How often do we want
to do something that we know God does not want us to do. Go someplace we know we
should not go? Oh we try to rationalize it. Let's look at another person that
tried to go somewhere he was not suppose to.
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.
(notice he was told to go to Nineveh. He KNEW this.....God does NOT hide His directions from us)
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.
Lets look at a few things in this verse.
1: Tarhish was the opposite direction from Nineveh
Oh I am sure he could have rationalized why he should go here. Tarshish needs to hear about the LORD and I am going to go tell them. You ever minister to people and have nothing happen? Perhaps it is your Tarshish...it is not your job to be there...and maybe we need to ask God where OUR Nineveh is.
2: It COSTS to SIN. Often we pay big bucks to indulge in sinful activities. I am sure you can give examples of this. There will be more on this later.
3: He went down into the ship. When we sin, we often go much further then we want. Those that drink...they say I will just have this one to be friendly and to get in good with these people so I can witness to them...and then they are drunk. The witness is not one that would make anyone WANT the LORD. Pornography....I will just look at this ONE picture....listen to this ONE joke. so what if it is off color...we are adults.. well it DRAWS...BELIEVE IT IT DRAWS. I wish I could erase hundreds if not thousands of images burned into my mind...but I can not. I can warn YOU however that SIN pulls us in.. and we go deeper into it.
(Jonah was running from the presence of God. Ps 139 tells us we can not go anywhere where God is not at. As a child of God, He will never leave us or forsake us)
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.
God does have a way to get our attention. Could it be some of our storms are brought on by ourselves? By our going somewhere, doing something not in HIS will? Now remember, a storm does not mean WE are out of Gods will so do not try to second guess those in the midst of a storm. God very often uses storms to show the world how HIS kids handle them,
5: Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
Notice that each person here called upon their gods...EVERYONE worships something. Also notice something more to this message... When WE SIN, it often costs OTHERS something too. When a man or woman is unfaithful to their spouse, the spouse suffers and so do their kids. There are few if any sins that ONLY the person sinning has to pay for...for most cost others something too. If YOU are a child of God and willfully sin, it will cost you FELLOWSHIP with God. and when we are not in fellowship, we are not on our duty post and many may fail to SEE the Master in us... SIN always cost us, AND others...
6: So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
Very often, we are caught sleeping when we should be standing watch. We need to be sounding the warn against SIN to others, not indulging in it ourselves.
7: And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
Umm God has a way of allowing others to see where HIS kids fall short. How may times have we heard, if he/she is a Christian, I sure do not want to be one.
8: Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
9: And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
10: Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
11: Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
Notice that those
who are not Christians often know more of what we should and should not do then
12: And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13: Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
14: Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.
15: So they look up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
These unsaved men
tried EVERYTHING to avoid casting another person to what they felt would be his
death. Do WE? How fast are we to delete a person from our club
because we do not like their profile? Often when they have not even posted
anything inappropriate. IF they have come to our club to find out what
Christians are like. WHAT are WE showing them?
16: Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.
The ONLY sacrifice
our LORD wants is for US to be a LIVING sacrifice Holy and
presentable unto HIM (Romans 12:1,2 ) Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken
and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
17: Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights
AHH God always provides... BUT do we want a WHALE RIDE to get back into GOD'S WILL?
Let's go on in our
study. There are still some important things to learn.
12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
It is very odd to me that so often "the world" will show more compassion then "CHRISTIANS" These men did everything they could to afford taking an action they felt would end a human life, yet we so often will demand such action. We often want our revenge and we want it now. This is in spite of the fact that we know the results one will have if they die without Christ.
Are these feeling not in violation of God's command to love our enemy (even if they happen to be our wife...or our husband) to do good to them that misuse us?
Looking at the 2nd chapter, and now Jonah is in the Whales (great fish) belly we now find he is getting serious in talking to God. Now a real prayer meeting is going on.
Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
How often do WE wait until we are in a crisis before taking it to the Lord? Is God in a box that says "In Case of Emergency. Break Glass"
No my friend, God has the very hairs on our head and He wants a very personal relationship with us.
verse 4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Sin separates. It separates us from God before and after salvation. Sin AFTER salvation does not cost us salvation, but it does cost us FELLOWSHIP with God. That alone my friend is so precious. Notice that much as David did when David sinned, he wanted the joy of salvation restored. Jonah said he would once again put God first...He would look to God.
Jonah learned a good lesson in verse 8 "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."
How often do we want to do things OUR way? We even come up with lies to show how it was God's will for it to be our way. But we do it at the cost of mercy...and at the expense of one WHALE of a ride.
Jonah was STILL in the belly of this great fish. The prayer meeting had been going on for sometime. But we find another thing happening in verse 9 "But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.'
PRAISING the LORD. Much at Paul and Silas in the prison, their release came
after they sang praises unto God (Acts 16:25) the same occurred to Jonah. Verse
9: "And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry
My friend, are you in hard and difficult times right now? Is your home broken, Your heart broken? Wonder where the money is going to come from for the bills? Your health a shambles?
PRAISE HIM. PRAISE THE LAMB FOR SINNERS SLAIN. GIVE HIM GLORY ALL YE PEOPLE...FOR HIS BLOOD CAN CLEANSE EACH STAIN.
Yes it is hard to praise in the midst of the storm. This is one reason why praise is called a sacrifice.
Psalm 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
Psalm 54:6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
There are so many other verses that tell how God wants our praise. After all, don't WE like to hear praise? Don't we like to hear our kids say. Dad, I am so glad you are my dad, Mom, I am so glad you are my mom..or brother, sister ....
My friend, are YOU in that Whale right now?
If you have not accepted Christ as your savior, that is the first step to getting that whale to vomit you on DRY LAND.
If you do belong to the Lord, have you been praising HIM? Start today. Look again toward HIS holy temple. Turn your eyes upon JESUS...look full in HIS wonderful face and the things on earth will grow strangely dim, In the Light of HIS Glory and Grace.
Finish that whale ride today my friend...
IT IS FINISHED
Again, we are here to serve you. If there is anything we can do to help you end this ride, we are here. If this is in another club other than Shattered Men, I am sure the offer applies here too. Much more important my friend...JESUS is waiting....waiting for YOU!
This message is from the ministry of Shattered Men