Summary: The is the 6th in a series of messages fron Jonah.
* In the year 2000 when I stepped away from ministry because of health issues, my first cousin gave to me a book by M. R. Dehaan of the Radio Bible Class entitled, “Broken Things.” Were I to have the financial resources, I would buy every person I know a copy of this book. This book reveals a Biblical and God-honoring view of this thing called brokenness.
* Think about it: In the physical world we buy things, they break, so we throw them away. In the relational (or social) world, we gain friends, they break (I.E. character, morals, etc), and sadly, we throw them away (to find some more). In the church world, we gain new members, they break (I.E. fall off the ‘wagon’ in some way) and we dismiss them. Interestingly enough, what we call trash, God calls treasure. What we tend to reject, God tends to remake.
* In fact, it has been rightly said that God cannot use us until we are broken. James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Candidly, God has little use for a prideful person or people. He will do to us whatever is required to break us down.
* Tonight from the life of Jonah, we see God performing a painful work which will ultimately change Jonah’s direction or mind. It is my personal belief that Jonah 2 exists as a warning for us. (READ)
* In verse one of chapter one God tells Jonah to ‘get up and go to Nineveh.” Jonah got up and went, but as we have said before, he went the wrong direction. He had too much pride to go to those folks at Nineveh. He didn’t like them, they were from the wrong side of the tracks, and what if they actually got saved; he would have to spend an eternity with them. Jonah felt that HE should control HIS OWN life, He was an adult, He alone should decide where He went, who He spoke to, and what He would say. I shiver just thinking about this concept.
* Before we walk through a few thoughts, consider this; when has God spoken to you or maybe what has He told you to do and that you actually went the other way? Was it to teach a Sunday School Class, Sing in the Choir, Speak to you Neighbor, call a friend or stranger? What was it? If I am indeed a child of God and I run away from God, then I can fully expect to be ‘brought down’ a notch. I’ll be like the criminal when broken by investigators spills out the truth.
* From our text, let’s MENTION several truths about brokenness;
1. THE PRINCIPLE OF BROKENNESS – Brokenness is “the process where God brings us to the end of ourselves and into total trust, love, and submission toward Him.” Truth is, we like Jonah prefer to be independent, yet God demands dependence. He does not want us to “lean on our own understanding”, but rather we are to “acknowledge Him.” There is no way to acknowledge who and what He is, without giving Him the adoration which He is due. If we refuse to look up, God may well take us down!
* James 1 says, “Count it PURE joy, when the trials come because they are the very tools God uses to make you what He wants you to be.” These trials are sent to us to make us like HIM.
* By the way, my parents clearly understood this principle of brokenness and they learned it from our Heavenly Father.
2. THE PLACE OF BROKENNESS – God gave Jonah every chance to change his mind, direction, and location, but Jonah refused. The place of brokenness was not on the deck of the ship, but rather the belly of the fish! Just think; had Jonah heard the storm and prayed a prayer of repentance, what would have happened? Although we’ll never know, God could have softened the wind to return them safely to port so that Jonah could fulfill his calling. Yet, Jonah was stubborn, pride, and so hardheaded that he wound up in deep water and with more than a “foot in the mouth.” It was in this place that God did the work of brokenness. It was “in the belly of the fish.” Even here it took Jonah 3 days to come to his senses.
* God may not have you or me swallowed by a fish, but he can put us in the bed, the hospital, the morgue, or even in a lifetime of physical therapy. Make no mistake He can and will work on His children to help them see the need to be obedient. By the way, Jonah sensed that was lower than the belly of the fish.”