Old Testament Summary Lesson 33: “Sharing The Gospel With The World”
- Sinking to New Heights: The story of Jonah is his own poetic way of bearing a humble testimony that he was nothing, that he sank to the depths, and that he was to do the Lord’s work instead of his own. His humility and confession may be mistaken as a “less than willing” prophet. Yet he is one of the greatest, and in fact, the most important prophet of his day.
- Other Fish Stories: “In ancient literature there are several stories of people being rescued from inside fish (Heracles the Hesione, Perseus, and Andromeda); but only in that of Jonah was the rescue effected by prayer and not by force . . . a lesson in Divine forgiveness and mercy — to Jonah as well as to the people of Nineveh — and as a lesson in obedience to God’s will. As a symbol of the effectiveness of repentance it is read as the haftarah at the afternoon service of the Day of Atonement.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Reoccurring Sea and Storm Accounts: There are a few “sea and storm stories” in the scriptures. Their meanings and lessons for us, nowadays, have a common connection. Noah is saved by the Lord, Jonah is saved by the Lord, the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee are saved by the Lord. When “sinking,” remember, we are saved by the Lord.
- Messianic Sign of Jonah: The Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign that he was the Messiah. He said, that a wicked and adulterous nation sought for signs. Jesus reminded the Pharisees that they already had the one and only sign of the Messiah they would get. Jonah was down in the sea for three days and three nights and then came alive again. Jesus prophesied that He would be three days and three nights in the earth and then come alive again.
- Misguided Wealth: “Micah directed his prophecy against the rich who lived in ill-gotten splendor at the expense of the poor. Micah stated God’s demands simply: justice tempered with mercy. Micah’s verses of consolation are beautiful in their vision of the glorious future of Zion: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem . . . And they the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid…” (Micah 4:5).” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)