Summary: Jonah’s guilt is revealed to the sailors. your sins will find you out.
Jonah is saying, “I am a Hebrew” yet he did not act like a Hebrew. He said, “I fear Jehovah.” And yet he is fleeing in rebellion against Jehovah. Many say they fear God but live their lives as if they do not believe he exists. He professes that he believes God has created both land and sea, yet he is running from God.
Three things compound his sin and should cause you and I to take a good look at ourselves.
I. Jonah’s Confession:
1. Who He Sinned Against:
This I believe is the most important. Too often men confess sins they consider to be against father, mother, wife or children. Evangelists will sometimes play on the emotions of young people reminding them of how they had broken their mothers heart. We all have probably caused our mothers and fathers grief but what we need to be convicted of is how we have sinned against the most high God.
David wept and cried, “Against thee and thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight.” (Ps. 51:4) the prodigal son said, “I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight.”
Sin is directed against the glory of God, against the God of glory. Consider with me, Jonah acknowledged God to be the creator of the land and the sea. He is saying I believe in Gen.1:1.. Then is it not an insult to God to say I believe you are all of this, yet I will not obey you. I will flee from your sight; I will have my own way.
Can you, Jonah defeat the will and the purpose of God? Can you overthrow the Divine Deity, and sit thou upon his throne power and declare yourself to be the Lord? Jonah would answer, Of course not! Yet is this not what the action of his flight says?
Can you Jonah believe that He who created all things cannot find you wherever you go? Did you really believe God might overlook you in this boat?
David said, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” Ps 139:7-13
Oh that we might understand this omnipresent, omnipotent, and holy God. There is nowhere we can go to flee from his presence.
God’s children especially need to understand this; we abide under his all Seeing Eye. We do nothing that he does not see. How this should change the way we live our lives, when we start to gossip, the Lord is beside us, when we tell a little lie God hears us. When we become angry with our brother, we’d better be right, God knows our heart. The understanding of this principal is the beginning of repentance.
2. He Sinned Against God’s Grace:
When he declared, “I am a Hebrew,” it was like you and I saying, “I am a Christian.” He was declaring himself to be God’s child. Our salvation is by grace and always has been, we have no right being disobedient to God. I am his because he created me, and died for me on Calvary. He purchased me, redeemed me and forgave me.
For any man to say, “I believe in God,” and then not obey him is foolish. But for a child of God, saved by grace, redeemed by the blood of the lamb, to go about in disobedience to God is even more so. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Obedience shows our love for God and disobedience the opposite.
To disobey God the creator is terrible but to disobey the God of our Salvation, who lives within our heart.
The greatest revelation of God is not in the heavens, although he is revealed there. It is not in the earth, though he is revealed in every flower and animal, not even in the creation of man. But the greatest revelation of God is in the heart of a saint.
3. He Professed To Fear God:
It is easy to say, “I fear the Lord.” I’ve heard people say, “If I believed in eternal security, I’d do whatever I wanted to.” They indicate that they fear God too much to sin against him. Watch their lives it doesn’t matter if we believe in eternal security or not, do they live their lives as if they fear God?