Jonah 1:1-2 "Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 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."
This post will be in two parts. My husband preached this message recently in a church we were in and God really used the message to deal with hearts. These are my notes from the message he preached.
We all have times that we find ourselves unwilling to do what God wants us to. In verse 2 God gives Jonah a command. Jonah was sent there to be a witness. Many of these people are not right with God spiritually. These people are wicked.
Society has become desensitized to wickedness these days to sin. Things that used to be appalling and made people's stomachs turn is now accepted without a second thought today. God is aware of it all. Judgment is coming!! He is already beginning to judge America as a result of this desensitization. Sin is even creeping into the church and nothing is being done about it.
Jonah was sent to warn Ninevah of the judgment that was coming. They needed to turn to God. Our nation needs to turn to God. God expects us to warn others of the judgment that is coming. Are you doing your part?
Jonah was sent to win the people. He was there to point them to the only One that could help them. God's heart is to save those that are lost and have no hope. Many don't know where to find that hope. It is up to us to inform them and point them in the direction of the cross.
God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. He does not want anyone to die and go to Hell. 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."
In Jonah 1:3 Jonah didn't want to go. "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." He did not want to do what God told him to do. He wanted to get away from God. He wanted God to leave him alone. He was trying to run from anything to do with God's will.
God chose Jonah in order to get the glory out of Jonah's rebellion. He knew Jonah would rebel against Him and His will...yet He chose to use Him anyway. God knows if and when we will rebel against Him when He tells us to do something...yet He chooses to use our situation of rebellion to bring glory to Him in the end and to work not only in our heart and life...but to work in others around us that see us go against Him. Jonah found a ship. The devil will always have a vessel waiting to take us from the center of God's will. The devil is good at what he does.
Jonah paid a price for his rebellion. It is dangerous to get away from God and rebel. When a person gets out of God's will the person always goes down and not up. And unfortunately they will take others down with them. It will cause some to want to have nothing to do with God because the devil will magnify the wrong they are doing and those who are watching will use that as an excuse to not want to get right with God and follow Him. But on the other hand...it will have the opposite effect with some. They will see the danger in getting out of God's will and know how important it is to stay close to the Lord and to do as He commands us to do.
Tomorrow will be part two of this message. Please check back for more.