Morning Moments

with Sandra Bivens Smith

Lessons From Jonah

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Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.  (Psalms 32:9)


As a would be author, it’s my habit to scratch down notes of “inspired moments”.  For instance, I have a whole file of nothing but titles – no narrative, just titles. A thought will come to mind and I think, “that would be a good subject for a devotion, a message or a book”, so I write it down and stick it in my under construction folder. One title that came to me some time back was “God Uses Pop-Ups”.  By pop-ups I’m talking about those related yet annoying messages you get when you’re searching for a certain thing on the internet.  They come out of no-where at the most inconvenient time.  They get in the way of what you want to search for because you can’t ignore them and you can’t move on until you deal with them. I don’t know about you, but I get pop-ups, not only virtually, but in real life as well. I’ll be going along and God just keeps “popping up”, reminding me in dozens of different ways what He wants me to search for, showing me what He wants me to know. [Let me say right now, this is not the pop-up message, that’s still in the under-construction file; on second thought, maybe this is the pop up message.] Either way, my intended purpose for telling you about this is because in the past two weeks, I’ve been getting a lot of pop-ups concerning the prophet Jonah.  If you’ll bear with me just a little longer, I’d like to tell you about them.

It all started on Monday morning (at least I think that’s when it started).  I was praying about a word of encouragement that I might share with my grandchildren when I recalled how my granddaughter and I used to do our own version of bible drill on the story of Jonah.  Thinking that’s where I might find a word for the children, I began to read the book.

A little later on Monday. I went for a physical therapy appointment and Teresa, my therapist was telling me about a 60 Minutes episode she had seen on Sunday night which included a piece on the burial site of, you guessed it, [POP-UP] Jonah.

Tuesday morning.  I sent a message to my daughter to ask about a new bible study she started on Monday night. I asked her about the name of the study, which she told me and which sounded great.  As we continued, talking, she happened to mention that the study was from you guessed it [POP-UP] the book of Jonah.

Tuesday afternoon.  I was visiting with my cousin and we were sharing about bible study each of us are working in.  Somehow, (I’ve yet still to figure it out) that discussion led us to her telling me about the sermon her pastor had preached on Sunday night.  Would you like to guess what his sermon was on?   [POP-UP] Jonah.

Wednesday evening.  Church service/bible study.  Our pastor is currently doing a wonderful series on prayer.  During his sermon Wednesday night, he gave us a number of related passages to study.  Among his list  [POP-UP] Jonah 2.

While I didn’t find a passage in Jonah for the kids, God impressed on my heart that in addition to the powerful message about the futility of running from God, Jonah has a lot more to teach us. That (finally) brings me to this weeks post – “8 Lessons From Jonah”.  While there are, no doubt, many more than eight lessons that we could take from Jonah’s experience, over the next few weeks, we’re going to focus on these eight:

  • Our Rebellion

God’s Discipline

  • Our Repentance

God’s Forgiveness

  • Our Submission

God’s sovereignty

  • Our obstinance

God’s Mercy

To prepare for our travels with Jonah, I hope you will take some time this week to read the book of Jonah.  It’s only four chapters, forty-eight verses. Here is a link to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary that you may want to look over.  It will give you a little background info on Jonah which I think you will find interesting.

PS:  Is there a message that keeps popping up in your life?  Something you might want to think about.

Until next time.

בּרכה Sandra

Author: Sandra Bivens Smith

Christian Writer Speaker Small Group Leader/Teacher

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