Summary: A sermon on Jonah 1 about defiance against the will of God

Jonah’s Defiance

Jonah 1


My son and I were bass fishing in a boat on the Kanawha River in West Virginia, when I hooked a really big bass. My line got snarled on my casting reel, and I didn’t have a lot of extra line to let out. When the big bass hit the end of the free line, he was so big and had such strength, that he started pulling me out of the boat. I yelled for my son to help me, and just as I was about to go completely into the river, he grabbed my leg and pulled it about as hard as I’m pulling yours right now.

Jack Brannon


A. There are two reasons why fishing can be dangerous to ones spiritual life.

1. The lying.

2. Running away from God.

B. Let me tell you a true tale. A man tries to get away from it all, to run away from God’s will, and he ends up not fishing but getting swallowed by a fish.

Thesis: Let’s look at Jonah’s defiance, Jonah’s defeat and Jonah being devoured.

Scripture text: Jonah 1 (Read it now)

For instances:

1. His defiance. Vs. 1-3

A. Nineveh- The leading city of the Assyrian empire.

B. Tarshish- A city founded by the Phoenicians on the east coast of modern day Spain. The Phoenicians were sea fearing people and were big into trade.

C. Nineveh and Tarshish were thousands of miles apart.

D. This is more than disobedience, it is defiance. Defiance is a bold resistance to an opposing authority; intentionally provocative behavior or attitude.

E. From the presence of the Lord. How foolish? (Psa 139:7 NIV) Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psa 139:8 NIV) If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

F. However, people try it all of the time. Avoid at all costs church or anything that reminds them of God.

G. He was fleeing so that he would not have to be the Lord’s minister and servant. The Lord gives us free will to do this.

H. Jonah was a prophet of the Lord. How do we know this? (2 Ki 14:24 NIV) He did evil in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. (2 Ki 14:25 NIV) He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.

I. He evidently was a faithful prophet up until this point.

J. He was open to doing what God told him. Finding the will of the Lord and doing it.

K. How can we know the will of the Lord?

1. The will of the Lord is for everyone to be saved, make Jesus Christ your Savior.

a. God wants all men to be saved, to come to a knowledge of the truth.

b. Believe

c. Repent

d. Confess

e. Be baptized.

2. The will of the Lord is for everyone to live for Jesus, make Jesus Christ your Master, your Lord.

a. Pray and meditate on his Word.

b. Stop sinning.

c. Help others, give, use our talents and gifts to help the church and others.

d. Spend time with others. Make friends of God’s children.

e. Share the message of the gospel.

3. His specific will must be focused on this. The details will be revealed.

L. Why would Jonah do this?

1. Jonah hated the Ninevites, and he did not want them to be saved. Don’t be too hard on him. Assyria was one of the most brutal nations of the ancient world. They were feared and dreaded by all the peoples of that day. They used very cruel methods of torture. They were the first peoples to bury someone up to their neck and then leave them for days and then behead them. They were the first peoples to use crucifixion (the Romans perfected it). They would often invade a town and kill all of the men and children, rape the women and make them their slaves. Many towns would not surrender to them; they would all commit suicide before they would be taken alive by the Assyrians. Just a few decades before this story, the Assyrians invaded some of the nation of Israel. They is a good chance that they into Jonah’s hometown of Gath-Hepher. They may have come even to his home, and he may have seen his own father and mother cruelly, brutally slain before his eyes. Or he might have seen his sisters raped by the Assyrians. Jonah did want those people to be saved.

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