Running From God- Jonah Chapter 1

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Bottomline- You can run from God’s call but you cannot really run from God.

Intro- ever had something that you liked for a certain reason but as you got older you realized you were wrong?

With great power comes great....responsibility

Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that...

We don’t talk about....bruno

What doesn’t kill you makes you…stronger

in 1492…Columbus sailed the ocean blue

Imagine the wizard of oz but you only focus on the tornado
Jonah is one of 12 minor prophets
Jonah the prophet is mentioned in 2 kings 14:25
The New International Version (Chapter 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.”
The New International Version (Chapter 1)
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.
Jonah heads in the opposite direction
Jonah ran from God not because He is afraid of God because God is mean but He is afraid of the consquences.

Every place it says Jonah is running from the Lord, literally in the Hebrew it says, “From the face of the Lord.”

Why do we run?
-we believe that we know better
-Jonah ran because He didn’t want his enemies to have a shot at God’s grace and love

Do you know why? Jonah is the successful leader of a successful nation. Second Kings 14:25, tells us Jeroboam II, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel, began to do a military expansionist policy. He began to conquer people around him and expand his borders, it said, “At the word of Jonah, the prophet, the son of Amittai.” Jonah supported the king’s expansionist policies with his preaching. The king was happy with Jonah. Jonah was happy with the king.

Jonah was a successful leader of a successful nation. If he went to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, which was the big, new, overwhelming, political and military juggernaut to come, which absolutely was going to probably take Israel out … Jonah thought if he went and they didn’t repent, he would die, but he was more afraid if they repented. Why? Because then he would experience psychological death.

If Jonah says, “I would be more upset about Assyria being spared than if they killed me,” he is proving Kierkegaard’s point. He is saying, “The thing that really gives me my identity, that really gives me a sense of value is not that I’m pleasing God or that God loves me. It’s that I’m a successful leader of a successful nation, and if anything goes wrong with that, I won’t have a self left.”

You cannot run away from God.

Psalm 139
New Living Translation (Psalm 139)
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!I can never get away from your presence!8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.To you the night shines as bright as day.Darkness and light are the same to you.

There are consequences for our sin.

The New International Version (Chapter 1)
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.

The Bible does not say that every difficulty is the result of sin—but it does teach that every sin will bring you into difficulty.

Keller, Timothy. The Prodigal Prophet (p. 24). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

God doesn’t cause every storm in our life but He will use each one of them.

The New International Version (Chapter 1)
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.”
Jonah sleeping…reminds us of a future story of Jesus sleep on a boat in a storm
The New International Version (Chapter 1)
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?”9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”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.)
The New International Version (Chapter 1)
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.”
The New International Version (Chapter 1)
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.” 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.

Sacrifice is part of the pathway to salvation.

These men show grace to the man who has brought issues to them and they repent and worship God.
God will get his way even if we don’t join Him.
The New International Version (Chapter 1)
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.

No matter how far you run and how deep you sink, God’s Grace will find you.

Today is a good day for some of us to turn around and turn to God and his amazing grace

God’s Grace will find you wherever you are.

Fools flee from the Lord because it is not wise to do that.

Sometimes we run from God because we think we know better than God.

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