A Study of Jonah 1 and 2
I believe the Scriptures teach that all power is of God (Romans 13:1) and no man is able to resist the grace of God, and all the elect will believe and rejoice in the truth in due time.
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Let us consider this expression: “All that the Father giveth me . .”
What does this mean?
To whom does it refer?
Does it mean those that God the Father has given to Jesus to be His bride, His sheep, the Church of the living God?
Notice it says that all shall come to Jesus, i.e., believe in Him.
How are they going to believe in Jesus?
What causes them to believe the truth?
Does man have power to resist the grace of God?
If man does resist the grace of God, would we then have to advocate that man is more powerful than God?
Do you believe that the Lord operates upon the heart of one and reveals the truth to him, gives him wisdom and understanding, and causes him to believe in this wonderful doctrine?
When Jesus told His apostles to “follow me,” did any refuse to go?
Do you believe that any went against His will, or did they go willingly?
“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power . . .”
“Draw me, we will run after thee”
(Song of Solomon 1:4)
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
When the Lord draws one, do you believe he that all power is of the Lord and that no man is able to stand against the Almighty God? (see Romans 13:1)
Do you believe the following Scriptures teach and describe the power of God and the weakness of man?
“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?
While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beast of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored Him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation:
and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and NONE can stay His hand, or say unto Him, ‘What doest Thou?”
Dear reader, do you know anything about the power of God?
Consider the case of Jonah:
“Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
But Jonah rose up to FLEE UNTO TARSHISH FROM THE PRE-SENCE OF THE LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”
Please notice that Jonah’s desire was to flee from the presence of the Lord.
What was the Lord’s purpose?
This Scripture has recently come to mind:
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”
What was Jonah’s device?
It did not stand.
Notice that the Lord prepared the way for Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach unto it.
Why was the great fish present at the appointed time and place to swallow Jonah?
Also, consider that the fish did not vomit Jonah out in the deep water, but upon dry land.
Do you believe the Lord directed the entire matter?
Was it a fish or a whale that swallowed Jonah?
Jonah 1:17 states that “the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.”
Jesus said in Matthew 12:40
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Do you believe the GREAT fish and the WHALE mean the same?
Thus, the book of Jonah tells of the Lord’s dealing with Jonah in such a way that it shows man cannot resist the power of God. Notice how the Lord caused Jonah to pray:
“Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly,
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me around about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
I went down to the bottom of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever: yet hast thou brought up for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.”
Dear reader, does the Prayer of Jonah mean anything to you?
Have you been brought down and felt the need of mercy, and did this low feeling cause you to pray unto the Lord?
The Scriptures teach that true prayer is inspired by the Lord. As psalm 91:15 says: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.”
What caused Moses to go to Pharaoh (Exodus chapters 3 & 4) or Daniel to pray unto the Lord after the king signed the document forbidding anyone to pray to God? (Daniel 6:7-9)
As you read verses 22-23 you will see that the Lord shut the mouths of the lions after Daniel was cast into the den of lions because he prayed unto the Lord.
Consider the case of Jeremiah:
“Then said I, ah Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, say not I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee saith the Lord.”
Could he refuse to speak in the name of the Lord?
What and who caused the word of the Lord to be as fire shut up in Jeremiah’s bones?
“Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name. But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forebearing, and I COULD NOT STAY.”
These Scriptures demonstrate that man cannot resist the Lord.
Finally, consider the experience of Paul. He was persecuting the saints, and had letters of authority to have them put in prison. When he was on the jour-
ney for this purpose, the Lord brought him down
“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
Do you believe Paul could have resisted the calling of the Almighty God?
What caused Paul to go about preaching the things which once he despised?
“But they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.”
When one feels the burden of sin laid upon him, can he resist?
“Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations.”
Do you believe that the Spirit of God teaches one to know his sinful condition and causes him to pray unto the Lord for mercy?
We believe that the Lord is able to quicken and teach anyone to know the truth; that such a one will believe and walk in the pathway that leads to life when he is thus taught and led by the Spirit of Almighty God.
Dear reader, God’s people love this doctrine and it is their meat and drink.
Would you trade the riches of this world for the sweet hope with which the Lord has blessed you?
Does it not cause you to rejoice that all of the elect will be taught by the Lord at that appointed time known only by the Almighty God?
We believe the above Scriptures are sufficient proof that man cannot resist the grace of our sovereign God.
By Woodrow W. Hudson