Are There Any Jonah’s In the House?

Text: Jonah 1:1-3 1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.

The Book of Jonah (Hebrew: Sefer Yonah) is a book in the Hebrew Bible. It tells the story of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah ben Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission.

Nineveh:  was a great city in Assyria, it was a city of power, it was wicked, it was guilty of evil plots against God, exploitation of the helpless, cruelty in war, idolatry, prostitution, and witchcraft.

This city that was full of evil, God was willing to show them mercy if they would only turn from there wicked ways.

  • Jonah like many of us did not want to do what God want!

4 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.

But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

  • Here the sailors are relying on superstition to give them the answer. (Pagans)

9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

  • You cannot seek God’s love and run from him at the same time.
  • You cannot hide from God.
  • You must stop going in one direction to go another.
  • How can you say you love God and do not do what he says? 10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so). 11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” 12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” 13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the LORD, “Please, LORD, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, LORD, have done as you pleased.”
  • The pagan sailors showed more compassion than Jonah.
  • Remember, he did not want to go to Nineveh
  • They called out to Jonah Lord.
  • We should be shame when unbelievers show more concern and compassion.

15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.

Jonah’s Prayer 17 Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:1 1 [a]From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said: 10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.                                                                                            

Jonah  Goes to Nineveh Jonah 3: 1-3 1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

Closing: 1.   God wants us to be concern for all of his people, lost and saved.                                                                                                        2. He wants our obedience.                                                                       3. He wants our unconditional love.

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