From The Pastor’s Desk……
Continuing our series of messages entitled: “Lockdown.”
“LOCKDOWN: JONAH: IN THE WHALE.”
Chapter 1 : It should have been so simple!
1, “The Word Of The Lord Came!” (v1)
To Jonah son of Amittai. Go to the great City of Ninevah and preach against it, because its wickedness had come up before Me.”
– But Jonah, (v3) “ran away from The Lord.”
He went in the opposite direction – found and boarded a boat to Tarshish.
The Apostle Paul wrote, under the Inspiration of The Holy Spirit, Romans 11:29, “God’s gifts and call are irrevocable.”
2, ” The Wind Of The Lord Came!” (v4)
On the sea, a violent storm arose. The ship threatened to break up. The terrified sailors cried out to their gods. They threw cargo overboard.
– But Jonah, (v5b) “had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell asleep.”
The Captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up, call on your God! Maybe He will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”
Little did the Captain know, at that time, that Jonah’s God was taking notice of him!
The sailors cast lots to find out who was responsible. In both the Old Testament and in Jesus’s day this was used to discover knowledge. (v7) “The lot fell on Jonah.”
Jonah confessed: “I’m running away from The Lord!” I’m a Hebrew. I worship The Lord, The God of Heaven, who made the seas and the dry land. (v9)
As the sea got tougher and tougher the sailors asked Jonah, ” What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
The sailors knew that The Lord God of Heaven was ultimately dealing with Jonah, and them!
– But Jonah offered his life (v12)
Jesus declares, “Greater love has no one than this than that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Jonah said, ” pick me up and throw me into the sea, and it will calm down. I know that it’s my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
The sailors did their best to row back to land. But the could not. The sea got wilder…….In the midst of the storm the sailors cried out to The Lord (v14)….” Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for You Lord, have done as You pleased.”
(v15) “They threw Jonah overboard and the raging sea grew calm.”
Jonah’s evangelistic gift was fruitful! The sailors “feared The Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to The Lord and made vows to Him!”
Salvation came to the sailors through Jonah’s disobedience.
3, “The Whale From The Lord Came” (v17) The Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and nights.”
JONAH WAS IN LOCKDOWN When I was living in Gloucester Pastor (Pop) Quest showed me a newspaper cutting from around 1900. A whale ship had pulled up a whale. They cut it open and found inside a man, barely alive, who had been swallowed whole. The gastric juices of the whale had turned his skin and hair white. He survived! The book of Jonah is not a myth. Neither is Jonah!
– In Lockdown Jonah Prayed To The Lord His God! (2:1)
– In Lockdown Jonah Describes His Dilema and Distress! (2:2-6a)
– In Lockdown Jonah Testifies To His Deliverance! (2:6b-8)
– In Lockdown Jonah Shouts Grateful Praise! (2:9a)
– In Lockdown Jonah Renews His Vow To The Lord! (2:9b)
– In Lockdown Jonah Declares, “Salvation Comes From The Lord!” (2:9c)
4, The Word Of The Lord Came Again! (3:2)
To the whale, commanding the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land.
To Jonah. Lockdown had not changed Jonah’s Call. ” Go to the great city of Ninevah and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
Jonah Came Out Of Lockdown:-
A Focused Man – Jonah declared The Word Of The Lord! “40 more days and Ninevah will be overthrown.” (3:4a)
A Formidable Man – Jonah was a Powerful Prophet. His appearance, being white skinned and white haired added to that.
A Fragranced Man – Jonah would have had a distinctive smell. I’m told that Chanel used juice from whale sick in their very expensive perfumes. Though I’m sure that Jonah didn’t smell of Chanel 🙂
A Fruitful Man – Jonah saw the whole population of Ninevah repent, with fasting. 120,000 people turned to The Lord!
“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He relented and did not bring on them the destruction He had threatened.
If the book of Jonah finished there then the story would be headlined: “Revival Comes Out Of Lockdown!” That is the outcome in one way……
*****The Lesson Of Jonah’s Lockdown Is Not To Forget The Lessons Of Lockdown*****
Jonah explains to The Lord, I ran from Your Calling because I knew You would save them! (4:2) “I knew that You are a Gracious and Compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in Love!” Jonah was angry!
The Lord God taught Jonah a lesson by providing a tree for shade under which he could rest. Then He provided a worm to eat the tree, then a scorching east wind. Jonah grew faint and wanted to die saying, ” It would have been better for me to die than to live.” Jonah’s anger was so strong it turned into a death wish.
The Lord God concludes the conversation with Jonah.
5, The Last Word of The Lord! (4:10-11)
May we, during our period of Lockdown:-
*Pray! Intimately fellowshipping with The Lord!
*Receive A Fresh Calling(s) or Re-Instated Calling(s) from The Lord!
*Be Pleased To Obediently Serve The Lord, Bearing His Fruitfulness!
May we always remember that, “We Are Servants In The Hands Of A Gracious and Compassionate God!”