Filed under: Bible study, Church wrongs, Uncategorized, What would you do? | Tags: bible, churches, Pastors, Sunday School
The stories of the Bible are a gift from God to mankind. The inspired prophets penned tales that illustrate the condition of man, his relationship to God, and God’s great Love for us all. It is annoying and horribly upsetting when well meaning people take these wonderful tales and present them in a way that renders belief in them almost impossible, and actually misrepresents what I would consider the main points and message. The story that most offends me today is the story of Will, pardon me, Jonah. I relate to this story as it seems to be the story of my life. To have it reduced to the story of Pinocchio is really upsetting.
The case in point that chafes my chaps today is the tale of Jonah. I love this story! I relate to this story! I think every word in this story is true. I do not believe that the picture above is indicative in any way of what occurred. The flannelgram pictures I was shown as a child that threw me into rebellion [ ok, I was already in rebellion, but this stuff helped], are still out there. The testimony of Christ himself should confirm my point.
I was in a study group one time and the leader told me, “It is OK if you do not have the faith to believe that Jonah lived in the whale three days.” I do not think it is ok to believe that Jonah lived in the whale, as I do not believe that to be an example of faith, I believe it to be an example of poor hermeneutics. Look at what happened in the tale as Jonah was pitched overboard.
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights
Fish. Not whale. The Willohroots concordance defines the word used there, Keetos, as ‘giant swimming thing you would be scared of if it swam by you.
Here is a picture of Keetos from the willohroots concordance.
It looks very capable of swallowing Jonah, or anybody it wants to, or is ordered to by God.
So this is probably a better representation,
Than is this,
The verbiage involved in the story seems to agree with me. The King James’ says:
When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
Now I am not really sure about what that means, but I doubt I will be doing very much blogging after my soul faints. The ESV makes it a bit clearer:
When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Seems like Jonah died. I am not making a point to be argumentative, I feel this is very important. When we teach the New Testament , the Old Testament stories are often critical to a complete understanding. When Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of God and Messiah said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one[i] greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”
So when we teach the sign of Jonah, does this make sense?
Or should we be teaching this?
How could the Savior have said to people,” I will live inside a fish, or more believable[ or no more believable than that] a giant whale, for three days, this is the sign I give to you.” Is that what He said? Or did He say, ” As Jonah was dead for three days in a fish, so I will be dead three days in the tomb. That is the sign. ” What do you think was the lesson our Lord brought there? Is there any way to use Jonah living in a whale to illustrate Jesus?
The bible , my Savior, my God, taught that,
was a foreshadowing of
So tell me, am I being one of those weird preachers that goes through the nursery and gets rid of the stuff that reminds me of Pinocchio and fails to teach a Gospel message? I fear that putting falsehoods into the minds of children, even small ones give the Devil a foothold. I am not saying i am right all the time, or smarter than the average bear, I am saying I care and will do all I can to rightly interpret the word from the nursery onward.
What say you?
The Sign of Jonah
29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.
May God richly bless the reading of His Word, and may the Holy Spirit who inspired it lead us to a useful and correct understanding of it.