Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "Stubborn Saint’s (which is a study of Jonah). This sermon looks at what happens when we run from God’s will.
Sunday Evening January 5, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: Stubborn Saints [#1]
YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN¡¦T HIDE
1. Have you ever tried to run from somebody or something? I¡¦m sure you have. I have learned that I can run and hide from many things and many people, but when you run from God you can never hide.
2. God always knows where you are. God knows when you are trying to run and why. This evening we are going to begin a series titled, ¡§Stubborn Saints.¡¨
3. As we study Jonah 1 tonight, I want you to ask yourself these questions: ¡§Is this me? Am I running from God and trying to hide from Him? Am I a stubborn Saint?¡¨
1. God¡¦s call¡K
„« Go where? Nineveh.
„« Do what? Preach to them.
„« Why? Because they are evil.
„« Application: Notice how specific God is. God called Jonah. God told Him where to go and what to do when he got there. As God¡¦s children, He tells us what to do, when to do it, and where to do it. You may be thinking, ¡§I don¡¦t know God¡¦s call on my life.¡¨ Is that because He has not told you or because you are not listening?
2. Once we hear God¡¦s call we have a choice. We can do it or not do it. What did Jonah do?
3. Why did Jonah do this? God told Him to go east to Nineveh, but instead he goes to Joppa to buy a ticket to sail west. There were several reasons why Jonah did this. Let¡¦s look at them:
„« Jonah hated the Ninevites and did not want them saved. The Assyrians were brutal. They used very cruel methods of torture. They would skin people alive and stretch their skin across the city walls. They would bury people in the sand to their necks and leave them to die. They would attack a city and kill everyone but the women and would rape them. These were evil people and Jonah did not want anything good to happen for them.
„« Jonah also knew that if he went and preached judgment to the Ninevites and they repented, then God would forgive them. Jonah wanted them destroyed not forgiven.
„« Jonah was simply being disobedient. He was out of the will of God.
1. I have heard people say, ¡§God doesn¡¦t punish His children¡¨. This passage proves this statement wrong. God corrects those whom He loves. God caused this storm in order to get Jonah¡¦s attention and God will cause storms in your life in order to get your attention. Now you do need to understand that not all storms are caused because of disobedience. God puts some storms in your life in order to grow you stronger in Him, like He did to the disciples. But, in this sermon we are looking at storms caused by our disobedience to God.
2. It is interesting that Jonah was sleeping during this terrible storm. Have you ever tried to escape a problem by going to bed, pulling the covers over your head, and sleeping? Did the storm in your life go away? No, it was still going on when you woke up. When you are in a storm, closing your eyes and wishing it away will never stop the storm. It is also interesting that even these pagan men realized what was happening was not natural but supernatural. I love how God uses this storm to bring these pagan men to Him. See, although God¡¦s man was not getting the job done, the job still got done. Our church is a good example of this. This last year we saw many saved. What were we doing while this happened? Most of the time we were fighting and acting stupid. So why such a great year of salvations? Because God works in spite of us!
3. I love this. The pagan man is ¡§straightening out¡¨ the Prophet of God. ¡§Get up! Have you lost your mind? We are going to die if this storm doesn¡¦t stop. We must find out who has caused this storm¡¨. Notice in verse 8 that Jonah doesn¡¦t answer all of their questions.
„« Question: ¡§What do you do?¡¨
„« Answer: None given.
„« Question: ¡§Where do you come from?¡¨
„« Answer: None given.
„« Question: ¡§What is your country?¡¨
„« Answer: None given.
„« Question: ¡§From what people are you?¡¨
„« Answer: ¡§I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.¡¨
Why did Jonah answer this way? When a servant of God is not acting like they are suppose to, they don¡¦t want anyone to know who they are. For example: If I went to another state for the weekend and went to a bar and got drunk and messed around with the women, do you think I would tell them I am the Pastor at Bel Aire Baptist Church in Hobbs, NM? I don¡¦t think so!