Summary: It seems today people will disobey with both hands before they would be obedient with one hand.
The disobedience of Jonah.
Jonah 1:3 08/31/05
When we think of Bible heroes, we think of Jonah. But we find as disappointing as we may find, we do find that our heroes failed at times. Maybe not as noticeable as did Jonah, but they do fail. But his failures should not discourage us but teach us to follow as we find when Jonah was obedient and not to follow when we see Jonah disobeyed.
There are quite a few points we find in our study tonight we want to investigate. First there is THE SPONTANEITY OF DISOBEDIENCE.
Now Jonah did not waste any time heading to Tarshish once he had received the orders to go to Nineveh. God’s orders come to Jonah we see in verse 2 and we see Jonah heading away in verse 3. But there is something I want you to see in our text here. There is a number of little falls before there is the big fall. Usually there are a number of things that occur before the big fall. Satan sends little temptations that eventually will lead to the biggie. Like in Kind David’s case; there were some things he wasn’t doing to keep on guard before his fall and great sin with Bathsheba. First, it was a time when the armies were battling and David stayed at the palace and that wasn’t the usual thing to do. Now in the case of Jonah, we can only speculate, but according to statistics, most likely his spiritual health was declining. And because of this, he was being conditioned for the great disobedience by inward spiritual decline.
Spontaneity to do disobedience seems more common than to be obedient. It seems today people will disobey with both hands before they would be obedient with one hand. People drawing near to God are done at a snails pace while being disobedient to the will of God for one’s life is done in leap and bounds.
We see not only the spontaneity of disobedience but also THE SEPARATION OF DISOBEDIENCE.
Jonah, in his disobedience wanted to separate himself from the presence of God. There are a couple of things I want to understand and maybe you have some questions as well. Can anyone separate himself from the presence of omnipresent God? I mean we are taught that God can and are at all places at all time. We read in the Bible in Psalm 139:7, 8, “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.”
Now from the Psalmist seem to be saying that it is impossible to be out of the presence of God. Now how could Jonah even think that he could flee from the presence of God? This is something we ought to really pay attention to because this is something that has happened to more than we could guess; even in the so called Christian circle.
Now we know that it is impossible to get away from the presence of God, for He is omnipresent. That does mean He is at all places at all times. There isn’t a place we can go that there is not God. But when we run Scripture reference that talks about people fleeing from the presence of God, we can come up with something that makes a lot of since.
In Genesis 4:16, speaks about Cain going out of the presence of God after he had killed Able and been rebuked by God. Now what Cain was leaving was not the presence of God as we might say out of the sight of God, but what he did was to leave the place where he had worshipped God. Cain left the place that he had talked to God and the place God had talked with him.
Now from this, we can see that even though we cannot leave omnipresent God, we can flee the presence of God. It has to do with the place where we once worshipped God. It might be the place where we received a Word from God as it was with Jonah. Jonah may not flee the omnipresent God but he could flee the spot where he had received the Word from God to go to Nineveh.
So, we would have to say there is not only the possibility of fleeing the presence of God but also it is practiced and more often than we realize. You see folks, Jonah wanted to separate himself from anything that was a reminder of God. When one disobeys God, he will sooner or later separate himself that is a reminder of God. Now does that seem to answer any questions that you might have about some leaving the church? In most cases, they have never been saved but they will flee anything that reminds them of their lost condition and convicted of it. Sin does not like the presence of God and that is illustrated in Genesis with our first parents.