Summary: Repentance on man’s part always brings action on God’s part.
Jonah 2:10-3:2 12/21/05
Immediately after Jonah repented of his disobedience, there were some directives that brought about his deliverance from the belly of the fish. Repentance on man’s part always brings action on God’s part. Man could solve many of his problems if only he would be willing to repent.
Now our text gives us two significant directives from God. One is given to the fish and the other is given to Jonah. The fish is directed to vomit out Jonah on dry land and Jonah is directed to go to Nineveh to speak to the people about their sin and the judgment of God upon their sin.
There is only two points to this study tonight and we start with the first and that is THE SPEWING DIRECTIVE. Look at verse 10, “And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”
I don’t think we have the words to really explain what Jonah must have felt when he was finally on dry land. Now he could see the sunshine and the sky. The trauma of the last few days is over and he must be thankful; I know I would be. But you know what; I would like to know some more of the details of the fish spewing Jonah on dry land. I would like to know exactly where that took place. I would like to know if there were witnesses around. Can you imagine fishing on the sea shore and here, a big fish is coming toward the shore and then it opens its mouth and out rolls a man? I just wonder what Jonah looked like as he left the fish. But since the Word of God doesn’t give us any of that information, we will have to wait and ask Jonah when we get to heaven.
There will be many men who will have some stories to tell when we get there but none more exciting than the story that Jonah will have to tell.
I was reading the story over again beginning in chapter one and discovered there are four things said about the fish. The fish was prepared; it was great; it was obedient and it was sick, or at least, it vomited. God did the first two things. He prepared the fish and He made it great. The fish did the third thing; he was obedient. But man did the forth thing and that is he made the fish sick. I know that God is always doing His part and it seems the animal world is obedient to God but man, on the other hand is often making creation sick.
There are a few things I want us to see in the obedience of the fish that we would do well to listen and heed. The first is what we will call the place of service. The fish was to vomit Jonah out on dry ground. This location of service was not what the fish was use to. The fish was a water creature, not a land creature. It would be difficult for the fish to get to the dry ground.
Location can be a real test of loyalty to the service of God. Some miss the blessings of God because the location is not convenient. Every pastorate is not always in a nice comfortable and fruitful situation. But I want to tell you if God sends you to dry land than that is the only place for you to go. With the Lord knowing my heart, I had rather be in the Lord’s place of service for me than in the largest Southern Baptist Church in the nation out of His will.
We see not only the place of service but also the puzzle of service. First, God commanded the fish to swallow Jonah and then commanded the fish to vomit Jonah out. If the fish had been like humans, he would have complained about this. He probably would have said God can’t you make up your mind? But the fish wisely obeyed even if he did not have any reason for it except God said.
Sometimes God’s commands are puzzling. How about Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac? How about Israel being commanded to march around Jericho seven times? Be careful, because if we are always looking for God’s command’s in our life to make sense to us it may not be that way. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” God’s orders for our life may not make sense at times but it doesn’t matter if we understand. We are looking at the situation only from down here and it will be much brighter when we get up there and then we will say oh how wise you are God.