Cows and Sackcloth

The Incredible Jonah

By Pastor Ethan, July 11, 2020

Four Poems by Thomas John Carlisle THE GREAT INTRUDER It is exasperating to be called so persistently When the last thing we want to do is get up and go But God elects to keep on haunting like some Holy Ghost

LET’S COOL DOWN: I know a better way to circumvent your silly streak of mixing love with righteous judgement All I need to do is take the next flight west, beyond your jurisdiction This will give you time for sober second thoughts to swear off this kick of simple minded kindness

INSIDE THE MONSTER: I was as low as I could get when I remembered God, odd, that my distress impressed me with his apparent absence When his premised daily presence hadn’t meant a blessed thing Finding myself in that hole with my soul fainting and rolling The swell of my swollen ego Was good enough to kill me, good, Instead I saw stars in the dark and started home on a welcome water spout

COUNSELLOR TO THE ALMIGHTY: Think twice before you pardon Men repent even in ashes, but repent again of their repentence Take a wiser bias of my advice Confine your charity to such good neighbours as your humble servant

Jonah 3:1-2

  • We return to the main storyline: God and the
  • Jonah gets a second chance
  • Point of curiosity: we still haven't heard the contents of Jonah's message

Jonah 3:3-5

  • Every detail is intentional in Hebrew narrative
  • 3 days in Nineveh = 3 days in the belly of the beast
  • Jonah only goes one day in? Why?
  • Jonah's message is words
  • Incredibly, it works!

Jonah 3:6-9

  • The king of Nineveh repents in dramatic fashion
  • Puts himself in the company of Israel's most faithful kings
  • Job is the only other individual in Scripture to sit in ashes
  • Makes a proclamation that even the must repent

Jonah 3:10

  • Did God's prophetic message fail to come true?
  • Where is Jonah?

Cows and Sackcloth

  • Jonah is contrasted with the Ninevites
  • He repented after getting eaten by a fish/They repented after 5 words from God
  • The king's actions parallel
  • Would we be okay if Jonah had been eaten? Or the Ninevites destroyed?
  • The truth is, we struggle with God's wrath and judgement because in our heart, we don't believe we deserve it. We want God to deal with evil in the world, just not in our own heart

Leaving the Throne

  • Our natural reaction is to identify with the sailors, the Ninevites, the king, even the cows
  • In reality, we are much more like Jonah
  • Let's take a lesson from the incredible Ninevite king, and come down from our thrones with hearts overthrown by God's word