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Background info –
What do we know about Jonah? The only other time that his name is mentioned is in 2 Kings 14:25
2 Kings 14:25 NASB95
25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which He spoke through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath-hepher.
Author – Jonah
Date – 775 BC
Theme – “God’s Mercy upon the repent Gentiles”
As we do a survey of the book of Jonah today; we will see two things; 1) how the ways of man and 2) the wills of man cannot change the sovereign God who rules supremely.
Jonah is a very familiar book but this morning I would like to draw your attention to three points –

1. The attempt to thwart God’s plan - 1

1:1-2 – The call of God – Jonah is giving a very specific task. Go to the Nineveh and cry against it. Now keep in mind that Nineveh is a very wicked city.
Why is Nineveh being called for her wickedness? – Nahum 3:1-4
Nahum 3:1–4 (NASB95)
1 Woe to the bloody city, completely full of lies and pillage; Her prey never departs. 2 The noise of the whip, The noise of the rattling of the wheel, Galloping horses And bounding chariots!
3 Horsemen charging, Swords flashing, spears gleaming, Many slain, a mass of corpses, And countless dead bodies— They stumble over the dead bodies! 4 All because of the many harlotries of the harlot, The charming one, the mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations by her harlotries And families by her sorceries.
1:3 – Jonah runs the opposite direction – Modern day Iraq fleeing to Turkey – Key point Jonah is attempting to thwart God’s plan.
Look at what God does – 1:4-7
The outcome is Jonah is thrown into the water and swallowed by a big fish – What kind of fish do you think it was? (we honestly do not know that is a question that we should ask the Lord in paradise)
Jonah has makes the attempted to thwart God’s plan.
In a perfect world how do you want things to work out for you?

2. The acceptance of God’s plan 2-3

a. Comes to grips with reality – 2
All of chapter two Jonah is praying to the Lord –
Vs. 2 – I called out of my distress to the Lord… what a humbling thing this was for Jonah – remember he was the one fleeing from God
2b – cried for help
3 – Jonah comes to grips with reality God is the one who has done all of this
7 – “While I was fainting away I remember the Lord…”
10 – The Lord helps him
Jonah understands that all that has happened to him is from God Almighty. The one who is the sovereign and supreme over all.
b. Accepts the call of God to go to Nineveh – 3
3:1-4 – The second time God calls Jonah to go to Nineveh
Jonah 3:1–4 (NASB95)
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.”
3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk. 4 Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
Vs. 1-2 the command of the Lord to go
Vs. 3 – Obedience of Jonah
Vs. 4 Jonah proclaims judgment on Nineveh
3:5-10 – The response of the people –
Jonah 3:5–10 (NASB95)
5 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes.
7 He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8 “But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.
9 “Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
Vs. 5 – “The people of Nineveh believed God…”
Vs. 8 – “Let men call on God earnestly…”
Vs. 9 – “God may turn and relent…”
Vs. 10 – “When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way then God relented…”

3. The anger of God’s outcome – 4

4:1-3 – Jonah’s anger –
Jonah 4:1–3 NASB95
1 But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord and said, “Please Lord, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. 3 “Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”
Jonah is mad that God would save such a wicked and godless people
Jonah is mad at God
Jonah says God kill me
If time allows talk about the illustration 5-11 – the plant
Guys and Gals let us never forget that no man or women can ever thwart the sovereign God who is supreme over all!
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