Summary: The misconduct of one statesman can lay waste a nation. It only takes one drunk driver on the highway to leave a scar and an empty chair in a family.
This is our third lesson in the book of Jonah. If we could take one word and maybe describe the first two verses, we would have to say duty. And if we used one word to describe what we read in verse 3 we would have to say disobedience. Duty and disobedience should not be used in the same sentence. But I want to tell you something else, if we have to use one word to describe verses 4-6, we would all I believe agree on the word disturbance. Sin disturbs about everything. You could think of more areas that sin disturbs than I will name but think of these areas that sin disturbs. Sin disturbs marriages, schools, nations, minds, business and churches. The sins of men have so upset and disturb things that the Apostle Paul says that even the creation groans in pain.
You know something that we learn from not just the book of Jonah but the entire Bible is that the sin of one man can endanger the lives of many. The misconduct of one statesman can lay waste a nation. It only takes one drunk driver on the highway to leave a scar and an empty chair in a family. The lawlessness of one man can cost a nation millions of dollars over his life time. So, we don’t have to wonder about why the disobedience of Jonah endangered many men on the ship. In these Scriptures alone, I can think of six things that were disturbed by the disobedience and sin of Jonah. Let’s take a look at these as we examine the Scripture.
First, I want you to see that THE SOVEREIGN WASDISTURBED. The beginning words in our text are “but the Lord.”
Everything that man is God is concerned with. Jesus gives emphases to this, when He said, God even knows the number of hairs on our head. God is ever watching over us. Our conduct either pleases Him or it disturbs Him. Always obedience to God pleases Him. But we see in the life of Jonah that disobedience upsets God. It seems that Jonah got into a butting contest with God and that could never work to his benefit. In verse 3 we read but Jonah. After we read that he had received his orders to go to Nineveh to cry out to the city, we read in the next verse but Jonah. Then we read in verse 4 “but God.” You can never win butting heads with God. Locking horns with God is a very good way to get dehorned.
I want to tell you that God doesn’t give us commands to burden our lives. I heard while back a fellow say he was suffering for the Lord. There is a ministry in suffering for the Lord but yet His commands aren’t to burden us but to give us joy. Many times we cut ourselves from the joy by being disobedient. You tell me someone’s name that is disobedient to the Lord and I will tell you that person isn’t the happiest person in the world. But you look, they will surround themselves with the things of the world but it doesn’t help.
We see not only that Sovereign was disturbed but also THE SEA WAS DISTURBED. Jonah’s disobedience really affected the sea that the ship was afloat. We read that God “sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea.”
Let me give you something to think about. Do you believe that God is in control of the weather? Do you think the weather reflects the attitude that God has to man’s disobedience to His commands? The Bible says here that the Lord sent a wind. What are you saying? Now I know that I am not the only one who ask why when the earthquakes come and the storms come. I am not so sure that we should not ask why if we are seeking spiritual reason. The Bible did not say there arose a wind but the Lord sent a wind. I am not so sure that mans sins and disobedience to the commands of God is not the causes of many of nature’s disturbances. You may call me old fashioned and what ever, but it might be that when you get to heaven you call me right.
Not only was Sovereign disturbed and the sea was disturbed but I want to remind of yet another; THE SHIP WAS DISTURBED.
Do you see how the disobedience of Jonah snowballed from the Sovereign to the sea and then to the ship? Now the ships of Tarshish were not just some ordinary ship but ships that were built tough. Now I know you want to know where I got that information. Well, all you have to do is to check with Scripture references and you will find it. Look in Psalm 48:7. The Bible reads “you break the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.”