Summary: This is a message about Jonah fleeing from the call of God. It is a message about how we should obey God, not only in the things we like, but also in the hard things.
Jonah fleeing from the call of God
Last week we began a series of messages on the book of Jonah, and for the next several weeks we will continue in this great book and here are the topics we will be dealing with:
Fleeing from the call of God
Fleeing from Presence of God
Floatin: Dealing with storms that you didn't cause, sometimes the greatest of sufferers are not the greatest of sinners.
Getting rid of the Jonah in your boat that cause storms. We are in the boat with Jonah
Fessin: Getting right with God
Frettin - letting go of deep rooted problems.
Fleeing from the call of God.
A small girl was asked to pray over the family meal, and it was her first time ever, trying to emulate how her parents prayed, this is how she prayed:
"Thank you Lord, for this meal you have REPAIRED for us."
Jonah spit up out of the fish, is the meal repaired for the people of Nineveh.
Let's Read Jonah chapter 1:
Our main text for today is verse 3:
Jon 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
When we are told he is fleeing from the presence of the Lord, I think He is doing that, but perhaps more specifically He is fleeing from the presence of God in others. Show clip.
Video 1, scene rip from The Princess Bride where Max the Miracle man is refusing to listen to his wife. Quote: "I'm not listening."
Why did he want to go to Tarshish he could just as easily backslid in his living room?
No backsliders want to get away from every way the Lord speaks. The radio, friends, the church.
We think if we ignore what we have done, if we can get our minds off it, then God will also forget about it and we can just move on.
God will always bring you back to the place where you left the road.
Jonah got in the boat, and attempted to flee from God, which is an impossibility, but the thing he could do, was flee from God's voice. There are places you can go where, from outward appearances, you are not very likely to hear from God. Groups of unsaved people, bars.
Jonah winds up finding out that his plan wasn't working, because here come the unsaved sailors, rebuking him for not praying!
The apostle Paul, once in prison, remarked the Word of God cannot be imprisoned.
People who run from the voice of God, will find that the voice of God will show up in the most unlikely of places, in the worst hell holes on earth.
Passing a joint an unsaved person may remark, "aren't you a Christian?"
At a bar someone might ask, "I thought you were married."
I think he had made a decision to leave God. He found out that it doesn't mean God will leave you. Even if we are faithless, yet He cannot deny Himself.
This week we are going to look at Jonah fleeing from the presence of the Lord, in regards to this aspect: Jonah was attempting to flee the calling of God. We will look at it from a different direction next week.
Jonah was attempting to flee from the call of God on his life.
What does God call people to?:
1. Salvation is a calling, some are fleeing from that. Drawn of the Father.
2. To return to the Lord, Rev. 3:20, some are fleeing from that.
3. A specific act of obedience. Jonah 1:2 - Go to Nineveh.
4. To stop a specific act of disobedience.
5. A specific life direction. Go to Nineveh and preach.
Your response to the call of God:
Walking in it
Why did Jonah run?
First lets contextualize what God was asking him to do.
Jonah had to go to Iraq and preach judgment.
Imagine the reception a Jew on the streets of Iraq, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia would get from preaching that they were about to be judged by God. What do you think his expected lifespan would be, if he went to Tehran and said, "40 days and you are going to get wiped out?"
The first thing Jonah teaches us about the call of God is that it is not always a very easy thing to do.
Jonah had to go 550 miles to get there. An almost 30 day trip. 30 days through the deserts of the Mid-East. Food and water problems, highway robbers, fatigue and a not very receptive audience awaiting.
Did Jonah have a family to take care of? Did he have a business to keep running? What language is it they speak over there in Assyria?