Simply teaching the Bible, simply

This is our Podcast. We're a Bible believing Church meeting at Barncroft Primary School, Havant, Hampshire, UK



We are all familiar with account of Jonah; this man who tries to run away from God and gets swallowed by a big fish! The story itself grabs our intention, but so often the focus is on the fish and we miss some of the profound truths found in this book. In around 850 B.C. Assyria were rising to be the next big world empire, crushing everything in their way. Israel, on the other hand were in decline. 150 years before this time, Israel had been a great nation, feared and respected by their neighbours; even the Queen of Sheba (modern day Saudi Arabia) had made the journey to see king Solomon to see if the stories she had heard about his wealth and power were true. She was not disappointed with what she found! (1 Kings 10). But now it was very different. Jonah was born to a man named Amitti, in a town called Gath-Hepher, situated between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean, in northern Israel. The kingdom was now divided and Jeroboam II was now ruling the Northern kingdom of Israel, acutely aware of the threat Assyria posed to his fragile kingdom. Jonah was brought up to love and fear the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and his name, which means ‘Dove’, hints at the life God had foreordained for this man as a messenger of peace. But this prophet’s life was turned upside down one day when he heard God’s voice, just as the likes of Samuel had done in times past. But the message he received from the LORD was not to go and lead his nation to victory over their enemies, quite the reverse, it was to go to Israel’s enemies and proclaim that God wanted them to repent so they could be spared! It is hard to imagine the turmoil in Jonah’s heart! There was the thrill of hearing directly from God, and the horror at proclaiming a message of peace to the very enemies he feared would crush his – God’s – people. Maybe God had got it wrong? Maybe Jonah had misheard? Once thing was for certain, his love for his people Israel was strong enough to drive him in the opposite direction in the hope that God’s wrath, rather than His forgiveness, would fall on Assyria. Down at the sea port of Joppa (modern day Jaffa), he managed to get on board a boat heading for Tarshish. That was about as far away from Israel, and Assyria, as Jonah could think of. Jonah knew in his heart he couldn’t hide from God, but nevertheless he went down into the bottom the ship and found a quiet place to rest.



Filetype: MP3 - Size: 16.63MB - Duration: 56:50 m (38 kbps 44100 Hz)