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Summary: God pursues us to save us.

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GETTING IT RIGHT

Jonah 1:17-2:10

S: Salvation

Th: My Life as God’s Light

Pr: GOD PURSUES US TO SAVE US

?: What? Save us from what?

KW: Quandaries

TS: Because God pursues us to save us, we will find in Jonah 2 three quandaries from which we need to be saved.

The _____ quandary from which we need to be saved is our…

I. DILEMMAS (1-2)

II. DEMISE (3-6)

III. DISREGARD (7-9)

RMBC 7/22/01 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Caught (Burns and Benny)

Jack Benny and George Burns became friends when both were young performers working their way up through the vaudeville circuit, and they remained friends during their lifetimes.

One day, they were lunching at a Hollywood restaurant, and Benny was wrestling with the problem of whether or not to butter his bread. "I like butter on my bread," he said. "But my diet strictly forbids butter. Maybe I should call Mary and ask her what to do."

"Jack," Burns said, "don’t be ridiculous. You’re a grown man. You should be able to decide, without your wife’s help, whether or not to butter your own bread."

"You’re right," Benny said. "I’ll just have the butter, that’s all."

When the waiter arrived with the check, Burns pointed to Benny and said, "He’s paying."

"What?" Benny said. "Why should I have to pay the whole bill?"

"Because if you don’t," Burns said, "I’ll tell Mary about the butter."

Have you ever been caught?

Have you ever been caught doing something that you knew was wrong?

And it became pretty obvious to a lot of people.

You know, sometimes we can go a long time without being caught.

But, at the same time, we also know that those things we have done or said that we wish would stay hidden, have a way of coming out after time has passed.

TRANSITION:

ILL T-shirt (IRS)

There is a new T-shirt out with this saying:

IRS: We’ve got what it takes to take what you’ve got.

Okay, maybe that’s not so funny.

But…

1. God has what it takes to get us back on track.

Last week, we began a study on the Old Testament prophet Jonah.

And we found in this study that we have entered into a battle of the wills between God and Jonah.

2. Review: Jonah had tried to escape from God.

Jonah fled in the opposite direction from Nineveh in defiance of God’s clear command to him, and headed for Spain.

He tells the Lord at the end of the book that he really did understand God’s desire for the world including Nineveh.

He says, “I know you are a God of love and patience and mercy. I know you want to forgive the sins of those people.”

But his hatred of Ninevites was more powerful than his understanding of who God was.

We learned that God loved Jonah too much to let him get away with his sinful rebellion.

God could have chosen another prophet and said, "Good riddance!" to this rebel.

But instead, God in his sovereignty hurled a lethal storm at Jonah’s ship because he wanted to stop his escape.

As the flurry of the storm intensified, we also saw Jonah’s defiance and self-absorption intensify.

As God made Jonah’s circumstances more difficult, Jonah became more stubbornly manipulative of the pagan sailors.

We find that Jonah would rather die than repent of his own sin or be part of the salvation of the Assyrians.

Finally, he made those pagan sailors responsible for his own sacrificial execution.

Jonah was thrown overboard, and God instantly calmed the Mediterranean Sea.

Jonah began to spiral downward into the ocean as the pagan sailors were expressing their heartfelt gratitude for their deliverance from the storm by Jonah’s God.

They left all the other gods that they had cried out to and prayed to the Lord, the one Jonah had halfheartedly confessed as the God who made the sea and the dry land.

These Phoenician sailors began to come into a relationship of faith with God.

But, this is not the end of the story,

For…

3. God prepared a great fish for Jonah to preserve him (17).

But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

We have all heard about men that go fishing, but here we have the fish that went manning.

The question that often comes up by critics of the Bible is could this really happen?

Let me say outright that I believe this event is a miracle.

I am not troubled by the supernatural.

God can and will intervene as the omnipotent God of the universe.

He can break into His ordered creation and literally move heaven and earth.

What is interesting though is an article published by the Encyclopedia Britannica [from The Princeton Theological Review called the "Sign of the Prophet Jonah and Its Modern Confir-mations"] that demonstrates the possibility of such an occurrence.

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