Summary: God is gracious and compassionate.


Jonah 3:1-10

S: Grace

Th: My Life as God’s Light

Pr: God is gracious and compassionate.

?: How? How is it observed?

KW: Results

TS: In our study of Jonah 3, we will observe three results of God’s grace and compassion.


God’s grace and compassion causes…




RMBC 7/29/01 AM


ILL Notebook: Bad day (drink the poison)

A fellow is standing at a bar, just looking at his drink. For a solid half-hour, he just stares at it. Suddenly, a big trouble-maker type of guy steps up next to him, takes the drink and chugs it down. The poor guy starts crying.

The big guy says, "Come on man, I was just joking. Here, I’ll buy you another drink. I can’t stand to see a man cry."

"You don’t understand," says the first fellow "This day is the worst day of my life. First, I sleep through the alarm this morning and get into the office late. My boss fires me on the spot.

"I leave the building to go to my car and find, that in just the few minutes I had been inside, it had been stolen. The police were no help; they say I am probably out of luck.

"Luck? I get a cab to return home, and when I leave it, I realize that I have left my wallet and all my credit cards on the back seat. I try to get the cabbie’s attention as he drives away, but no. Off he goes.

"I get inside the house, much earlier than anyone had expected. Surprise, Honey, I’m ho-ome. I find my wife has packed her bags and left.

"1 leave home, and come to this bar. I stood here seriously thinking about ending it all. And 1 was ready to do it. Then you show up and drink my poison..."

1. Have you ever really had a bad day?

Nothing seems to go right…

I am sure we have all had those kind of days.

Jonah knew what it was like to have bad days.

First, he was in a slimy fish and then because of an involuntary emesistic reaction, he finds himself up on a beach.

(The medical people will tell us that is a technical way of referring to “throwing up.”)

But, because of this involuntary emesistic reaction, we find that…

2. Jonah gets a new start with his life.

The fact that Jonah gets a new start, really is amazing.

After all, he really had made a mess of things!

Let’s remember…

3. Context: Jonah’s initial response to God’s call was less than inspiring.

God had called Jonah to go to Nineveh.

Since he had no interest in going to Nineveh because of his disdain for them as Israel’s enemy, he decided to go a different direction.

So, instead of heading east, he headed as far to the west he could possibly go at that time—Spain.

But Jonah’s disobedience resulted in God bringing about an intense storm, which threatedned the ship, and which had frightened the sailors to the point that they were fervently calling on their gods to save them.

At the same time, they were casting all the cargo overboard.

Finding Jonah sleeping soundly below deck, the captain of the ship rebuked him for sleeping and commanded him to pray (which he apparently never did).

At the seamen’s initiative, lots were cast to determine on whose account the ship was about to sink.

After an interrogation, Jonah told them he was at fault and what they must do to save themselves and their ship—cast him overboard.

Only after God thwarted their diligent efforts to get Jonah to shore did the sailors consent to do as Jonah had instructed them.

They preceded this act with a prayer that expressed their concern for putting an innocent man to death.

When Jonah was cast over the side, the sea calmed and the seamen worshipped the God of Israel with sacrifices and vows.

If the first chapter revealed anything, it dramatically contrasted Jonah with the unbelieving sailors.

He was disobedient to the command of God; they obeyed what God told them to do through Jonah.

They prayed frequently and fervently; Jonah did not.

They had great compassion on Jonah; he seemingly had none on them.

When we come to chapter two, we find that Jonah is starting to get it.

We find a "psalm" of sorts.

Jonah’s "psalm" centers on the prophet’s dilemma, danger, and deliverance.

When Jonah gives the glory to God for his physical deliverance, God commanded the great fish to spit Jonah up on the beach.

You may not like to hear this, but…

4. We are not so unlike Jonah.

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