09/24 - Jonah: Refusing God’s Call

September 27th, 2017

00:0000:00

Wrong Turn:

Jonah - Refusing God’s Call

Jonah 1:1-4, 12-17

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  • The Story of Jonah: the biggest "fish story" ever?

    • Difficult for the modern mind...

      • BUT for those who believe that the God of the universe was born 2,000 years ago in a small Jewish town, this is small potatoes!
      • ...AND Jesus did say, "For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights." - Matthew 12:40
    • The Sequence:
      • God calls Jonah to proclaim judgment to Nineveh, the capital of an enemy nation
      • Instead Jonah runs away and winds up in the belly of a fish
      • Jonah cries out to God and is spit up on land
      • Jonah preaches to the people of Nineveh
      • The rulers, people, and animals of Nineveh repent, and God spares them
      • Jonah is petulant, set up a shelter to watch what he hopes will be Nineveh's eventual destruction
      • God had a bush to grow to give Jonah shade, then a worm to come to kill the bush; Jonah is more upset and basically says "kill me now!"
      • God replies in Jonah 4:10-11; and the book ends on His question...

 

 

 

 

  • Interpretation

    • So tempting to say, "Do what God says or you'll wind up in the belly of a fish!" But no, this story is about...
    • The wideness of the mercy of God
      • Jesus refers back to this no doubt because God is showing mercy to the Gentile people who were declared enemies of Israel
      • Jonah wanted them dead for the sake of his people; God wanted them brought out of spiritual darkness
    • How we deal with the call of God upon our lives that we disagree..
      • Do we run? Do we ignore it?

        • Some may say, "If God speaks to me then I'll certainly do it!" God does speak to us, through His word, in prayer, sometimes even through the "coincidences" of our lives and in the stillness of our hearts
        • Do we make a habit of listening?
      • Do we grudgingly act? Then complain?
        • Jonah's story was intentionally left on a question: Shouldn't God feel compassion for those in spiritual darkness?  And shouldn't we?
        • This was as much about Jonah's spiritual development as Nineveh's, yet we know Nineveh How do you think Jonah answered the question?

"Well yes, Lord, BUT..."  I think this was his answer, because it has often been my answer.  Maybe it's often been yours as well.  But doesn't the Lord deserve more than our resistance?

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