Running From God
RUNNING FROM GOD
Text: Jonah 1:1-17
Intro: We will see here shortly the downfall of a man whom God wanted to use. Doubtless you have heard this message of one shape or form before, but I believe that God's Word simply cannot be exhausted of the truth contained within it.
Jonah was a prophet whom God had a specific task for. Call Jonah a picture of today's everyday Christian if you will. The saddest thing that can
happen in the life of a Christian is to reject God and his call to service.
That's what happened to Jonah right here.
I. THE DIRECTIVE – v. 1-2
A. God had a plan for Jonah – preach in Nineveh
1. It was a city of grand proportion -- size
2. It was a city of growing perversion -- sin
3. It was a city of great potential -- Savior
B. God's plan was not negotiable
1. Call was issued – Arise
2. Command was imparted – Go to Nineveh
3. Charge was indisputable – Cry against it
Illus: A Definition of God's Will
You ask: "What is the will of God?"
Well, here's the answer true;
"The nearest thing, that should be done, That he can do—through you!"
Some things are basic, and God's plan that you live for Him and serve Him
is not negotiable!
II. THE DEFIANCE – v. 3-16
A. The rejection
1. Mind to reject – "Jonah rose up…"
2. Means to reject – boarded the ship
a. Satan will always have his "rescue vehicle" in place to snatch you from that "awful call of God!" Poor us, God wants to use us for His glory and we feel so used and abused!
3. Motive to reject – to run from "the presence of the Lord"
You can make up whatever excuse or reason you might desire, the bottom line is you are resisting God's authority over your life!
B. The reclusion – going back into a shell
Notice the word "down" – when you remove yourself from fellowship with God, your life goes nowhere but down, down, down
1. Intention to hide – become oblivious; v. 5
2. Infliction of harm
a. Sin affects others – v. 4-5
b. Sin affects our testimony – v. 6-10
c. Sin affects ourselves – v. 5
i. Spiritually – hiding rather than praying; Psalm 66:18 – must confess
ii. Physically –(whale) subjection to God's chastening hand; 1 Cor.
11:31-32; 1 John 5:16
III. THE DOWNFALL – v. 17
A. Penalty of sin – great fish prepared
1. Handed over to Satan to destroy the flesh
2. The gutter of life. You can't appreciate it until you have been there!
- Prisoner of sin – three days and three nights
1. Time of unrest – you are convicted, in turmoil
2. Time of undoing – life is unraveling fast at this point
3. Time of understanding – what needs to be done; but what?
IV. THE DECISION – 2:1-10
At this stage there is always a decision to be made – some make the right
one, others do not… Jonah made the right one here:
A. Pride destroyed – v. 17; 2:1
B. Penitence desired – 2:1
Repentance a must – 2:2
C. Personal fellowship delivered – 2:10; 3:1
Illus. -- Tragic Wrong Turn
Two men and a youth—Arnold Dobson, Harold Most and his son Harold,
Jr.—perished in the blasting summer heat of the Death Valley area. Sheriff
deputies found their bodies seven, fourteen and seventeen miles from an
abandoned car. "They were kind of strung out like a black line. The heat
turned them black," said deputy Red Landergram. In leaving their stranded car to seek help, the three had tragically headed in the wrong direction, going toward a ranch house they had passed thirty miles back. Just a mile in the other direction was a grove of willows and a spring!
Notice Jonah recounts his experience in verses 2:3-9; it is a real account
that I have experienced in my life. Are you tired of running from God yet? It is truly a race you will not win!