Summary: God gets our attention His own way
How To Get Answers To Prayer
Do you have a prayer life? Does God respond to your prayers? When you pray, does your prayer move God? Most of the time we go to God when we get into trouble and expect Him to respond to us positively in our time of need, even though we don't have a relationship with Him. When we pray in that way, we're not praying at all but are hoping that some change in our circumstances may occur, so that we can continue in our old sinful ways. Jonah was called by God to take a message to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. Though the message was one of impending disaster; Jonah knew the heart of God. He knew that God wants to give everyone at least one chance at salvation. He knew that God would relent and spare Nineveh if they would turn from their idolatrous and evil ways. Jonah was unwilling to go to Israel's enemy with God's offer of salvation, and it was for the reason of his disobedience that God interceded with the great fish in who's belly, Jonah was restored to obedience.
1. Jonah was a disobedient prophet:
A. God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the inhabitants of God's anger.
B. Was Jonah afraid of the Ninevites?
C. Was Jonah jealous of God's will to save another nation beside Israel?
2. Jonah's disobedience brings God's wrath against his unknowing helpers:
A. Johah tried to hide from God by fleeing in the opposite direction to a foreign land.
B. The sailors sought an answer as to why the sea was so rough.
C. The sailors prayed to their Gods without relief.
D. The sailors discovered Jonah sleeping in the cargo hold of the ship.
E. Jonah knew he was the offender of God and he instructed them to cast him into the sea.
F. The sailors followed his instructions and offered an offering to God and vowed to accept him as their God and
the sea was calmed and they were saved.
3. God sends all the chastisement we need to be convinced of His sovereignty.
1. God prepared a great fish so that Jonah would have a testimony.
2. Jonah became fully aware of the gravity of sin against God.
3. Jonah confessed his sin before God and humbly accepted full responsibility for it.
4. Jonah was in great trouble and despair, but he had hope.
5. Jonah having no way to save himself called on God with saving faith
6. God answered the prayer of faith and caused the fish to vomit up Jonah on dry land.
After Jonah recovered from the shock of his ordeal, God again called him to go to Nineveh. This time Jonah was obedient. He traveled to Nineveh and preached of God's anger. He was reluctant because he knew that God, who is slow to anger, and fast to forgive. But he went, and the people repented and turned to God with great zeal. God's anger was turned away, and Nineveh was spared. Jonah was distraught because God spared Nineveh. God
showed Jonah a sign to illustrate His grace. He made a large vine, with great big leaves to shield Jonah from the hot sun, but God caused the Gourd to die. And Jonah grieved. The lesson God taught Jonah was that He cares for all of creation, not just Israel, and that He wants us to develop an eternal world view. God wants us to acknowledge His love and give Him the glory He desires, for all things emanate from Him; and that we love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Will you pray the prayer which gives glory to God? Will you believe for your miracle today?