We continue with our sermon series looking at faulty heroes in the bible. Preaching from Nathan Gordon with the virtual service led by Richard Sills.
The answer to today’s question may appear to be the easiest answer on paper, but the challenges we face with actually living a life of obedience to God in total submission to his will can often be the hardest thing, Ask Jonah!
Jonahs way or the highway!
Jonah was not interested in the slightest with the idea of delivering Gods message to the Assyrians in Nineveh, so Jonah tried to run away from the presence of God and head to Tarshish by boat.
Why? – Jonah hated the Assyrians because they mistreated the Hebrew people and due to their growing reputation and dominance as a nation. Nineveh would grow to become the capital of the Assyrian empire.
Why?– Jonah as a Hebrew understood that God was rich in mercy, Grace and Love. The prophetic message of judgment and destruction would be forgiven if the people would turn to God and repent of their evil. Jonah struggled to look past his hatred for the Assyrians in Nineveh.
Application – All of us at times become unaligned with the perfect will of God for our lives whether out of intentional disobedience like Jonah or through seasons of questioning whether we are making the right decisions; for example; applying for a new job, relocating or discerning a call to ministry etc.
Today we are going to consider 3 points of teaching from Jonah’s experience with God and the people of Nineveh.
You can run but you cant hide – 1:1-6
- Jonah refused to obey Gods mission
- Jonah tried to run away from Gods presence
- God apprehended Jonah’s mission by sending a storm and a huge God assigned fish.
Avoid writing people off – 1:6, 16 & 4:1-2
- The sailors became God worshippers.
- Gods mercy on the Assyrians in Nineveh displeased Jonah because of his personal feelings towards the nation.
Don’t miss the Christ connection – Matthew 12:40-41
- Jesus used the example of Jonah to teach the Pharisees and teachers of the law.
What are you running away from that God has called you to do? – like Gods message through Jonah to the Assyrians, God is rich in mercy and love, slow to anger and quick to forgive and revive brokenness and disobedience back to his perfect will.
1) Have you ever had a Jonah experience in your life where you were trying to run away from Gods will? – discuss how you felt during this time.
2) How does Jonah’s attitude to the Ninevite’s compare with the sailors attitude to him?
3) In what ways do you see a connection between Jonah being swallowed by the fish and Jesus’ mission on earth?
Sermon Title: Should we always obey God?
Bible Reading: Jonah
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Richard Sills