1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
Jonah demonstrates the patience of AlMighty God
Jonah went in the opposite direction
Jonah fled “from” the “presence” of God –
Psalm 139:7 – 10
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
No matter what, he could not escape God’s presence
Jonah resigned, but God refused to accept the resignation
- Jonah thought telling God no was the end of it
- Jonah wanted to stop preaching
- He found comfort in his backslidden condition
The problem with sin is that we can find it enjoyable
We often believe if we say no God will change His mind.
Even in His backslidden condition God was still faithful
Romans 8:28-32 – 28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstbornamong many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
God loves you and me too much to just leave us in that condition.
What is it that leads to a backslidden condition?
A wrong attitude about sin –
Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.
- My sin does not affect anyone else
- I am saved, so I am safe
- God will understand my sinfulness, after all, I am only human
- The truth is, your sin does affect others. The lost, younger believers, relationships, eternity
A wrong attitude to who is in charge
He thought he had a better idea
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. 18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble
- Pride will always lead down
- The result of pride is always destructive
- The result of pride will always be a fall
- The result of our pride will always affect others
- Pride is me depending upon my own efforts, not HIS
- Pride is me taking credit for the results and not giving Him the glory
A wrong attitude to having a constant testimony
You are always constantly testifying for God or against God- there is no middle ground
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
You cannot turn your Christianity off and on when it suits you –
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
A wrong attitude toward those who are lost
Jonah saw the lost as the enemy, not a mission field
Matthew 6:27-36 – 27
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
- We are to love them
- We are to treat them as we would want to be treated
- We are to show them mercy
- We are to put them ahead of ourselves – Philippians 2:3
- We should desire to see all come to Christ –
II Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.