jonah's journey and the "eastward" path towards Tarshish. The book of Genesis uses a similar "eastward" trope to illustrate humanity's journey away from Eden.
     
    Jonah is read on Yom Kippur (day of atonement). Which is rich with theological hope for us. As Erica Brown suggests, "The reading suggests that it is indeed never too late to identify alternate roads to integrity, authenticity, and intimacy with God . . . we may give up on ourselves. God, however, does not give up on us."
  • Jun 30, 2019A Reluctant Story
    Jun 30, 2019
    A Reluctant Story
    Series: Jonah
    A Reluctant Story
     
    Jonah 1:1-3
     
    Jonah is a story that accomplishes more than it probably should. Jonah is not a protagonist; he doesn't fit into Joseph Campbell's hero framework. Theologian George Landes suggest that "no fewer than sixty-three places in the text where the author's deliberate or inadvertent withholding of information poses at least some interpretative issue for the reader and, in addition, thirteen places where narrative features create a dissonance in the logic or coherence of the story."
     
    "Even though the story doesn't fit into a predictable story pattern, we choose no to ignore it. It invades us; it slips through our defenses and seeks to take us captive.
    Its discomfort might be by design. Jonah is discomforted. We are discomforted. We are tempted to accuse Jonah of reluctance, but in the end, we are confronted by our own reluctance.
     
    Jonah can be dated earlier or later in the Old Testament story. Jonah's name is mentioned in the Old Testament history books (2 Kings 14:25). Ninevah isn't a significant city at the time though, nor would they have threatened Israel as a mighty empire. Jonah's visit there would have been strange. If Jonah visited Ninevah after the Assyrians invaded Israel, his visit has a different significance.
     
    Reluctance has many faces: either indifference or bitterness. Nevertheless, God pushes Jonah and seeks to deal with his reluctance."