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after 34 years of writing, in 2004 Christopher Booker released his 736 page book entitled, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. In his book Christopher Booker argues that all stories are rooted in seven basic plotsovercoming the monster rags to riches the questvoyage and returncomedytragedyrebirthThese seven basic plots are the foundation for movies, folk tales, novels, science-fiction, ancient myths and any other story you hear. We find these plots all throughout the bibleOvercoming the monster - David and Goliathrags to riches - the story of JobVoyage and return - prodigal SonThe seventh plot is the what booker calls “rebirth”The rebirth plot is says that During the course of the story, an important event forces the main character to change their ways, often (though not always) making them a better person.This is the plot for some beloved stories such asSleeping BeautyIts a wonderful lifeThe frog and the princeand Beauty and the beastThis is a plot that we can all identify with. If you are a follower of Christ you have the greatest rebirth story there is. But many of have multiple “rebirth” stories in our lives. For me I spent time after high school leaving the presence of God one step at a time until i found myself living in California and living my life in a way that was not at all pleasing to God. And one random afternoon I picked up a book by Charles Spurgion and began to read. God got a hold of my heart, I repented of my lifestyle and began following Christ. When we hear stories with this plot we often can identify quickly.The story of Jonah follows this rebirth plot Tell the story of JonahJonah was a prophet of God who was called to go to Nineveh and call them out for their evil against God.Jonah refused to go, he fled the presence of the Lord, got on a boat and headed for Tarshish. While on the boat God caused a great storm to ariseJonah’s disobedience was why God sent the great storm, so for the storm to calm Jonah had to be thrown into the sea. The event that changed Jonah’s direction in life was when Jonah was thrown into the sea and God had a great fish (or as the Hebrew describes it Sea Monster) swallow Jonah and he was in the belly of the fish for three day and three nightAnd after three days and three nights the fish pukes Jonah up on the shore and he goes to Nineveh to preach the words of God.Nineveh hears Jonah’s words, and they repent. The king himself repents and sends out an edict to all of Nineveh calling them to repent and turn to GodJonah is not happy with God’s mercy on Nineveh and complains saying, “it would be better for me to die” The book ends abruptly with God questioning Jonah’s choice to be upset. Jonah is a fascinating book. It is one of the most popular stories to tell children, Its the most popular Veggie Tales movieHe’s the most well known prophetAnd the reason for Jonah’s fame is because in many ways his story is our story So we will begin the story of Jonah, and the depths of mercy with Jonah’s Decent.

Jonah’s Decent

Jonah: The Depths of Mercy

Jonah: The Depths of Mercy
In many ways the story of Jonah is a tragic tale. Its the story of an unfaithful, fussy, coward of a prophet who rebels against God’s call on his life. Prophets are to be men and women who stand in the council of God and take his words to the world. Yet, Jonah takes the words of God not to Nineveh like God told him to, but rather he takes the words of God to his grave. Chapter one begins the story of Jonah by showing us Jonah downward spiral. Jonah’s decent is marked in a number of different ways. Fleeing from the presence of the Lord v.3,10Falling asleep on the jobAnd even geographically we see Jonah descendingRunning away from God’s presence is seen as a decent to death in the book of Jonah. To flee from the presence of the Lord is a downward path.
Kyle Lammott / General
Jonah 1:1–3 ESV1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
Three times we see Jonah tell us that he went “Away from the presence of the Lord” twice in verse three and once in verse 10Look with me again at verse 3
Resurrected
Jonah 1:3 ESV3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
After 34 years of writing, in 2004 Christopher Booker released his 736 page book entitled, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories.
This is a uniquely rebellious thing for Jonah to do as a prophet. for Prophets alone stand the presence of God as part of his council. They then take the words of God to the nations. So Jonah, a prophet, to flee from the presence of God is to be in outright rebellion to his call. Jonah went away from God’s presence where he told him to take his words to the gentile nations so that they too might be grafted into the covenant people of God, and went the opposite direction. So why did Jonah flee from God’s presence? Why did Jonah not want to take the gospel to Nineveh? many different theories, Jonah was a racistJonah didn’t want the Assyrians to be part of God’s people because Jonah despised their raceJonah personally didn’t want to be in covenant relationship with the Assyrians which is why he didn’t go.This idea should be rejected. Jonah hated the Assyrians because of their cruelty. The Assyrians were enemies of Israel. They were cruel and wicked people who tortured Israel in some very barbaric ways.Perhaps Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he hated the Assyrians.It would have been like a Jew going into Nazi Germany in 1944 and offering them the hope to repent. The real reason comes when we look at Deuteronomy 32Lets remember Jonah served in the northern kingdom (NO GOOD KINGS)Jonah knew that Israel was just as wicked as any other nationProphets like Elijah and Elisha have already prophesied to Israel and Israel continued in their wickednessNow, the prophets were well aware of the writing of Moses. They quoted him often and called people to live faithful to the covenant. Jonah knew what the outcome might be if God’s people continued to rebel against God. Moses warned the people in Deut 32 of what God would do, and Jonah is scared that this might happen.
Deuteronomy 32:15–22 ESV15 “But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked; you grew fat, stout, and sleek; then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation. 16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. 17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded. 18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 “The Lord saw it and spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. 20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. 21 They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. 22 For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
In his book Christopher Booker argues that all stories are rooted in seven basic plots
Look back at verse 21
1. overcoming the monster
2. rags to riches
Deuteronomy 32:21 ESV21 They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
Jonah was afraid that God would save the Assyrians and use them to make Israel JealousIf God did this, then Asseria would then be married to God, while Israel would be opposed to Him. Jonah didn’t want God to leave Israel. He didn’t want God’s favor to go to the gentiles because that would mean Israel would be under his wrath. So if Jonah doesn’t go to Nineveh then they cannot repent, if they cannot repent then they cannot be used against Israel to make her jealous. So he hopped on a boat and headed in the opposite direction. Continuing his decent away from the presence of the Lord.
3. the quest
Jonah 1:3 ESV3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
4. voyage and return
5. comedy
Going down. Notice the direction Jonah goes when he flees the presence of the Lord“he went DOWN to Joppa” He went DOWN into the shipThe storm comes and where was Jonah?
6. tragedy
Jonah 1:5 ESV5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep.
Jonah had gone DOWN into the inner parts of the ship and was asleep. Jonah is then thrown into the sea where he goes down until a fish swallows him. He then goes down into sheol, into the pit, away from the presence of God. When we try and run from the presence of the God it is always a downward path. JoyGod says that he is the source of all joy and happiness. So when we begin to look for joy and happiness outside of Christ, we are not only running from the presence of God but we are on a downward path that will lead to not to joy, but shame. TruthJohn says that Jesus is the truth, so when we look truth outside of Christ we are running away from God’s presence and are on a downward path that will not lead to truth, but deception. When we know that God has called us to live as faithful followers of Christ, and we, like Jonah, run toward rebellion we end up in great storms where the peace of God and the presence of God seem so far away. And this is where Jonah finds himselfLook with me at vv.4-6
7. rebirth
These seven basic plots are the foundation for movies, folk tales, novels, science-fiction, ancient myths and any other story you hear.
Jonah 1:4–6 ESV4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
Jonah this great prophet who is supposed to be the mouthpiece of God proclaiming God’s saving power to all the nations is asleep down in the bottom of the boat. I think it amazing that when we walk away from the presence of the Lord we, like Jonah, fall asleep to the mission of GodThe Mission of God is to bring the light of the gospel to the entire world. As a Prophet Jonah’s vocational calling was to bring the light of YHWH to the nations of the world. Yet, Jonah was asleep on the job.He is in a boat filled with pagans and Jonah has forgotten his missionThere is lots of irony in the Bible. God is a god of humor, but His humor is often very heavy. Here is a great irony. Look at what it says in Jonah 1:6.
We find these plots all throughout the bible
Jonah 1:6 ESVSo the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
• Overcoming the monster - David and Goliath
• rags to riches - the story of Job
Jonah wasn’t concerned about them about the lost souls on the boat at all, but they said, "Maybe your god will be concerned about us." May this not be true of your life. Can people say I know your God is concerned about us but you’re not concernedYour God is loving, but you’re unkindYour God might be truthful, but you’re a lier. Jonah wakes up and goes to the top deck and after they cast lots to see who’s to blame for the storm Jonah finally confesses that the storm is fault because he is running from the presence of the Lord. Jonah tells them that if they wanted to be saved from the wrath of God they would have to throw him into the sea. After trying everything they could to get back to land they finally throw Jonah into the sea and begged God not to be angry with them. And you know what happens...?
• Voyage and return - prodigal Son
Jonah 1:15–16 ESV15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
You see, water is one of the great symbols of God’s judgement in the bible. In order for the storm to stop, in order for God’s judgement to be vindicated, Jonah had to be thrown into the water so the people in the boat might be saved. So they threw Jonah into the water where he died. Jonah death was what saved the pagans. Not only physically as it stopped the storm, but they also turned to YHWH and were converted.
• The seventh plot is the what booker calls “rebirth”

Jonah’s Death

• The rebirth plot is says that During the course of the story, an important event forces the main character to change their ways, often (though not always) making them a better person.
Jonah’s prayer in chapter 2 records the harsh realities of his death. (Now, whether or not Jonah physically died in the belly of the fish really is beside the point. What we need to see that the language is the language of death.)Could God have preserved Jonah’s life while in the belly of the fish? Yes!Could God have raised Jonah from the dead if he physically died? yes!Jesus likewise sees Jonah three days and three nights in the belly of the fish as being a death where in Matthew
• This is the plot for some beloved stories such as
• Sleeping Beauty
Matthew 12:40 ESV40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jesus uses Jonah’s death in the fish as a sign pointing to himself. So lets look at Jonah’s Prayer in chapter 2 And see how far DOWN Jonah actually went when feelign from the presence of the Lord
• Its a wonderful life
Jonah 1:17–2:10 ESV17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2 saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. 3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ 5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. 7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. 8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” 10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
• The frog and the prince
You see Jonah was running from the presence of the LordAnd he has been descending this whole time. He went down to JoppaHe went down onto the boatHe went down into the bottom of the boatAnd finally he goes down to the heart of the seato the deepto the pitto the roots of the mountainsinto the belly of Sheol He goes down to death. This theme of death is so important for us. What was it that had to happen for Jonah to stop running from God? He had to die. It was only death that could bring an end to his selfish desiresIt was only death that could bring an end to his prideful heartIt was only death that could stop him from running from God.And you want to know what stops our selfish desire? our prideful hearts? you want to know what will stop us from running from God? Death!If we are to follow Jesus, if we are to run to Jesus we must do so by picking up our crosses and following him - this means we live our lives as cruciform. Paul says that if we want to live, we must put to death the deeds of the flesh. Every wicked thing in us must be put to death. And we do this by the Spirit of god. by waging war with our flesh, by being living sacrifices. And when ever a death occurs in our lives, it is always followed by a resurrection!In his running from God Jonah went all the way down to the depths of the sea, he went to sheol, he went to the grave. And yet, when he got there he found out that God was there too!
• and Beauty and the beast
This is a plot that we can all identify with.
Jonah 2:5–6 ESV5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.
God didn’t leave Jonah in his death rather in brought his life up from the pit. God raised Jonah from the dead
• If you are a follower of Christ you have the greatest rebirth story there is.
• But many of have multiple “rebirth” stories in our lives.

Jonah’s Resurrection

• For me I spent time after high school leaving the presence of God one step at a time until i found myself living in California and living my life in a way that was not at all pleasing to God.
After three days and three nights in the belly of the sea-monster, it vomited Jonah up on to dry land. And now we are back where we started. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah...”This is the same way 1:1 startsBut this time God is speaking to a dead corps on the beach. And the first word God says to Jonah is, “arise” The is the same word used in the NT for Jesus’ resurrection
• And one random afternoon I picked up a book by Charles Spurgion and began to read. God got a hold of my heart, I repented of my lifestyle and began following Christ.
Acts 2:24 RSV24 But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
God raised Jonah back from the deadJust as Lazerous had been raised back to lifejust as Jirus’ daughter was brought back to lifeJust as Jesus was brought back to lifeSo Jonah was raised from the dead and was given a mission to bring the good news of God to Nineveh. This time Jonah obeys, and what we find is that all of Nineveh repents. We find Salvation come to those who were lost
When we hear stories with this plot we often can identify quickly.
The story of Jonah follows this rebirth plot

Salvation for the Lost

Tell the story of Jonah
Look with me at Jonah 3:3-10What we find happening right after Jonah’s resurrection is a massive transformation of the gentile world. All of Nineveh repented. from the king and rulers down to the servants. The good news that Jonah brought to them truly changed their world. I’ve talked about how Jonah’s story is like our story. We like Jonah run from the presence of GodWe like Jonah fall asleep to a lost and dying world when we are called to bring the light of the gospel to those who are parshing (like the sailors on the boat)And like Jonah, when pride, selfishness, fear, hatred, and rebellion arise in our lives, we must experience a death. by the spirit our sins must be cast into sea, they must be put to death. And like Jonah Jesus takes us from the dry bones of our sin and resurrects us so that we might follow him in his life. And like Jonah, God is calling us to take the message of the gospel to a lost and dying world. But even better than that Jonah’s story echos Jesus’ story.
• Jonah was a prophet of God who was called to go to Nineveh and call them out for their evil against God.

Jesus is the Better Jonah

Like Jonah God sent Jesus to bring good news that would give life and freedom to the gentilesLike Jonah Jesus left the presence of God to come DOWN to earth (though unlike Jonah Jesus was not rebelling against God)Jesus not only left heaven and came down to earthBut he humbled himself and took on human formAnd not just human form but he became a servantAnd not just a servant, but a servant who diedAnd not just a servant who died, but a servant who died on a crossJesus’ divine decent was much greater trip than Jonah’s to the belly of the sea monsterLike Jonah Jesus was thrown into the sea of God’s judgement in order to save the lives of his sinful people. Like Jonah Jesus went into the belly of the earth for three days and three nights Like Jonah Jesus was resurrected from the grave and the message of the gospel went to a lost and dying world. May we follow the path of the faithful servant who brings us to God, and not the fussy prophet who ran from God’s presence. Let Pray
• Jonah refused to go, he fled the presence of the Lord, got on a boat and headed for Tarshish.
• While on the boat God caused a great storm to arise
• Jonah’s disobedience was why God sent the great storm, so for the storm to calm Jonah had to be thrown into the sea.
• The event that changed Jonah’s direction in life was when Jonah was thrown into the sea and God had a great fish (or as the Hebrew describes it Sea Monster) swallow Jonah and he was in the belly of the fish for three day and three night
• And after three days and three nights the fish pukes Jonah up on the shore and he goes to Nineveh to preach the words of God.
• Nineveh hears Jonah’s words, and they repent. The king himself repents and sends out an edict to all of Nineveh calling them to repent and turn to God
• Jonah is not happy with God’s mercy on Nineveh and complains saying, “it would be better for me to die”
• The book ends abruptly with God questioning Jonah’s choice to be upset.
Jonah is a fascinating book.
• It is one of the most popular stories to tell children,
• Its the most popular Veggie Tales movie
• He’s the most well known prophet
• And the reason for Jonah’s fame is because in many ways his story is our story
So we will begin the story of Jonah, and the depths of mercy with Jonah’s Decent.

Jonah’s Decent

In many ways the story of Jonah is a tragic tale. Its the story of an unfaithful, fussy, coward of a prophet who rebels against God’s call on his life.
Prophets are to be men and women who stand in the council of God and take his words to the world. Yet, Jonah takes the words of God not to Nineveh like God told him to, but rather he takes the words of God to his grave.
Chapter one begins the story of Jonah by showing us Jonah downward spiral.
• Jonah’s decent is marked in a number of different ways.
• Fleeing from the presence of the Lord v.3,10
• Falling asleep on the job
• And even geographically we see Jonah descending
• Running away from God’s presence is seen as a decent to death in the book of Jonah. To flee from the presence of the Lord is a downward path.
ESV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
Three times we see Jonah tell us that he went “Away from the presence of the Lord” twice in verse three and once in verse 10
Look with me again at verse 3
ESV
3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
• This is a uniquely rebellious thing for Jonah to do as a prophet.
• for Prophets alone stand the presence of God as part of his council. They then take the words of God to the nations.
• So Jonah, a prophet, to flee from the presence of God is to be in outright rebellion to his call.
• Jonah went away from God’s presence where he told him to take his words to the gentile nations so that they too might be grafted into the covenant people of God, and went the opposite direction.
So why did Jonah flee from God’s presence? Why did Jonah not want to take the gospel to Nineveh?
many different theories,
Jonah was a racist
• Jonah didn’t want the Assyrians to be part of God’s people because Jonah despised their race
• Jonah personally didn’t want to be in covenant relationship with the Assyrians which is why he didn’t go.
• This idea should be rejected.
Jonah hated the Assyrians because of their cruelty.
• The Assyrians were enemies of Israel.
• They were cruel and wicked people who tortured Israel in some very barbaric ways.
• Perhaps Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he hated the Assyrians.
• It would have been like a Jew going into Nazi Germany in 1944 and offering them the hope to repent.
The real reason comes when we look at
• Lets remember Jonah served in the northern kingdom (NO GOOD KINGS)
• Jonah knew that Israel was just as wicked as any other nation
• Prophets like Elijah and Elisha have already prophesied to Israel and Israel continued in their wickedness
• Now, the prophets were well aware of the writing of Moses. They quoted him often and called people to live faithful to the covenant.
• Jonah knew what the outcome might be if God’s people continued to rebel against God.
• Moses warned the people in of what God would do, and Jonah is scared that this might happen.
ESV
15 “But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked; you grew fat, stout, and sleek; then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation. 16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. 17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded. 18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 “The Lord saw it and spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. 20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. 21 They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. 22 For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
Look back at verse 21
ESV
21 They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
Jonah was afraid that God would save the Assyrians and use them to make Israel Jealous
• If God did this, then Asseria would then be married to God, while Israel would be opposed to Him.
• Jonah didn’t want God to leave Israel.
• He didn’t want God’s favor to go to the gentiles because that would mean Israel would be under his wrath.
So if Jonah doesn’t go to Nineveh then they cannot repent, if they cannot repent then they cannot be used against Israel to make her jealous.
So he hopped on a boat and headed in the opposite direction. Continuing his decent away from the presence of the Lord.
ESV
3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
Going down.
• Notice the direction Jonah goes when he flees the presence of the Lord
• “he went DOWN to Joppa”
• He went DOWN into the ship
• The storm comes and where was Jonah?
ESV
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep.
• Jonah had gone DOWN into the inner parts of the ship and was asleep.
• Jonah is then thrown into the sea where he goes down until a fish swallows him.
• He then goes down into sheol, into the pit, away from the presence of God.
When we try and run from the presence of the God it is always a downward path.
• Joy
• God says that he is the source of all joy and happiness. So when we begin to look for joy and happiness outside of Christ, we are not only running from the presence of God but we are on a downward path that will lead to not to joy, but shame.
• Truth
• John says that Jesus is the truth, so when we look truth outside of Christ we are running away from God’s presence and are on a downward path that will not lead to truth, but deception.
When we know that God has called us to live as faithful followers of Christ, and we, like Jonah, run toward rebellion we end up in great storms where the peace of God and the presence of God seem so far away.
And this is where Jonah finds himself
Look with me at vv.4-6
ESV
4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
Jonah this great prophet who is supposed to be the mouthpiece of God proclaiming God’s saving power to all the nations is asleep down in the bottom of the boat.
I think it amazing that when we walk away from the presence of the Lord we, like Jonah, fall asleep to the mission of God
• The Mission of God is to bring the light of the gospel to the entire world.
• As a Prophet Jonah’s vocational calling was to bring the light of YHWH to the nations of the world.
• Yet, Jonah was asleep on the job.
• He is in a boat filled with pagans and Jonah has forgotten his mission
There is lots of irony in the Bible. God is a god of humor, but His humor is often very heavy. Here is a great irony. Look at what it says in .
ESV
So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
Jonah wasn’t concerned about them about the lost souls on the boat at all, but they said, "Maybe your god will be concerned about us."
• May this not be true of your life.
• Can people say
• I know your God is concerned about us but you’re not concerned
• Your God is loving, but you’re unkind
• Your God might be truthful, but you’re a lier.
Jonah wakes up and goes to the top deck and after they cast lots to see who’s to blame for the storm Jonah finally confesses that the storm is fault because he is running from the presence of the Lord.
Jonah tells them that if they wanted to be saved from the wrath of God they would have to throw him into the sea.
After trying everything they could to get back to land they finally throw Jonah into the sea and begged God not to be angry with them.
And you know what happens...?
ESV
15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
• You see, water is one of the great symbols of God’s judgement in the bible.
• In order for the storm to stop, in order for God’s judgement to be vindicated, Jonah had to be thrown into the water so the people in the boat might be saved.
• So they threw Jonah into the water where he died.
• Jonah death was what saved the pagans. Not only physically as it stopped the storm, but they also turned to YHWH and were converted.

Jonah’s Death

Jonah’s prayer in chapter 2 records the harsh realities of his death.
(Now, whether or not Jonah physically died in the belly of the fish really is beside the point. What we need to see that the language is the language of death.)
• Could God have preserved Jonah’s life while in the belly of the fish? Yes!
• Could God have raised Jonah from the dead if he physically died? yes!
Jesus likewise sees Jonah three days and three nights in the belly of the fish as being a death where in Matthew
ESV
40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jesus uses Jonah’s death in the fish as a sign pointing to himself.
So lets look at Jonah’s Prayer in chapter 2 And see how far DOWN Jonah actually went when fleeing from the presence of the Lord
ESV
17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2 saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. 3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ 5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. 7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. 8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” 10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
You see Jonah was running from the presence of the Lord
And he has been descending this whole time.
He went down to Joppa
He went down onto the boat
He went down into the bottom of the boat
And finally he goes down to
• the heart of the sea
• to the deep
• to the pit
• to the roots of the mountains
• into the belly of Sheol
• He goes down to death.
• This theme of death is so important for us.
• What was it that had to happen for Jonah to stop running from God? He had to die.
• It was only death that could bring an end to his selfish desires
• It was only death that could bring an end to his prideful heart
• It was only death that could stop him from running from God.
• And you want to know what stops our selfish desire? our prideful hearts? you want to know what will stop us from running from God?
• Death!
• If we are to follow Jesus, if we are to run to Jesus we must do so by picking up our crosses and following him - this means we live our lives as cruciform.
• Paul says that if we want to live, we must put to death the deeds of the flesh.
• Every wicked thing in us must be put to death.
• And we do this by the Spirit of god. by waging war with our flesh, by being living sacrifices.
• And when ever a death occurs in our lives, it is always followed by a resurrection!
In his running from God Jonah went all the way down to the depths of the sea, he went to sheol, he went to the grave. And yet, when he got there he found out that God was there too!
ESV
5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.
God didn’t leave Jonah in his death rather in brought his life up from the pit.
God raised Jonah from the dead

Jonah’s Resurrection

After three days and three nights in the belly of the sea-monster, it vomited Jonah up on to dry land.
And now we are back where we started. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah...”
• This is the same way 1:1 starts
But this time God is speaking to a dead corps on the beach. And the first word God says to Jonah is, “arise”
ESV
1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”
• The is the same word used in the NT for Jesus’ resurrection
RSV
24 But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
• God raised Jonah back from the dead
• Just as Lazerous had been raised back to life
• just as Jirus’ daughter was brought back to life
• Just as Jesus was brought back to life
• So Jonah was raised from the dead and was given a mission to bring the good news of God to Nineveh.
• This time Jonah obeys, and what we find is that all of Nineveh repents. We find Salvation come to those who were lost

Salvation for the Lost

Look with me at
What we find happening right after Jonah’s resurrection is a massive transformation of the gentile world.
• All of Nineveh repented.
• from the king and rulers down to the servants.
• The good news that Jonah brought to them truly changed their world.
I’ve talked about how Jonah’s story is like our story.
• We like Jonah run from the presence of God
• We like Jonah fall asleep to a lost and dying world when we are called to bring the light of the gospel to those who are parshing (like the sailors on the boat)
• And like Jonah, when pride, selfishness, fear, hatred, and rebellion arise in our lives, we must experience a death.
• by the spirit our sins must be cast into sea, they must be put to death.
• And like Jonah Jesus takes us from the dry bones of our sin and resurrects us so that we might follow him in his life.
• And like Jonah, God is calling us to take the message of the gospel to a lost and dying world.
But even better than that Jonah’s story echos Jesus’ story.

Jesus is the Better Jonah

Like Jonah God sent Jesus to bring good news that would give life and freedom to the gentiles
Like Jonah Jesus left the presence of God to come DOWN to earth (though unlike Jonah Jesus was not rebelling against God)
• Jesus not only left heaven and came down to earth
• But he humbled himself and took on human form
• And not just human form but he became a servant
• And not just a servant, but a servant who died
• And not just a servant who died, but a servant who died on a cross
• Jesus’ divine decent was much greater trip than Jonah’s to the belly of the sea monster
Like Jonah Jesus was thrown into the sea of God’s judgement in order to save the lives of his sinful people.
Like Jonah Jesus went into the belly of the earth for three days and three nights
Like Jonah Jesus was resurrected from the grave and the message of the gospel went to a lost and dying world.
• May we follow the path of the faithful servant who brings us to God, and not the fussy prophet who ran from God’s presence.
Let Pray
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