6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This sermon looks at how Jonah was wise in following God but then was unwise by running away from God. It is part of a series on Living Wise.

Be Wise: Don’t Run Away

Jonah 1


A. WE started this year with the Challenge: Living Wise in 2005.

Eph. 5:15- calls us to live not as unwise but as the wise.

Vs’ 16-21 go on to give us some parameters for Living Wisely:

1. Redeem your Time

2. God’s Will

3. Spirit – Filled

4. Edify Others

5. Worship the Lord

B. But as I was praying about in how to start this New Year not only did the Lord lead me to Focus on Wisdom but He led me with a great example of learning to Live Wise: Jonah!

Let’s look and Learn from this book as we study chapter 1 today.


Vs. 1-2; God Calls Jonah

• The Word of the Lord came to Jonah

• Jonah = means dove, a messenger. Son of Amittai = meaning son of Truth.

• God to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it.

• Because its wickedness has come before me (God knows our misdeeds, sins, wickedness – and He will at some time deal with them in Judgment).

Vs. 3 – Jonah’s response

• Jonah ran away from the Lord

• And headed for Tarshish (from Israel, Nineveh is East and Tarshish is West – the opposite direction)

• He goes down from Jerusalem to Joppa and catches a ship to feel to Tarshish.

• Now why do you think Jonah was so willing to Disobey God?

1. Perhaps Jonah thought God’s message was too harsh! Not likely though as we read the rest of the book and get to know Jonah’s attitude about the Ninevites.

2. Maybe Jonah was afraid for his life! Very possible because we read from Nahum 3 that Nineveh was wicked and brutal Assyrian City. It was a great enemy to Israel. This city was known for as a place with many casualties, piles of dead bodies, people stumbling over corpses, - enslaved to sorcery, prostitution, and witchcraft. In other writings it is said that the Ninevite leaders would remove their enemies head and wear them around their neck. So, yes, it is possible that Jonah feared his life.

3. Perhaps Jonah thought this assignment was a lost cause – they will never accept God or His message, so why bother. I.E. God, you must not know what is right on this one – they won’t accept you. I will help you God.

Whatever the reason, and we will see at least part of Jonah’s reason in the next couple weeks – the point here is that Jonah was willfully disobedient to God. I.E., He was not living Wisely! Why do any of us willfully disobey God, by not doing what the Lord wants us to do?

Vs. 4-17; God reveals Himself to Jonah and the crew through the Storm.

• The great Storm, vs. 4-5; even the crew was afraid, these were professional sailors. They called on their gods – but their gods couldn’t calm the storm.

• Jonah was below deck asleep, even through the storm. Vs5b-6 How could Jonah sleep through this storm?

1. Perhaps, like many of us, we rest on what we have done for the Lord, verses what we are not doing for the Lord!

2. Perhaps, Jonah was deceived by a false sense of pride and faith even though at this time he is willfully being disobedient to God. How Wise is that?

• The Captain and the crew seek to know whose the culprit. Vs. 6-11

- the lots fell on Jonah as the guilty party, vs. 7

- Notice how Jonah responds who he is – vs.9 Hebrew, worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.

- Notice the Crew was “Terrified” – vs. 10 and they knew Jonah was running away from the Lord because he told them already.

- Finally they ask Jonah – what should we do?, vs. 11

• Jonah seeks to save the Crew by asking them to throw him overboard, vs. 11-16

- Jonah asks them to throw him overboard so that they can live as the sea will calm down, vs. 12

- INSTEAD – the men try to row to safety without throwing Jonah overboard, vs. 13

- Then the men prayed to God to forgive them for throwing Jonah overboard, thinking for sure he would die, vs. 14

- Finally they throw Jonah overboard, vs. 15 and the sea became calm.

- The men still fear God so they offered a sacrifice to Him and made vows to him, vs. 16

• Vs. 17; the Lord provided…

- A Great fish, not necessarily a whale and Jonah was inside the fish for 3 days and 3 nights.

Lessons for us from Jonah 1:

1. How great is our God! It wasn’t the false gods that the crew worshipped and prayed to – it was THE God. He is control of the Wind and the Sea; of heaven and earth.

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