reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Jonah, Jonah, you bring me stormy seas with your deceit...

posted by Little Mo | Permalink |
Back in the 90s I had an album (on vinyl!) by a little known group called Breathe who sang a song with that line in it. It always goes through my head when I am teaching Jonah, as I was on Friday with the lovely Midlands team. As always when you study a book with brothers and sisters who love the word, people open your eyes to new and wonderful things: here's a few the lovely Midlands guys helped me with:

Chapter 1: I'd never seen as clearly before the rather frightening aspect of God's character that he will put us through quite literally anything to get our obedience from us. It's good for us: discipline - but frightening all the same. It also raises the very difficult pastoral question about "Am I Job or Jonah"?

Chapter 2: Thanks to etrangere for the insight that the covenant plays an important part in understanding the book. Jonah remembers the covenant (and rejoices in it!) while inside the whale by quoting the Psalms extensively, but still by Chapter 4 hasn't quite thought thropugh what it means for the rest of the world if God really is the way the covenant says he is. Interesting for us so keen, rightly, to celebrate the Gospel, but often so slow to think through the implications of the God revelaed by the Gospel for the rest of the world.

Chapter 3: Pray for revival. Here we have the largest most unlikely revival we have recorded for us in the Bible started by a rogue possibly unconverted prophet preaching less than half the Gospel. Yet the Ninevites believed God and their whole city was turned upside down and repented. Why shouldn't our gracious compassionate God do the same today, - weak as our churches and CUs are? Let's pray that he will!

Chapter 4: I rushed through. I'm sure they would have had some interesting things to say on that too had I given them time!

Thanks Midlands team for your wonderful insight and encouragement: it was worth my 4 hour epic journey home from Nottingham! Also, Phil Marshall give me a lovely back rub, which was not at all dodgy.


Blogger Chris O said...

hey mo. thanks for that. I love how God loves the gospel more than we do.

here, do you think Nahum affects how we understand Jonah?

enjoy enjoying Christmas! praying for you with r2 coming up.

5:35 PM  
Blogger thebluefish said...

I'd love to see a bit more of this as i spend some time preparing on Jonah too.

9:45 AM  
Blogger étrangère said...

Thanks to you - it was great to be led through Jonah and get the GRACE of it again, in the Jonah - God contrast!!

I'm sorry that my ch4 observation of the 'Jonas en de worm' mural on a Flemish sunday school room wall didn't make it into your blog account though. Grieved. You might have to go overseas to find it, but there is evidence that there exists a SS who knew that Jonah is more than a hero's tale about Jonah and a friendly fish! Actually, they might have thought the hero was the worm... he looked awfully fun, and had a backpack...

3:12 PM  

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