Summary: This sermon looks a three characteristics of Jonah: 1. Jonah is STUBBORN 2. Jonah is REBELLIOUS 3. Jonah is a BELIEVER
Three Characteristics of Jonah
When last we left Jonah - he was in the sea about to be in the belly of the great fish. He was in a bad fix and in a bad way. The verse that we looked at last week was:
The LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1:17 (NASB)
In actuality last week we only looked at the first part of that verse - how the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah. God is sovereign. He always has been and He always will be. He controls the wind and the waves. He appoints the great fish to be at the exact location at the exact time to swallow Jonah. Jonah thinks he can out run God - but there is no way. You cannot hide from God - for the eyes of God see around every corner and underneath every rock. Be sure - God will find you no matter how far or fast that you may run. You may think that you can outrun God but there is nowhere to hide from God. God catches up with Jonah and places him in the belly of a great fish for three days and three nights. Maybe now Jonah is ready to pay attention.
Have I ever told you the story of the farmer who sold a mule to a city slicker? Well let me tell it to you:
It seems this farmer had this mule and he sold it a city slicker. The farmer says to the city guy, "This mule is a great mule. This mule will do whatever you tell it to do. The key to having this mule obey you is that you need to treat it with Tender Loving Care (TLC). You need to remember - that is the only way this mule is going to respond."
So the city slicker takes off with the mule in tow. About a week later the city slicker returns irritated and out and out mad. He says the farmer, "This mule won't do any work at all. All it does is eat and sleep - it is nothing but lazy."
The farmer asks, "Well did you treat it with Tender Loving Care."
The City Slicker responds, "Of course I did. I gave it the best hay. I gave it clean water twice a day and I even cleaned its stall three times a day. All I've shown it is TLC. It just doesn't pay attention to me at all."
“Really,” said the farmer thoughtfully. Then he walked over to his woodpile, selected a firm branch, about as long as a baseball bat and walked up to the mule. Then with all his might the farmer bashed the mule right across the mules face with the branch. The mule staggered back about two steps - brayed a couple times - and shook his head wildly.
“Hey!” shouted the city slicker at the farmer. “I thought you said the mule needed Tender Loving Care!”
The farmer responded, “It does – but first you’ve got to get its attention.”
I wonder if Jonah is ready to pay attention?
Today I want us to look at:
Three Characteristics of Jonah
Let's look at point one:
1. Jonah is STUBBORN
God gets Jonah's attention. God had sent the wind and waves - Jonah slept through it. The captain of the ship wakes up Jonah and yells at him and tells him to pray. No place in chapter one does it say that Jonah prayed. God sends a great fish to swallow Jonah whole. Maybe - just maybe - Jonah is ready to pay attention. But look closely what happens. Look at Jonah chapter one verse seventeen:
Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1:17b (NASB)
Chapter two verse one says:
Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish.
Jonah 2:1 (NASB)
Go ahead and circle the word "then". Let me ask you a question - when was "then"? Do you see what is happening here? "Then" was not at the moment that Jonah was thrown into the water. "Then" was not at the minute Jonah saw the great fish headed his direction. "Then" was not when the great fish had Jonah in its mouth. "Then" was not even at the time Jonah found himself down in the belly. "Then" was three days later - when he finally figured out there was no-where to run. There was nowhere to hide. There was nowhere to go. Then Jonah prayed.
But can you imagine what it was like inside that fish? It was dark. It was cramped - you couldn't hardly move around. The fish is swimming constantly - salt water washes over him - seaweed wraps around his body - it is out and out messy. Besides that the inside of a fish really - really stinks. It’s slimy - it's greasy - it's slippery, and the fluids inside the fish are trying to digest him. Jonah doesn't pray until the third day. You know what this tells me. It tells me that: