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Summary: Let’s learn from the life of Jonah

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INTRO: A minister, boy scout, computer expert were the only passengers on a small plane. Pilot came back to the cabin and said the plane was going down and there were only three parachutes and four people. Pilot: “I should take one because I have a wife and three small children” (took & jumped). Computer whiz said, “I should have one because I am the smartest man in the world and everyone needs me” (took & jumped). Minister turned to the boy scout with a sad smile and said, “you are young and I have lived a rich life, so you take the remaining parachute and I’ll go down with the plane.” The boy scout said, “relax preacher, the smartest man in the world just picked up my knapsack and jumped out.”

TITLE: A Lesson Hard Learned

TEXT: Jonah 2, 3

I. Jonah’s prayer (READ Chapter 2)

A. Call to God - The man of God didn’t want to even talk to God a few hours ago. Know his attitude and behavior have changed.

1. Paint picture - v. 1 - In my distress, affliction (suffering of body and mind, pain, anguish).

-Depths of the grave (He. - belly of Sheol, hell)

-v. 3 - Currents swirled about me, waves sweeping over me.

ex My drowning

a. Jonah swallowed later - Jonah just didn’t get tossed overboard and giant fish ate him. I believe he sank and was struggling and was almost out of air, tangled in seaweed (v. 6 - to the roots of the mountain).

-Shows the depths he sank.

b. Mental exhaustion - building and building. Ever since he disobeyed God (didn’t go to Ninevah, bigotry. Ran, boarded ship, opposite direction).

1. Disobey the Lord - lose peace of mind, joy, happiness (strength and security).

2. Disobedience took its toll - Jonah was so mentally beaten he was willing to take his life.

ex Accounting field, change career (delusions of grandeur).

Interesting: God didn’t pamper Jonah (nervous breakdown, take it easy, “you’ve been through enough, I’ll find someone else”). Jonah was going to obey.

c. Fish - whale, shark, grouper, the fish preserved Jonah’s life rather than let him end it. Kept him from dying in disobedience.

1. Scripture seems to judge those who seem to give up.

ex. Judas - I believe he could have repented.

Like soldier: what would happen if commanded to do something by the general and we didn’t

obey. We would be punished.

2. Fish was blessing - Instrument in God’s hands that would mold and shape Jonah (fires of judgment have softened the prophet’s iron will).

Likewise we need to thank God for our difficulties and hardships. Kiss the chains that bind us to God.

a. James 1:2-4 (READ) not just joy, but pure joy.

1. Perseverance - grit, courage, strength.

2. Maturity - complete, not lacking anything.

b. 2 Cor. 12:9b-lOb - “For my power is made perfect in weakness, for when I am weak then I am

strong.”

1. Weakness shows we can’t depend on ourselves, but only on God. When we are weak He is

strong.

2. Depends on our heart - If adverse circumstances come and our heart gets harder, we blame

God and don’t want to have anything to do with Him (worse off).

The furnace can strengthen or destroy (the fire will either melt the butter or harden the clay). Depends on the heart! Jonah’s heart was softened.


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