Jonah: God’s Relentless Pursuit
Series Overview: Jonah was a prophet on the run but discovered quickly that he could not outrun God. No matter how hard we may try to avoid God’s call on our own lives, we will soon realize that we cannot escape God’s relentless pursuit.
A Fish Named “Grace” [Jonah 2] – No amount of rebellion is greater than God’s love. His relentless pursuit of us often finds us in the lowest possible places.
- You’ve been trying to go your own direction in your life – how’s that working out for you?
- We are all sinners – we all rebel in our quest for independence.
- If a man being swallowed by a fish and surviving seems hard to believe, how can you believe a man being swallowed by death and resurrecting? The empty tomb is more spectacular than the empty fish.
- Jonah spent 3 days in discipline when he could had been spending 3 days in service.
- The fish was evidence of God’s grace – not his anger.
- God gives wrath to his enemies and discipline to his children.
- God appointed a fish to be at the right place at the right time to digest a reluctant prophet in just the right way.
- Jonah doesn’t pray for sailors or Ninevites – he only prays for himself.
- God’s discipline does not indicate a lack of care but reveals a proof of love.
- What is causing my current distress?
- Is it God’s tests?
- Is it Satan’s temptations?
- Is it someone’s attacks?
- Is it my consequences?
- Jonah came closer and not further from the one who was disciplining.
- Jonah’s prayer is not a request to be saved from the fish but gratitude for being saved by the fish.
- Before you can preach a message to another, you have to receive it yourself.
- God can always hear even the faintest cries of desperation. (cf. Ex. 2:25)
- God’s deliverance is often progressive because his discipline is part of the process.
- We don’t make promises to obtain deliverance, we make promises because we have received deliverance.
- Don’t bargain with God for salvation, commit to God because of salvation.
- How could I deny another the salvation that has benefitted me?
- When I truly understand my own sinfulness, I have no problem accepting that God could save any sinner.
- Sometimes the lowest moments and the greatest moments of our lives are one in the same.
- The prodigal didn’t come up until he had hit rock bottom (Luke 15:16 “And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything”).
- King Nebuchadnezzar didn’t exalt God until he had first been humbled (Dan. 4:35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’”).
- The prophet Isaiah wasn’t ready for obedience until he grasped the depth of his disobedience (Isa. 6:5 “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts”).
- God’s relentless pursuit often finds us in the lowest possible places.