Summary: Sometimes God allows our backs to be against the wall to bring out the commitment and devotion He desires in our lives.
Jonah – A Study in Stubbornness
February 26, 2006
Time to Pray
Jonah 2:1 (NLT)
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish.
Time to Reconnect
• Jonah had run from God and deliberately disobeyed
• Jonah could run no further
• Jonah’s life had been spared by God’s grace
Jonah 2:2 (NLT)
He said, "I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the world of the dead, and Lord, you heard me!
• In spite of Jonah’s actions his prayers were still heard
• Even in the belly of the fish Jonah’s prayer was heard
• Jonah knew he had been at death’s door and his life had been spared
Jonah 2:3-4 (NLT)
You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.  Then I said, ’O Lord, you have driven me from your presence. How will I ever again see your holy Temple?’
A Place of Hopelessness
• Without God there was little hope of survival
• Jonah’s separation from God was the greater loss of hope
• Jonah acknowledged God’s hand of discipline upon him
Jonah 2:5-6 (NLT)
"I sank beneath the waves, and death was very near. The waters closed in around me, and seaweed wrapped itself around my head.  I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was locked out of life and imprisoned in the land of the dead. But you, O Lord my God, have snatched me from the yawning jaws of death!
• Jonah was powerless to save himself
• Jonah had no avenues of escape
• Jonah acknowledges the very hand of God snatching him from death’s door
“When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple.
Backed Against the Wall
• Jonah had to lose all hope before he was ready to turn to the Lord once again
• Jonah turned his thoughts towards God
• Jonah began to pray
Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
• Those who worship false God’s miss out on God’s grace and mercy
• Any idol takes God’s rightful place
But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone."
Time to Recommit
• Jonah didn’t bargain with God
• Jonah didn’t try to make excuses
• Jonah renewed his commitment
• Jonah surrendered to the call on his life
Jonah 2:10 (NLT)
Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach, and it did.
God is in Control
• The fish obeyed the Lord’s command
• Jonah was delivered safely on shore
Sometimes it requires dire circumstances to bring out our deepest commitments.
**Powerpoint available on request