Faithlife Sermons

The Inconceivable God

Jonah Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 6 views

Jonah knew the Character of God but could reconcile it in his mind.

Notes
Transcript
Jonah 4:1–2 NKJV
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.
Jonah 4:1–5 NKJV
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” 4 Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city.
J
I’d like to key in on the last part of verse two today:
“for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.”
Introduction:
Of everything Jonah experienced, I think the one thing he didn’t count on was that God would act contrary to what he thought was right!
Has this ever been the case with you?
Had you been praying about something or a situation and then been blind sided by what God did?
Well, if you have experienced that, you are in good company, and there’s a good reason for it:
Isaiah 55:8–9 NKJV
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Notice that the Isaiah doesn’t say that God’s ways or thoughts are different, but higher!
And this is why God is inconceivable to the human mind and heart.

The Inconceivable God.

I. What we know about God.

Where do we begin?
He is holy
The term underlying our English “holy” is the same for saint, pure, and sanctify, and their derivatives.
And although you and I may have the terms applied to us at times in the Bible, we are not holy in essence, only God is.
He is omniscient
When God acts it is with perfect knowledge.
When God acts it is with perfect knowledge.
He never has to weigh situations or investigate anything, because He has all the information for all time.
He does not need to look into the future or pear into the past, He is there because time is irrelevant to Him. He created that for us.
He is omnipresent
I can’t imagine being in two places at once, but God is everywhere always.
Psalm 139:8 NKJV
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
He is immutable

The attribute of God whereby He cannot change or be changed in His essence or perfections.

In Himself He is absolutely immutable. In relation to His creatures, He is relatively immutable: He will never deviate or show a “shadow of turning” from His revealed purpose and truth (James 1:17; Mal. 3:6; Isa. 46:10; Ps. 33:11).

II. What we know about ourselves.

We are sinful
We know this is true, but we don’t readily accept it.
And that’s a dead giveaway to the sinful nature!
We are always acting contrary to the nature of Christ who is the very image of the invisible God.
We do not know all things or even everything about one thing
But that never stops us from putting our foot in our mouths, or speaking nonsense, or acting like a complete fool!
We pride ourselves on being experts in things we have only a glimpse of.
Experts in science and nature!
Experts on Marriage!
Experts on how to run the country!
We cannot be everywhere
As I said in the previous point, we can’t even be in two places at the same time.
We are limited in spacial ways, and so can never be fully informed at one time.
What Jonah could not see in his hatred, was what the eleventh verse of this chapter speaks of, the 120,000 children and animals, which were scattered about in Nineveh!
We vacillate
Story: Peter and spaghetti and Meatballs in Walton.

III. What we should do about it.

If Jonah knew the character of God, why would he act contrary to it?
Why do we act contrary to the character of God?
I’m troubled by this, because I can see this very thing playing out all the time.
We know what God is like, because we read it for ourselves in His word.
But we, as James says, are double minded when we see who we are in Christ but walk away forgetting.
I’d like to offer one practical means by which Christians can do to remedy this:
Memorize scripture
Psalm 119:105 NKJV
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:101 NKJV
101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word.
Psalm 119:111 NKJV
111 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart.
Psalm 119:
Clearly the key to walking the right path with God is to be led by His word.
But not just as I suggested last week, bathing in His word daily, but having it ready at all times.
Psalm 119:11 NKJV
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
I saw this past week that Dr. Jack Van Impe passed recently.
Although Dr. Van Impe, was a great champion for the evangelical position of pre-millennialism, and especially the pre-tribulation theory of the rapture of the church, he had problems and was rightly criticized for making bad predictions.
But Dr. Jack was less recognized for his amazing ability to memorize scripture.
Aside from all the inflated claims out there, Dr. Van Impe memorized much of the Bible in categories.
The following is a true story-
Representing the Michigan Sunday School Association in a 3-hour debate with an atheist and a Roman Catholic priest, on Detroit’s radio station WXYZ, Jack quoted over 500 Bible verses in the first two hours of the program. The moderator was so upset at this domination of the debate with unanswerable arguments that he ruled that no more verses could be quoted in the debate. At that announcement, Jack stated that he would have to leave the program, since the purpose of his being there was to present the Bible. With an hour still remaining in the debate, the announcer rescinded his rule and allowed “The Walking Bible” to keep on quoting Scripture.
Personally, I believe there can be no greater weapon in the Christian arsenal than memorized scripture!
And scripture in the heart, will guide us to live our lives for Christ, when we are in similar circumstances as Jonah.
Related Media
Related Sermons