Summary: Despite the fact that we do not deserve it, and cannot earn it, God bestows His amazing grace upon us.
Submarine Of Grace
Text: Jonah 1:17-2:10
1. Illustration: You ever watch those shows about these submarines that go down 2 and a half miles to the wreck of the Titanic? That’s one thing that I think I could never do. To be crammed into a machine not much bigger than a telephone booth with 2 other guys, 2 miles below the surface of the water, with the incredible pressure of that water just trying to squish the vessel. Well, let’s say that you were down there, and you just couldn’t take it anymore. You were going nuts, and you said, "I have to get out of here!" Opening the hatch would be about the stupidest thing you could do. Yeah, you might get out of the sub, but you’d be crushed by the water before you got the chance to drown. The apparent captivity of the submarine actually gives you freedom. That confinement preserves your life. And it’s the exact same thing when we talk about Christian living. Living the way that God wants you to might seem restricting, but it’s sure a lot better than the alternative.
2. Jonah's submarine protected him too. It kept him from going to a watery grave. His submarine was sent by God, and was a submarine of grace.
3. Jonah's submarine was...
a. Sent by divine appointment
b. It was a help in time of need
c. It was given to him as unmerited favor
d. And it caused him to have a renewed commitment
1. Please stand as we read Jonah 1:17-2:10
Proposition: Despite the fact that we do not deserve it, and cannot earn it, God bestows His amazing grace upon us.
Transition: Jonah's submarine came by...
I. Divine Appointment (1:17).
A. Lord Had Arranged
1. Once Jonah discovered that trying to run from God was a really bad idea, he discovered that the Lord was not done with him yet.
2. As you recall, the only way to escape the entire ship being capsized in the tremendous storm, caused by Jonah's rebellion, was for the sailors to throw Jonah into the sea.
a. As soon as they did the sea became calm and they were safe.
b. However, Jonah's trouble was just beginning. The storm may have subsided but Jonah was still in the middle of the sea without a boat, an oar, or a sail. Not to mention he didn't have Wilson there to keep him company:)
c. But his drowning still was going to accomplish the mission that God had given to him.
3. So what is the Lord going to do. In v. 17 we read, "Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah..."
a. The word translated "prepared" means "special assignment," or "ordain."
b. This word is used by all non-human agents provided by God to bring Jonah back to his calling.
c. Furthermore, the fish is evidence of God's incredible mercy and grace. Jonah had rebelled against God's call, and God had to go to extraordinary measures to get Jonah's attention.
d. Now He goes to extraordinary measures to save Jonah from himself.
e. It just goes to show us the lengths to which the Lord will go to extend His love and forgiveness to us even when we are rebelling against Him (Bruckner, 56).
f. Yahweh mounts a special rescue operation: an enormous fish plays the astounding part of a submarine to pick up Jonah from the murky seaweed at the bottom of the ocean and transport him safely to the mainland.
g. The fish stands for the amazing grace of Yahweh, which came down to where he was and lifted him to new life.
h. The Lord of the sea is Lord also of its creatures, and his providential control extends over both.
i. Contrary to all expectation Jonah does not die. He is spared the due reward of his sins (Allen, NICOT).
4. The remainder of the verse shows us the extent to which this divine appointment transcends human reason. It says, "And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights."
a. Once you consider what is going on here you what an incredible miracle is taking place.
b. First, fish don't usually swallow people hole. While the text doesn't tell us what kind of a fish it is, although most of us have heard all our lives that is a whale, but it would have to have been large enough to swallow a man and most certainly would have had teeth.
c. Second, if a person were swallowed by a fish death would have been inevitable. Whether it was the lack of oxygen or the gases in the fish's stomach death would have eventually overtaken Jonah.
d. Yet Jonah survives alive and well after three days in the fish's stomach (Bruckner, 56).