Summary: A message about disobedience
He said to them, ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you.
In this day and time it would just be mighty kind if folks would live by the Jonah rule. Meaning that if you have make a decision to be disobedient to God, don’t’ do it the cost of other people. Be man enough to admit when you have caused or created some drama in someone else’s life. Just imagine for a moment the Jonah impact on our society today. If more people would just step up and be mature enough and bold enough to admit when they are wrong. Wouldn’t our society be in a much better shape? One of the arts of problem resolution is confession. Confession is powerful in as much as it creates within you the strength to release fear. In most cases fear drives violence in our neighborhoods and cites across America. Because others are fearful they react which leads to shoot’em up-bang/bang.
Our homes and our families would be so much better if you would take some responsibility for the chaos we create. Marriages would still be together, homes would still be in tact if someone would have been man enough or woman enough to say, I’m the problem. That confession resonates in the hearts of most people. Just the fact that you said, I’m sorry or it’s my fault does not make you a weak man, but rather a great man of strength and integrity. If in relationships, we as men feel we’re always right and have all the answers to all the questions and can solve all the problems in the world. That’s one reason we don’t want to sit under a female Pastor because we don’t want no woman telling us what to do.
What would our churches be like if the one who started the mess would fess up and say I’m the problem? We get so busy calling everyone we know to gossip about all the stuff going on at the church and never step up to say you stated the lie. What kind of church would we have if there were men and women who would take responsibility for their actions and their behaviors not only towards each other but more importantly against God? When you sin you don’t sin against another brother/sister, you sin against God. Psalms 51 says it best when David was before God with a repentant heart; he said I have sinned against you and you only, speaking of God.
What we see in today’s text is a young preacher who has been given an assignment to go to Nineveh to preach the gospel unto those where were about to be destroyed because of their misdealing with God. Rev Jonah decided that he would fear God rather than trust Him. We should all have a fear of God but not a distrust of God. He’s proven Himself far too many times for us to doubt anything He tells us to do. Regardless of how it looks if God commands it – you do it. Jonah wasn’t so much afraid of the preaching but moreover he was afraid of what could happen to him if he had followed God’s command. It was said that the people of Nineveh were about cruel punishment to all who would come to bring forth the error of their ways. We don’t like it when people try to tell us we’re wrong or out of order.
The bible says that instead of Jonah following God’s instructions he decided to take a weekend getaway to Joppa. It appears that somebody else must have known that Jonah had been given these orders from God because he really could have stayed home versus going anywhere. We too find ourselves saying I’ll just stay home rather than go deal with that stuff going on at the church. I don’t want to be a part of no mess. Whatever is going on down there at the church, they can have it. But what we must realize is that there are times when God wants to use you to calm a storm. Knowing God has given you insight and vision on when and what to say to help those who might be headed for the wrong street.
Jonah was a man who hadn’t quite recognized the power of God working in His life because he couldn’t see how he going to Nineveh would benefit him. He was having a what’s in it for me moment. But once he got on to the ship and God sent the storm, he went to the hull of the ship to sleep. Isn’t it strange how the guilty ones always seem at peace even in the midst of the mess they’ve created? We sometimes not knowing who the responsible party is assume that everybody else is at peace while I’m going through. The storm began to rage and the waters were getting so dangerous that the sailors couldn’t understand who could be responsible for this turmoil on the sea. But as God would have it there was a call meeting on the top deck of the boat and they couldn’t figure out why the storm was raging so aggressively. So they decided to cast lots to determine who/what was the problem. Jonah was sleeping so well that they woke him up and told him to call on that God of his. Even in our society today, unsaved folks have a few and reverence for God, sometimes even greater than our own. But the sailors knew there was something about Jonah’s God that could help them. So they cast lots to see who the guilty person was that was causing this horrible storm. It seems they were accustomed to a smooth cruise and this storm was such an abnormal occurrence they knew something was wrong. Jonah has been given credit for stepping up and admitting he was the problem, but that isn’t really what happened. The scriptures say that God made it so Jonah would be forced to confess. Haven’t you heard of confessions that were supposedly cohered for the investigators? And will not stand up in court or admissible for the juror to hear.