Bible Studies in Book of Jonah
Jonah Chapter 2: The God of Great Comebacks
by I Gordon
Well if you can't I've done a little thinking for you. And if you
had, see how your list compares with mine. I would say that some of
the greatest comebacks in the Bible would include (but certainly
not be limited to) the following characters/stories: From being
abandoned in prison in Egypt, Joseph would being exalted to the
right of the Pharaoh! That is a pretty impressive comeback. What of
Moses being chosen to be God's leader after running from Egypt
having killed an Egyptian and spending 40 years in the wilderness?
Or Manasseh, a wicked king who turns to God in his darkest hour and
is restored and ends up in the family lineage of Jesus? What of
Daniel, thrown into the lion's den or his friends Shadrach, Meshach
and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace? We could speak of
Lazarus or even Peter who after denying the Lord didn't feel that
anything but being a fisherman was now his lot in life... what a
different plan God had! Then there is Paul & Silas in Jail with
no way out... until God makes a way. The Bible is full of such
stories of people who were down, getting back up... because of God!
Oh, and that comeback by Jesus when both the Romans and Jews
thought they had seen the end of Him is not too bad either!
This song was written by Laura Story and was on her album of the
same name - 'Blessings'. I was struck by the truth and depth in the
song in comparison to how we often pray. It was only recently that
I read the background to the song and the album as a whole.
Wikipedia writes '
In an interview, Story explains "Blessings is just a bunch of
songs about worshipping when life is hard". Her husband Martin
Elvington was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and she wondered
"Why didn't you just fix it, God? You're all powerful and all
loving... just fix it." Later after mentioning her desire to
return to normal, her sister said "You know, I think the detour
is actually the road." She realized that "Spending time with
[husband] Martin obviously makes me happy, but it makes me a
better person. That's the blessing of it." '
Interesting short interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjB2skJi2co
 ↩ My brother got this verse just at the time of the birth of his second child. From it he knew he was entering into a time of testing on more than one front. And there were a few billows that occurred one after the other. Firstly his dog, Sasha, died. At the same time his daughter was born with a blood condition that nearly killed her apart from immediate intervention from the doctors. This condition saw them rushing to the hospital many times over the next few months (and sometimes just in time) to have blood transfusions for his little baby girl. There were complications also with the birth for her mother as well. She had a burst intestine that was life threatening and had to be rushed by helicopter to a hospital in another city. It was quite a difficult time but through the grace of God they got through it. So sometimes the problems come like rolling waves and many billows. 'What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are your mercies in disguise?'
 ↩ Gaebelein writes: 'His prayer is composed almost entirely of sentences found in Psalms. Jon 2:2 reminds of Psalm 18:6-7; Psalm 120:1. Jon 2:3 contains a quotation from Psalm 42:7, 'All thy waves and billows passed over me.' In connection with Jon 2:4 consider Psalm 31:22. Jon 2:5 is found in Psalm 18:4, except the seaweed which crowned his head as he went into the deep; also Psalm 69:2. The thanksgiving in Jon 2:6, 'Yet hast Thou brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God' is closely allied to Psalm 30:5. The first part of Jon 2:7 is from Psalm 142:3 (marginal reading) and 143:4. The second part is found in Psalm 5:7; Psalm 18:6. The eighth verse reminds of Psalm 31:6 and the ninth verse is to be connected with Psalm 42:4.
From this we can see that Jonah was a man who knew the scripture and prayed the scripture. We should be encouraged more to pray the scriptures for they are truth.
 ↩ Gaebelein writes: 'Like Jonah the nation was called to bear witness to the Gentiles. And as Jonah did not want the knowledge of Jehovah to go to the Gentiles, so the Jews filled with national pride of being the elect nation opposed God's purposes. (SeeAct_13:6-12; Act_13:44-52; Act_14:19-28; Act_17:5-34; Act_18:12, etc.)
Disobedient as Jonah, the nation left the presence of the Lord. Jonah engaged passage on a merchant-ship, and the Jew became a trafficker. Just as it was with Jonah, storm and disaster came upon the nation after their great act of disobedience, when they rejected Christ, and opposed His purposes. Like Jonah, in the midst of all their troubles they did not deny, nor deny now, their nationality, their faith in God; they also confess in some of their prayers, at least the orthodox Jews do, why it is that they are in trouble; that they have sinned and turned away from the Lord.
Jonah was cast overboard into the sea. The sea represents the nations; that is where the Jews were cast. As a result of the casting away of Jonah the heathen sailors turned to the Lord and sacrificed unto Him. In Rom:11 we read, 'through their fall (the Jews) salvation came to the Gentiles to provoke them to jealousy.' The belly of the fish represents the grave of the Jews among the nations. They became nationally and spiritually dead. But just as the fish did not digest Jonah; so the nations have not digested the Jew. They remain unassimilated, just as Balaam predicted, 'This nation shall dwell alone and not be reckoned among the nations.' The national preservation of Israel is one of the great miracles in history, just as the preservation of Jonah in the belly of the fish was a miracle.'
 ↩ J Vernon McGee writes: ' I cannot resist making this corny statement: It just goes to show that you can't keep a good man down! Someone else has put it like this, "Even a fish couldn't digest Jonah, the backsliding prophet." But Jonah is a different man now. He's made some vows to God, and one of them is that he is going to Nineveh. His ticket is now to Nineveh.'
This is also a type of the nation of Israel who, being faced with
certain death, will acknowledge that Jesus (salvation) is from the
Lord and will be restored fully to the land. The prophets declared
that there would be a regathering of the Jews back in unbelief
first and then a second regathering in belief. See