Thursday, July 12, 2012

Today is Jonah Day!

As you all should know by now I made a New Years Resolution to read the Bible through in a year. WelP, that was not going to happen unless I put my foot down and got to work. That's where you come in! I knew that if I told you my plan, knowing you knew I'd be blogging about my plan, then I'd be motivated to complete this plan. I love the accountability this blog gives me! Yesterday I was able to cross off Obadiah and today is Jonah. I still have a ways to go, but I am making progress.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not just reading these books to "cross them off my list", I'm reading them because I'm learning so much about our wonderful Creator and growing in my relationship with Him. It's been an amazing experience and I hope that you're joining me in it! If you just decided to join me, that's great! Here are my previous blogs that show you what I decided to do and how I decided to do it:

Read the Bible in a Year Plan
Old Testament Daily Readings
* PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE remember that what I post are my initial observations. I am not studying the Bible thoroughly simply because if I want to get through it this year I do not have time to do that. I am reading each of these books through 3 or 4 times and recording my observations for you to read as I go. That does not mean you need to take what I say as truth. I take what 2 Timothy 2:15 says very seriously. I do not want to handle God's word incorrectly and that is obviously not my goal, but I do not want you to use what I write as initial observations as absolute truth - cause I am HUMAN. :)

If you click on Ruth Day! you will find this chart:
I used this chart for 5 years in my classroom which is a basic outline of a story. This 'Elements of Plot' graphic organizer is very helpful when trying to pick out the important pieces of a story, even in the Bible! The chart reads from the bottom left hand corner with the exposition, travels up the mountain (or witches hat as some call it) to the little arrow called the opening scene, after being introduced to the characters, setting, and point of view (exposition) this is where the action starts! Once the action starts the story is underway giving you plenty of conflict (the kaBOOM in the middle) and important events (the arrow going up to the star, aka the rising action.) You will eventually hit a climax (the star) where the character (or protagonist) has an epiphany, or a realization. From this point on things will never be the same! The arrow going away from the star is the falling action, where all the important events are leading to the resolution, which is the box in the far right hand corner. I love the word resolution because when you break it down it's so easy to understand why it's THE END. The problems are RESOLved or the protagonist usually finds a reSOLUTION to his/her problems. See what I mean? Once I point that out, I usually see lightbulbs start to flicker and that's my favorite part of being a teacher. :)

The story of Jonah!

Exposition:
  • Protagonist: Jonah, God
  • Antagonist: God is Jonah's Antagonist and Jonah is the Lord's Antagonist (definitely a character vs character conflict here... hm... wonder who will win? :)
  • Setting: Nineveh (where he is supposed to go) & Tarshish (where he decided to flee, which kinda cracks me up, God is EVERYWHERE! What makes you think you can escape him?! Haha.)
  • Point of View: 3rd person Omniscient (all knowing)
Opening Scene: Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish and boarded a boat to get there.

Conflicts:
  • Character vs. Nature:
    • God caused the tempest, but there was still a tempest. :)
    • Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
  • Character vs. Self:
    • Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh!
    • Jonah would rather die than live (4:3). (To be honest, I still don't really understand why he's mad exactly. That he had to leave his country to go to a country God was going to save from the beginning and Jonah knew it?)
    • In 4:8 Jonah is still asking God to take his life.
  • Character vs. Character:
    • (1:4) "the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up."
    • God made a whale swallow Jonah for three days and three nights! (1:17)
    • Jonah was angry with God for making him come to Nineveh (4:1-3)
    • There's a little argument in 4:9-10
      • God: Do you do well to be angry for the plant?
      • Jonah: Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.
      • God's response is the climax & resolution. :)
Rising Action:
  1. They mariners were afraid and began calling out to their Gods. Jonah, who was asleep deep within the ship, was called out to do the same.
  2. They drew lots to see "... whose account this evil has come upon us." (1:7) and the lot fell on Jonah (hm... wonder who's in control here?).
  3. So Jonah told them what was going on and they asked him what they should do. He told them to throw him overboard. (1:12)
  4. At first they wouldn't do this and tried rowing towards land, but obviously that didn't work. So they cried out to God  in verse 14, "O Lord, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you."
  5. So they threw him overboard and the weather immediately ceased, so the men feared God and worshiped Him. (1:15-16)
  6. I love God's sovereignty throughout this book already! "THE LORD APPOINTED a great fish to swallow up Jonah." (1:17)
  7. Jonah's prayer in Chapter 2 is a prayer of repentance and acceptance of what God is calling him to do.
  8. "The Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land." (2:10) I'm sure that was a lovely sight.
  9. Again, God asks him to go to Nineveh and this time he goes. (3:1-3)
  10. After Jonah visited Nineveh the people believed in God, and began a fast, so they would not be overthrown. (3:5)
  11. Even the king of Nineveh has repented before God. (3:6-9)
  12. When God saw that the city of Nineveh repented, he "relented of the disaster he said he would do to them" and so Nineveh was saved. (3:10)
  13. But Jonah was angry and went outside the city to pout and see what would happen to it. (4:5)
  14. Another obvious distinction of God's sovereignty: "... the Lord God apointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, taht it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort." Which Jonah liked. (4:6)
  15. But GOD APPOINTED a worm that attacked the plant the next day. (4:7)
  16. GOD APPOINTED a hot scorching wind and the sun beat down on Jonah. (4:8)
Climax/Falling Action/Resolution:  When God points out the plant and the city of Nineveh connection in 4:10-11 "You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?" Bam. Point proven Jonah.

We don't hear Jonah's response, and I really wish that was included, but this is definitely a cliff hanger ending. Jonah is a fighter! How many people do we know that battle God on a daily basis, trying to do anything but what God has called them to do, and yet they can't figure out why they keep failing at life? :) You might as well give it up and admit that God is in control and He will win! Life is so much easier and less complicated once you do that! Just look at Jonah....

Join me tomorrow as I read Nahum!

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