Summary: Second in a series on the importance fo obedience
JONAH AND GOD! II
THE HIGH COST OF DISOBEDIENCE
Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city-a visit required three days. 4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." 5 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 4:1 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live." 4 But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?" 5 Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live." 9 But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?"
"I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die." 10 But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
This morning we opened with Jonah and God – the terrible cost of disobedience: We were clear that Jonah was a well known evangelist, and that he was accustomed to big successes. He heard the word of the Lord the FIRST time to go to Ninevah – He ran from God in the opposite direction.
We said if we are not running with God, we are running away from God. We said if are in neutral with God and His kingdom, we are running away from God!
Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and there had some time to think.
I. IN THE BELLY OF THE FISH –
A. God’s deliverance for Jonah.
1. Jonah knew he was causing trouble for the shipmates and other passengers.
a. He knew that the shame of disobedience was bad enough, but then he was endangering other’s lives.
b. So in the fish’s belly he goes. Better than being eaten alive by other smaller fishes TRYING to eat him whole!
c. 3 days and 3 nights – Type of death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
d. From within the belly Jonah cries out repentance, thanksgiving, and a prayer for deliverance.
e. The fish spews him out and he’s on the beach of Ninevah!
II. THE WORD OF THE LORD TIMES TWO:
A. A second time!
1. What mercy! God came again to Jonah and spoke to him!
a. The souls of Ninevah were in such need of God.