Summary: The scientists tell us for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In our relationship with God for every action there is also a consequence. See how Jonah’s life parallels ours when we go contrary to God’s will
Oskaloosa Evangelical Church
Sermon Text: Jonah 1:1-3,17; 2:1, 10
Sermon Title: Fish food for thought
Sunday, June 11th 00
I think everyone has their favorite Bible story, and many times we find ourselves able to identify with a character or some specific sets of circumstances. Jonah, like many of us, distinctly heard God communicate His will and Jonah like many of us chose to ignore, explain away, edit, or modify what God had commanded of them. Jonah had no idea of the scope of God’s power. He thought if he sailed away God couldn’t do anything about what he was doing or in this case not doing. Jonah’s predicament goes from bad to worse to extremely bad. How many times do we do things without realizing that God has full knowledge of all of our activities. As children when we were busy sneaking that cookie out of the cookie jar, if we couldn’t pull that one over on mom, how could we ever expect to fool God? Jonah learns a lesson about the power of God, the scope of God, the patience of God, the forgiveness of God, and the perseverance of God.
Please join me in the reading of God’s Holy Word!
Scripture Reading: 1:1-3, 17; 2:1, 10
Jonah 1:1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
1:17 And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish,
2:10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.
I chose this section of Scripture because in many cases, I can identify with many of the situations that Jonah experienced. I also felt God calling me and instead of following God, I put all of my time and energy into running from God. How many of us out of fear of failure or perhaps the unknown find themselves fleeing from instead of into the loving arms of Jesus?
We also all find out that when we avoid what God is calling us to, we often also find ourselves outside of His blessings. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen in the past that whenever we cut back on our tithes, inevitably our financial situation suffered, or at least wasn’t as fruitful as the times when we remained faithful. Jonah was not obeying the will of God, so as a result his little cruise turned to a near fatal experience. He was definitely Paying the Price. How many things in our past would fit that same explanation?
Jonah comes to his senses in the belly of a really big fish, puts two and two together and begins to pray. Our God is a truly awesome and forgiving God and as a result there is forgiveness. Realizing the errors of our ways, we have the opportunity to strike out again and follow the will of God.
When we pray for deliverance from the results of our human follies, we need to realize that the rescue we want may not come in the form and the timetable that we would like. I think there are times when we find ourselves waiting in order to be rescued for the purpose of knowing without a doubt that God is responsible for our delivery. Jonah may have thought about how fortunate he was to have been vomited out of the fish and on to dry land, when he was in many respects rescued the moment that fish ate him. Without that stroke of God’s grace after being thrown from the ship, he most certainly would have perished. There are many ways that we can Be delivered from our misfortunes.
Let’s go to the Lord in prayer!
POINT 1: Like Jonah, we have all probably had times in our past when we ran from the will of God, and there may even be those that if they look thoroughly enough at their lives today would probably realize that they are Running from God at this very moment. How did Jonah react to God calling Him to minister to the Ninevites? We read in the third verse of the first chapter.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.