Summary: One of the unfortunate things about the book of Jonah is: most people know only about the great fish, but they know nothing of the great God.
One of the unfortunate things about the book of Jonah is: most people know only about the great fish, but they know nothing of the great God. Jonah is for real! He was the son of a Amittai. 2 Kings 14:25. A prophet who prophesied in the time of Jeroboam II. Our main concern should not be whether a man can live inside a fish, but does the spirit of Jonah live in us?
I. God’s Call
1. God issued a call to Jonah. 1:1
2. We do not know how He issued it, but in times past:
a. Wind, fire = Moses
c. Still small voice; Elijah
3. Jonah got the message. He heard God.
a. It was personal.
1) God knew who he wanted.
2) God didn't make a mistake.
b. It was powerful
1) Whether the call is accepted or rejected.
2) We are never the same, once it comes.
c. It was persistent
1) God did not give up.
2) God did not change his mind.
II. God’s Commission
1. God called Jonah with a specific task in mind. 1:2
2. God commissioned him to do a certain job. “Arise and go”
a. God's call is always distinct and specific.
1) Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:16
2) Phillip in Acts 8:26
3) Ananias and Saul, Acts 9:10
b. All three verbs are in the imperative, “arise”, “go” and “cry”
3. God's command was not difficult to understand. Jonah knew.
4. God's command was hard to obey.
a. Jonah hated the Assyrians.
b. Matthew 5:44
5. Reasons for running
a. Difficulties. Nineveh was a great city in size, strength, and sin.
1) Like Moses, we often try to run because we think God has given as too hard a task. Exodus 3:11
2) but when God appoints us to serve him, he annoys us with power to serve. Deuteronomy 20:1-4
b. Dangers. Nineveh was great in its cruelty.
1) Jonah's life would be in great danger.
2) Elijah was in great danger because of Jezebel. 1 Kings 19:2-3
c. Distaste. He did not want God to spare Nineveh
1) His distaste grew out of:
a) Patriotism; loving family more than God. Luke 9:23-27
d. Disobedience. Too many of us choose sin and selfishness over service.
1) We are disobedient to God’s will.
2) The Bible tells us that we are:
a) Saved. 2 Peter 3:9
b) Spirit filled. Ephesians 5:18
c) Sanctified. 1 Thessalonians 4:3
d) Submissive. 1 Peter 2:15
e) Suffer. 1 Peter 4:19
6. God’s commission to Jonah was a reminder of His love and concern for all people.
III. God’s Concern
1. God, cry against the wickedness that is come up before me. 1:2
a. God is concerned about the wickedness of the entire world.
1) All nations are accountable to God.
2) All people have a responsibility before Him.
2. God must deal with sin.
a. Nothing goes unnoticed by Him.
b. Stop and think how much God knows about us.
3. We are either like the people of Nineveh or like Jonah.
a. Rebellious or resisting God’s purposes and plan for our lives.
4. Results of rebelling:
a. A ship: favorable circumstances and the absence of pain or difficulties do not mean we have gotten by with disobedience. Ecclesiastes 8:11-13
b. A storm; was an act of discipline for Jonah. Hebrews 12:5-8
c. Damaging for others.
1) Those on the ship
2) Those in Nineveh who needed God!
5. Lesson’s to learn
a. God is inescapable
b. Our disobedience does affect others.