Faithlife Sermons

When God Calls: Jonah


Hearing God’s Call: Jonah

The Prophet Who Argues With God

With Jonah, we get not just God’s word, but a conversation. Jeremiah also connects with God this way. BOTH were rather reluctant prophets.

What is the role of a prophet?

Jonah’s First Call and Failure

An Ear for God:

Jonah 1:1–2 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.”

Jonah Flees from Fear

Jonah 1:3 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.

Afloat on Angry Waves

Jonah 1:4 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.

One Man’s Sin is Sinking the Ship

Jonah 1:8–9 ESV
8 Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

The Prophet IS the Problem

Sink the Sinner, Save the Ship

Jonah 1:11–12 ESV
11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”

A Living Sacrifice Leads to Awe

Jonah 1:15–16 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.

When Deep in Darkness, Jonah Prays

Jonah 1:17 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.
Jonah 2:1 ESV
1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish,
Jonah 2:7 ESV
7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

I Guess God’s Not Done Yet

Jonah 2:9d–10 ESV
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.

Jonah’s Second Call and Success

God Gives Jonah the Message

Jonah 3:1–2 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.”

Fear Flees from Jonah

Jonah 3:3–4 ESV
3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

God’s Word Convicts

Jonah 3:5 ESV
5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
Jonah 3:6 ESV
6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

God’s Word Invites Change

Jonah 3:8 ESV
8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.
Jonah 3:9 ESV
9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

How Do We Feel About Grace?

Especially if it’s undeserved!

God’s Wrath Withers

Jonah 3:10 ESV
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Jonah’s Ire Increases

Jonah 4:1 ESV
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.

There’s the Trouble with God

Jonah 4:2 ESV
2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.

God’s Grace or Jonah’s Jeers?

Jonah: Kill Me Now

Jonah 4:3 ESV
3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

God: What’s Your Beef?

Jonah 4:4 ESV
4 And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Or, in the Pastor Dave version, God said, “What?”

This Can’t Last

Jonah 4:5 ESV
5 Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city.

God’s Heart is Grace

Jonah 4:11 ESV
11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

Lesson’s From Jonah

–When one has an ear for God, God’s voice is clear.
–Hearing from God will make you face your fears
–God’s purpose is always grace
-God’s Grace sometimes disgusts our self-righteous justice
–God can use a single man to turn a city around
–You don’t have to agree with God for God to Gift his Grace.
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