Summary: If we want to see revival we have to do what God requires of us to see it happen.
Revival Fire Fall
Text: Jonah 3:1-10
1. Illustration: A.W. Tozer wrote, "Revivals come only to those who want them badly enough. The problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit him to do so. The average Christian is so cold and so contented with his wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness."
2. If I were to ask for a show of hands of whom in here today would like to see revival, I imagine every hand would go up.
3. However, if I were to ask then who is willing to sacrifice everything to see it happen, chances are most of the hands would go down.
4. Jonah teaches us that revival requires...
a. Obedience of the Messenger
b. Humility of the Hearers
c. Compassion of God
5. Let's all stand as we read Jonah 3:1-10.
Proposition: If we want to see revival we have to do what God requires of us to see it happen.
Transition: Revival requires...
I. Obedience of the Messenger (1-3).
A. Jonah Obeyed
1. When we last saw Jonah he was in the belly of a great fish for 3 days.
a. He was thankful to be alive and grateful for a second chance to do the Lord's will.
b. Now that he has come to his senses God gives him a second chance, and has the fish spit Jonah up on the beach.
2. So hear is a repentant and renewed preacher laying on the beach. The text tells us, "Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time..."
a. Jonah has been face to face with death—and with exceptional grace that saved him from death.
b. He who had run away from Yahweh met him in the sea and in the fish as Judge and Savior.
c. Jonah needs no urging: with open ears he listens to the commission he shunned before.
d. For Yahweh patiently gives Jonah a second chance. Like Simon Peter, whose forgiveness for denying Jesus was sealed by the repetition of his initial summons "Follow me,"
e. Jonah is called again to be the divine messenger to Nineveh. He has learned his lesson (Allen, NICOT).
f. Jonah receives a second chance to get it right.
g. The second time looks back at the first time. The first time Jonah had the opportunity to be used by God, but he chose instead to run away.
h. But now the Lord gives him a second chance to be a part of something special.
i. There are two ways to look at the call of God: we can look at it as something we have to do, or we can look at it as something we get to do.
3. This time the Lord tells Jonah, “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”
a. This second chance for the call is expressed with two verbs in Hebrew. Literally they mean rising, go.
b. However, when put together they mean "Go now," or "Go immediately."
c. In chapter 1 Jonah got up to run away from God, but here he gets up to run to God and his call.
d. The mission to Nineveh can begin again, because God has called again.
e. The Lord tells Jonah not to worry about what he would say because he declares "deliver the message I will give you."
f. He knows it will not be an easy message to deliver because it will involve their repenting of their wickedness.
g. The task hasn't gotten any easier, but the proper attitude can work wonders (Bruckner, 100).
4. Jonah demonstrates that his priorities have changed. In v. 3 we read, "This time Jonah obeyed the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all."
a. Now that Jonah has been reconciled to God he can begin a new to fulfill his calling.
b. This time he accepts his call without delay or hesitation.
c. The expression in Hebrew is "rising, Jonah went." It implies that Jonah obeyed God's command immediately.
d. Jonah has come to the conclusion that he cannot escape this call and so if you can't beat God you might as well join him.
e. A part of the reason that the Lord keeps referring to Nineveh as "the great city of Nineveh," has to do with its immense size.
f. The text indicates this by stating that it is so large that it took three days to see it all.
g. In the next chapter we learn that over 120,000 people inhabited it, which in modern terms would be more like 120,000,000.