Summary: You will experience trials, tribulations, disappointments and hardships that could have been avoided. • The Bible reminds us in Pro. 13:15b, • “…the way of the unfaithful is hard.”
Pastor Allan Kircher Shell Point Baptist Church
“Where so much like Jonah”
We are studying the doctrines/Bible/wed/Sun/nights
• There are 30/out of all
• Doctrine/grace/hardest doctrine/Bible to accept.
• It’s not that grace is hard to understand.
• We know what the word means.
• Our problem comes in the application.
• Grace asks us to accept two things we don’t want to accept:
1. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves.
2. If God doesn’t save us, we will never be saved.
Nothing more clearly summarizes the true meaning of grace than Jonah 2:9, “Salvation is of the Lord."
That statement/striking/humorous because it comes from the world’s worst missionary.
• At the beginning he is running from God
• at the end he is arguing with God.
• In between he is praying and preaching.
• He’s no hero. He’s an anti-hero.
God never gives up on Jonah, not when he runs away and not when he sits under a vine and pouts.
• We’re so much like Jonah that it’s scary.
• There’s a little Jonah in all of us
• And a whole lot of Jonah in most of us.
That’s why we need, not just grace, but outrageous grace.
God has an amazing way of getting our attention!
He calls us to a task/His kingdom but then we will draw back from Him and go our own way.
• When that happens
• the Lord will come after us
• pursue us until He brings us back to Him
• and His plan for our lives.
• When the Lord has an assignment for you
• He is determined that you will carry it out.
• He will not just allow you to walk away while He does nothing.
This is one/lessons/book of Jonah.
God called/prophet/task he did not want to do/he ran from/Lord.
• But, God persevered and sent Jonah/prison experience
• Get his attention and gain his cooperation.
• This prison wasn’t constructed/brick, mortar/metal bars.
• It was a prison built of flesh and blood/bars of ivory.
It was/strange prison/Jonah/convinced/god’s plan was/right plan.
I want to join Jonah/his prison/deal with/truths we find there.
I want to show you can run/God/His will for your life, but you can never hide.
If necessary, He will send you into a prison experience to get your attention and gain your cooperation.
I. THE ROAD TO THIS PRISON
A. 1:1-3 It Is A Road Of Disobedience –
• God had called Jonah to a specific task.
• Told to go/warn/city/Nineveh/judgment/coming/their town.
• God wanted/extend His grace/lost/needy people
• Jonah wanted no part of it!
• God wanted to save the heathen people of Nineveh.
• Jonah, on the other hand, hated them
• Could have cared less if they had died and went to Hell!
Why/Jonah possess such/deep hatred for the people of Nineveh?
There are several reasons, let me suggest a few.
• Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian Empire
• Assyrians were a fierce, warlike people.
• Idol worshipers/not Jewish.
• Were known for their cruelty/people they attacked/defeated.
• Known/skin their victims alive
• Then impale/bodies/sharpened stakes/leave them there/die.
• They forced parents/watch/children being burned alive
• Just before the parents themselves were killed.
• Known/bury their victims up to their necks in the sand and leave them to die of hunger, thirst or wild animal attack
Whole cities had been known to commit suicide rather than fall into the hands of the Ninevites.
• Now the Ninevites had focused their attention on Israel.
• common knowledge/Assyrians were coming and they intended to destroy the people of God.
So, when Jonah hears the call to go and evangelize the city of Nineveh, he makes a decision to go to Tarshish.
Tarshish was located on the western coast of Spain, some 2,000 miles in the opposite direction.
• As far as Jonah could go to get away from God.
• He thought/could escape God’s plans running away
• He didn’t want to do what the Lord was telling him.
• So he hid, he fled, he did what he wanted.
Apparently, Jonah held to too small a view of God.
• He seems to believe that if he can run far enough away
• God will not be able to find him.
• Jonah holds to a faulty theology.
• Psalm 139:7-10 lets us know what God can see and where He operates!
While he has a small view of God, Jonah seems to have a large view of self.
• He is smarter than God.
• He can run away and hide from God.
• He can serve God when it is convenient to Jonah
• When hard times come….
• An unpleasant assignment comes….