Summary: Exposition of Jonah 1
Tonight I want to talk to you about getting your chores done. I suppose most of us are old enough to remember when kids did chores. If you grew up on a farm you recall chores like milking cows, or feeding animals, or weeding gardens, or chopping wood. If you grew up in town, like I did, you remember washing dishes, sweeping or vacuuming floors, taking out trash.
My sons still do chores in our home. On occasion,(not lately) they share with me that none of their friends do chores. When they aren’t in school (so they say) all they do is play video games, watch TV, or play basketball. “Daddy, why do I have to do chores, and they don’t have to?” I smile at them and explain, “Because they don’t live here.” Dad and mom, if your kids live with you, you need to teach them to work, and one of the best ways to do that is to give them chores. If you don’t teach them to work, they will learn to be lazy.
Even when you grow up, though, you still have chores to do, don’t you? You have to work for a living. If you’re a husband with a day off, you get a honey-do list. If you’re the wife, your chore list is usually the largest in the family. If you’re single, you do all the chores.
Tonight I want to talk to you about another kind of chore—the chores your Heavenly Father has for you to do. God has chores for us, and if we love Him and want to please Him, we need to be about our Father’s business.
This is why I want us to look in Jonah 1, at a man who tried to run away because he didn’t like the chores God gave him to do. Let’s see what we can learn about getting our chores done from old Jonah.
Heavenly Father, would you please help us hear your Word tonight. So often the worries and troubles and events of our day cry out so loudly we cannot hear what your Spirit says to us. Help us focus our heart and mind on your Word, that we may not just hear it, but obey You from a heart that loves and adores you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The first thing Jonah teaches us is:
I. GOD CHOOSES OUR CHORES (v. 1-2)
Who decides who does what in the home? When I was growing up, it was my parents. “Michael, you vacuum the carpet, Randy you do the dishes, Cathy you fold the clothes.” Sometimes mom would ask for volunteers (I always wanted to vacuum, and hated washing dishes!) But most of the time my chores were chosen for me by my parents.
God chose Jonah for a chore. He calls Jonah to be a prophet, a spokesman for God.
You might remember Jonah was first famous for giving a good message to Israel back in 2 Kings 14:25.
I imagine this wasn’t the only time Jonah delivered God’s Word to His people. But at some point, vs. 2 tells us, God chooses another chore for Jonah, this time not to Israel, but to the capital city of Assyria, the great city of Nineveh. Cry out against it! Warn them that I see their wickedness!
I want you to notice a couple of things about God’s chore for Jonah:
It is communicated clearly. Jonah doesn’t have to decipher the message; God makes it very clear to Jonah what He wants him to do. We don’t know whether God spoke directly or indirectly, but however he spoke, Jonah knew exactly what chore God asks him to do.
It is a personal call. The understood subject of this command is you. I’m not calling Amos or Hosea or Isaiah—I’m calling you, Jonah. This is a task I have chosen you to do.
Jonah isn’t the only person God ever had chores for. He gave Adam and Eve work to do in the Garden; Moses’ chore was to lead Israel out of slavery. Joshua’s chore was leading Israel into the Promised Land; God called David to be King of His people.
Throughout history God gives ordinary folks like you and me chores—tasks he calls us to do. Like Jonah, His call is communicated clearly and personally, so there can be no doubt what He wants us to do. Does God have chores for you to do?
Lk 10:27 …You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
Mk 1:17 Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.