Summary: Grace is a concept that begins with the creation. In this message we see the grace of God demonstrated by God allowing a fish to swallow Jonah.
A Fish Called Grace
Jonah 1:1-3, 4,17; 2:10; 3:1
Many times when we hear something we miss the bigger message behind what we hear. As we take a look this morning into the book of Jonah, if I were to ask most of you this morning to give us a brief summary of this prophets story you could probably tell it to the tiniest detail, but if that is all we recognize from this book then we I believe have missed the much bigger message God is trying to convey through this art of His word. Many would say that grace did not come about until the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, but this a book about the extraordinary mercy, grace and salvation that God offers each of us. This morning I want to show you a few of the many lessons I believe God is trying to teach us from this small book. This morning I want to show 4 simple principles from Jonah. The rejection of God, the mercy and grace of God and the salvation and restoration of God.
I. The Rejection of God (1:1-3)
A. Briefly describe the rejection of God in Jonah through disobedience.
1. He was more of a patriot than a prophet
2. Jonah was willing to preach, but he wanted to choose the crowd to preach to.
3. Jonah though by running from God, he could change God’s plan.
B. What about us that are gathered here this morning though? Have we as individuals rejected God? I want to challenge you this morning to look at your heart and ask yourself if you have rejected God. There are two basic ways to reject God.
1. Some reject God through disobedience to God’s word and His will for your life. As believers we many times put our own interests and desires above what we know God wants.
a. Jonah – Jonah 1:3
b. Adam & Eve – Gen. 3
c. Peter – The denial of Christ
C. I wonder this morning if anyone here is in the midst of rejecting God’s will for your life or rejecting God by knowingly disobeying God or maybe you know God has spoke to your heart and that you need to come this morning and be saved. If either of these describes you then I have good news for you because God offers you mercy grace and forgivensss.
II. The mercy & Grace of God (1:4, 17)
A. Our sin can never overpower the grace of God (Romans 5:20). God’s forgiveness will always overpower our sin.
B. A times God’s mercy may come in the form of a storm(v. 4) Many times it takes a storm to turn us back toward God. Many times the storm that seems to be surrounding us is nothing more than God pursuing us. He pursued Jonah because He had a purpose for Jonah’s life.
C. The fish is a symbol of God’s grace (v. 17) Jonah deserved to sink to the bottom of the sea and perish, but God sent a fish at just the right time to save Jonah. In the same way we deserve hell, but God sent His Son Jesus Christ at just the right time (Gal. 4:4) to provide a way to life, but we must believe on Him and confess Him as our Lord and Savior.
III. The Salvation and Restoration of God (2:10, 3:1-2)
A. God’s plan for saving Jonah was completed when He caused the fish to vomit Jonah out. (2:10)
1. the fish could not hold Jonah (“so the Lord spoke to the fish…”). The grave could not hold Jesus.
2. Jonah being spared had nothing to do with Jonah, but had everything to do with God. (Eph. 2:8-9)
3. God’s plan for saving us was completed when Christ died on the cross and was resurrected 3 days later. All God asked you to do in return is believe this by faith.
B. God’s Restoration (Jonah 3:1a)
1. God does not give up on you if you are His child.
2. God is the God of the second chance.
3. If God has spoken to your heart this morning as a believer a second time you ought to respond by coming and recommitting your life to Him and choosing to live obediently.