Jonah the Prophet 先知约拿


<Jonah 1 ~ 4>

约拿是上帝的先知,也是上帝的使者。有一天,上帝对约拿说:“去尼尼微城,告诉居住在那里的人,他们是一个非常邪恶的人,他们需要改变自己的方式。”

约拿不想去尼尼微。他不喜欢那个城市的人,因为他们是他的敌人,他也害怕他的敌人。所以约拿决定逃避并躲避上帝。他登上了第一艘出城的船,朝着上帝告诉他去的地方向相反的方向前进。

但上帝在海上发生了巨大的风暴。强大的风和巨大的海浪似乎要把船只粉碎。由于担心他们的生命,绝望的水手向他们的众神大声呼救,并将货物扔到船外以减轻船只的负担。

在发生风暴的时候,约拿却在船底睡着了,船长走下船底,来到他跟前。对他喊叫说, “你怎么能在这样的时间睡觉? 起来!向你的上帝祈祷!也许祂会听你的祷告,饶了我们的生命。”

水手们决定他们应该用抽签的方式找出谁造成了这个风暴。于是他们就开始抽签,约拿被抽到了。水手问约拿,“我们该怎么做才能阻止这场风暴?”

“把我扔进大海,”约拿说。 “这场可怕的风暴完全是因为我的缘故。”

水手们害怕并向上帝祈祷,“上帝啊!不要因为这个人而让我们淹死,不要因为他的死而责怪我们。”然后他们就把约扔到船外,大海立刻变为平静。

但是上帝派了一条大鱼吞下约拿,使他免于溺水,约拿在鱼里面待了三天三夜。约拿从鱼里面向耶和华他的上帝祷告。 “在我的患难中,我求告上帝,祂就应允我。从阴间的深处呼求,祢俯听我的呐喊。”然后上帝让大鱼把约拿吐在旱地上。

上帝又对约拿说:“到尼尼微城去,传递我所赐给你的信息。”这次约拿终于听从了上帝的命令!

约拿到了尼尼微,向人们宣告尼尼微城将在40天内被毁。人们相信上帝的信息,从最大的到最小的,改变了他们邪恶的生活方式。

当上帝看到尼尼微全城人所做的事以及他们如何终止他们的邪恶的生活方式时,祂改变了主意,并没有执行祂曾计划的毁灭。

上帝对尼尼微的怜悯和怜悯极大地激怒了约拿。他非常生气,因为他致死也要尼尼微城和里面的人都被毁灭。上帝文约拿:“你有正当的理由生气吗?”

约拿走出城外,坐下来,等着看这座城市会发生什么事情。上帝准备了一种植物,并在一天之内成长,可以为约拿遮阳,以免他受到烈日和热风的暴晒。约拿对此感到高兴。但是第二天,上帝在植物上放了一只蠕虫,于是植物枯萎了。因为在植物死后,在烈日和热风下非常不舒服;约拿就觉得生不如死。

上帝说:“你这是为什么?你又没有栽种这棵植物,怎么能在一夜之间就因为这棵植物将你的感情从快乐变为愤怒呢?所以,为什么我不能也同样改变我对尼尼微的感受从愤怒到快乐呢?要知道尼尼微城是一个有超过12万人的大城市啊。

根据《约拿书》第一至第四章


讨论问题:

  1. 你觉得这个故事里有哪些地方使你感兴趣?

  2. 你是否曾被要求过做一些很难的工作?你是怎样来处理的?

  3. 从约拿身上你学到了什么?

  4. 约拿是不是有一个很正当的理由生气吗?

  5. 从这个故事里你对上帝有什么新的看法?



www.salt-and-light.org/Audio/Jonah.mp3

Jonah was a prophet of God; a messenger of God. One day, God said to Jonah, "Go to the city of Nineveh and tell the people who live there that they are a very wicked people and that they need to change their ways."


Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. He didn’t like the people in that city, they were his enemies and perhaps he was afraid of them. So Jonah decided to run away and hide from God. He caught the first ship out of town and headed in the opposite direction from where God told him to go.


But God sent a huge storm over the sea.  Mighty winds and crashing waves threatened to break the ship apart.  Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship.


All this time, Jonah was sound asleep down in the bottom of the ship, so the captain went down after him.  "How can you sleep at a time like this?" he shouted. "Get up! Pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to you and spare our lives."


The sailors decided they should draw straws to find out who was the cause of the storm.  So they drew straws and Jonah got the short straw. The sailors asked Johan, "What should we do to you to stop this storm?"


"Throw me into the sea," Jonah said. 'This terrible storm is all my fault."


The sailors were afraid and prayed to God, "O God! Don't let us drown because of this man and don't blame us for his death."  Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the sea became calm.


But the LORD sent a great fish to swallow Jonah to keep him from drowning, and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.  From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. "In my distress, I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry."  Then the LORD had the great fish spit Jonah out onto the beach.


The LORD spoke to Jonah again, "Go to the city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you."  This time Jonah obeyed the LORD's command!


Jonah went to Nineveh and told the people that Nineveh will be destroyed in 40 days.  The people believed God's message, and from the greatest to the least, changed their wicked ways.


When God saw what they had done and how they had stopped their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had planned.


God's compassion and mercy on Nineveh greatly angered Jonah.  He was so angry that he rather be dead than alive if Nineveh was not destroyed. The LORD replied, "Do you have a good reason to be angry?"  


Jonah went outside of the city, sat down, and waited to see what will happen to the city.  God prepared a plant and grew it in one day to be a shade over Jonah, to spare him from discomfort of the sun and wind.  Jonah was happy about this. But the next day, God set a worm upon the plant, so the plant withered. Jonah wanted to die because it was very uncomfortable under the sun and wind after the plant died.  


God said, "What is this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a plant that you did not work to grow.  So, why can't I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 people?


Discussion questions:

  1. What is interesting to you about this story?

  2. Have you ever been asked to do something difficult that you did not want to do?  How did you respond to the request?

  3. What did you learn about Jonah?

  4. Did Jonah have a good reason to be angry?

  5. What did you learn about God?

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