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  • Tabernacle Baptist Church

A Lesson in God's Discipline (Jonah 1; Hebrews 12:1-11) - 4/10/24


  • Jonah heard and understood but disobeyed.

  • God loved him and disciplines him.

  • Storm, Sailor, Fish

  • Somebody was going to Nineveh, because that was God’s will!

And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

17 The sea did not change its nature when Jonah splashed into it. Jonah did not suddenly develop into a champion swimmer. But the necessary protection was there. There is no suggestion that the fish was a special creation for the purpose or that Jonah’s preservation within it was miraculous. The power of God ensured that the fish was there at exactly the right time.Why did God choose this means of preserving Jonah’s life? God could easily have provided a piece of floating wreckage to which Jonah could have clung, until he washed up on the beach half-drowned. Miracle is not the gratuitous display of God’s omnipotence, nor is it called out merely because of human need. Taken in its setting, it is probable that every miracle has spiritual significance (cf. the word “sign” in John’s gospel). That must surely be the case here, especially since Jesus used this miracle to picture his own resurrection.For the sailors the raising of the storm and its subsequent quieting were indubitable evidence of the Lord’s control of chaos. Since “the fish” was at God’s disposal, it meant that every force in the world, however potentially dangerous, was completely under God’s dominance and control. So while in one way the fish is secondary in the revelation to Jonah, it was needed for the prophet to grasp that God’s love is operative in a world that is entirely under divine controlKENNETH L. BARKER AND JOHN R. KOHLENBERGER III, EXPOSITOR’S BIBLE COMMENTARY (ABRIDGED EDITION: OLD TESTAMENT) (GRAND RAPIDS, MI: ZONDERVAN PUBLISHING HOUSE, 1994), 1462.

Run with endurance – v. 1

  • lay aside

Looking to Jesus – vv. 2-4

  • founder and perfector of our faith

  • who suffered on the cross

  • right hand of the throne of God

  • so that we may not grow weary

Learn and Grow from His discipline – vv. 5-11

  • discipline – Train, educate, correct

  • motivated by His love for us – v. 6

  • Father/Son

  • For our good – v. 10

  • Share His holiness (personal holiness is the goal)

The What Now

  • To obey God is to trust God. To trust in God’s plan and purpose

  • We tend to wait on a voice, open door, or sign. (What is God asking me to do?) Do the “obvious” right (the truths of Scripture) and then the “not so obvious” becomes clearer.

  • God is not playing hide and seek with us as we consider His will.

  • When we are outside His will, then we should expect His discipline

  • Expect it. Learn from it. Grow through it.

  • Remember, HE LOVES YOU

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