Have you ever run away from God? Jonah did. Jonah’s story shows us what it means to follow God. Following God often means doing things that make us uncomfortable. Join us this weekend as Pastor Cal Jernigan shows us how Jonah’s story applies to our lives today.Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)
[00:00:00] Well, as I do every week, I want to begin by just saying a word of welcome to each and every one of you, welcome to all of you who are here with me in this room. And I want to welcome those of you who are on any of our campuses. We say this all the time, where this church has spread out and you are very much a part of us.
[00:00:18] I want to say welcome to those of you who are experiencing this online, wherever you are. In fact, a dish is in Pakistan, so welcome. And Becca is in California and that you guys just represent what's going on around the world. So seriously, thank you for being a part of us and a part of this deal. So here's what we're going to do today.
[00:00:36] We're going to begin a study of the book of Jonah. So here's what I need you to do. Open up your Bible and begin to search for the book of Jonah. Okay. It's going to take you a little. Uh, let me give you a clue. It's right. Okay. So, I mean, I can have a physical Bible go, go to the beginning of the new Testament, which is about two thirds of the way through your Bible.
[00:00:59] And then you can backtrack into the old Testament. It's in the back of the old Testament. I have to explain it this way because we very seldom actually open up the book of Jonah and he's in a group. People called the minor prophets. It's all explained to who, to you in just a moment who those are, but, but, but it's, it's a little book tucked away.
[00:01:19] And so you're going to have to take a moment to find it. Now we're beginning today, a brand new series. And I said last week, I'm so excited for this. I love the book of Jonah. I love teaching from the book of Jonah. And so the series is called on. On the run. And it's a story that I think you're going to love.
[00:01:35] It's a story that I think you're going to relate to. It's incredibly relevant. It's impact is for today. And there's a, there's a little something I want to have you connect here, which if I don't point this out, you probably just wouldn't make this connection. So we just finished a five week series, the God within a study about the holy spirit.
[00:01:52] The name Jonah means the dove. The holy spirit in the new Testament is often pictured as. And you'll see this, a dove descending. So Jonah's name is a dove. Dove is representation of the leading of the spirit. Jonah is the story of a man who doesn't want to follow the leading of the spirit of God in his life.
[00:02:13] Make the connection. It's how far you'll go from actually obeying what the spirit is guiding you to do, make that connection. Also want to take you back to the series before the God within we talked about the, through the valley, there was a thing. Mental health is what's going on in your head as you're dealing with a life that's coming at you.
[00:02:33] And one of the things we talked about is how depressed life can become and literally how we might have ideas or ideation of suicide. You're going to discover what's going on inside a Jonah is actually going to lead him to have thoughts of suicide. In fact, two different times, you can kind of catch on that.
[00:02:50] He's like going, God, it's over for me. Just end it. So it's amazingly relevant for us as we launch into the snow. Here's what I need you to understand. I do not have the right words to be able to communicate clearly what the impact of this book will make on our lives. So here's what I've got to do right now.
[00:03:06] I've got to stop and I want to invite you to pray with me that God will do a number of things. And the first thing is, I always say it this way. Just suspend time, get time off our minds. You'll get out of here on time. But just don't think about time. Just think about God, his communication to you through his word.
[00:03:25] And for the few moments we have that we'll just give everything we've got to be in this moment right now. Okay. And again, wherever you are be with us, let's pray. So God, we thank you for your word. We thank you for your leading God without your instruction, we would be so crazy lost, but God, through stories like Jonah, uh, we can get pictures of.
[00:03:45] And God, we can see some stuff that we really need to say. Now we can't do that on our own, but through your spirit, you will open our eyes and aluminate the truth. And I pray that you'll do that so that we give you this time. God, you use it in your way and for your purposes. And this is my prayer in Jesus' name.
[00:04:03] Amen. So, so did you all hear what happened to. Did you hear, see, Jonah is a story you probably already heard you go. Yeah, I remember. I remember this as a, as a kid. I remember hearing the story. I got the idea of Jonah in my head. It's an incredible story. It's a fascinating, it moves really quickly and it's only four chapters, but there's so much in it, but you probably, if you heard the story, you probably, you probably remember that this dude got swallowed by.
[00:04:35] A big failure, then you probably learned it was a whale. And then you probably remember that the fish spit them out and the guy actually lived. And you, you might, you might remember that. The only way we could know about this story is if he actually did live because it was either made up or he had the lift to tell it, but you probably have, you probably have the smells scholars, many scholars actually do believe you read the book of Jonah because Jonah wrote.
[00:05:05] That's how we got this. All right. And there's some debate over that, but it was kinda cool. Now, if you're a typical and I want to say, if you're here and you're going, oh, right, right. A guy got swallowed by a fish. Hang on, hang on. I get it. I get it. It's a skeptical response. I get it. Okay. Because we go, you know what, it's gotta be an allegory.
[00:05:24] It's gotta be like a parable. It's gotta be like a parable. This has never actually happened, but you'll imagine it, it did happen. If you imagine that it did happen, then you can get the. Most of us would be skeptical when you hear the story to go, this is a historical event. I get that. Now I'm going to say something.
[00:05:44] That's probably going to shock some of you. I believe this was a historical event that actually happened. And I know that might make you like what kind of an idiot are you a preacher? I get it. I get it. I get really, I get it. But you know why I believe it actually happened because Jesus believed it actually.
[00:06:01] In fact, let me show you what Jesus said. All right, listen, listen, Jesus had he answered Jesus, a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish. So the son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of.
[00:06:23] The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And now something greater than Jonah is here. They got to understand what he said. He wasn't like alluding to a story. He said, you know, in the past there was this thing with Jonah I'm here now.
[00:06:41] And in the future, something's going to happen. He just drops us right into time. I have no, I just need you to, I just have no, no trouble. I just don't. I don't lose any sleep over. As you work your way through this book, you're going to find some fascinating parallels with Jesus and he just told you about one of them.
[00:06:58] Okay. But jeez, Jonah is the only prophet in the, in the Bible that Jesus ever likened himself unto. It's the only one. And as, as we work our way through this, you'll see these crazy parallels. Now, please understand Jonah and Jesus are different as night and day when it comes to following the will of. But the parallels will just strike you as you see it.
[00:07:21] All right. Now, let me sum up everything. I just said, if nothing, if you believe that nothing is impossible with God, this story should not be too much to swallow.
[00:07:36] It's going to put your. Do you believe now we'll leave that. Sit there for a minute. Why, why study Jonah? Come on. If you know your Bible and a lot of us are like, I don't really know my way around it. In the back section of the old Testament, there are known, there are a group of authors that are known as major.
[00:07:56] And then there's this bigger group called minor prophets. A major prophet would be Isaiah or Jeremiah, Daniel. You know, they have like chapters and chapters in the Bible and then there's the minor prophets. They only have a few chapters and you might go, these are the important ones. And these are the in unimportant ones, the insignificant ones.
[00:08:17] And these, you understand how it works. It all depends on what actually was happening in among the. As to how much God needed them to do. And it all had to do with what was going on in Israel, generally in Israel at the time. What's fascinating about Jonah is two of the major prophets of the old Testament.
[00:08:37] Even though there are not books named after them. Two of the major profits were one guy by the name of Elijah and another guy by the name of Elisha. And those guys who are done incredible things. Jonah comes right after. So Jonah is you call the prophet, but he's following the legends. You know, the rock stars, the prophetic kingdom, you know, little Jonah's going, I'll get four chapters.
[00:09:03] That's it. That's all I got. There's four little chapters and he could really feel insignificant. Here's the mistake we can make because he's only got four little chapters that what he had to say and what he had to do. That is a massive mistake. We don't want to make this. You want to know what happened to Jonah?
[00:09:21] You want to understand, you know why, because his story is your story. His story is my story. What Jonah did I do? What Jonah did you do? And God will show us all something through his spirit as to how that exactly works in our life. You're not going to look at Jonah and go there. There's no way I would ever.
[00:09:42] You're going to so understand why Jonah did what he did. And just a moment you're going to go. I see this in me and you're going to relate. Just trust me, Jonah. First and foremost, you need to understand was a runner, not in a Olympian kind of sense. He was a runner in that when God asked him to do something, he said no, and literally tried to distance himself.
[00:10:02] He wanted God in his rear view mirror. He wanted to get as much distance between him and God as he could possibly get. So he's running and I've done. I don't sometimes want to be interested in what God wanted me to be interested in my gift, I guess, as you've done that he wanted to get away from the will of God.
[00:10:22] You ever found yourself wanting to get away from the will of God. We do this, you know, we read something in the Bible and we go, Ooh, I don't like that. You know, we just kind of turn quickly. I don't want to, I don't want to know that because see, often when you engage yourself in the word of God, you're going to learn things that are so different than the world's way of thinking.
[00:10:40] And it's going to make you really uncover. Like, I'll just give you a couple of things about the scripture talks about that. We're not to be unequally yoked. What's that mean? It means people of faith should not marry people who are not a faith. We can all come on how our cake is that. And see what we do is we have this rationale.
[00:10:59] Hey, look, look, look, I know, I know that scripture right here, cow, pastor, listen to me, this girl I'm dating. I know she's not a Christian, but she is solid. Beautiful, man. She is. She killed her. I know she's not a Christian, but she's so cute. And I thought about it and I thought it's going to be easier to get her to become a Christian than to get a girl.
[00:11:23] That's not pretty to become beautiful. I'm going to play the bat and I'm going to date who I want to date. We do that sort of stuff in our head. You're a, okay. Ready to get uncomfortable. You're in a marriage. You said forever gave a vow before God, before your family, before your friends and now you want out, well, we do you outside of relationship, somebody else's in and you want in because you want one of them out.
[00:11:58] That's what we do. God has been so clear. And then our church, we tried so hard to teach you how to handle your money, the way God wanted you to handle. But we still got here. His is my money. I'm not doing what he said. We run away. We, we have this tendency, whenever something in our church, doesn't please us.
[00:12:23] I'm just going to another church because they don't talk about that. And guys, I'm just telling you, this is so relevant because I've watched this. We have tried in this church in the last several years to really deal with the issue of. And, and loving people of different ethnicities. And I don't know how much of it has to do with COVID, but I know some of it has to do, you know, like w w you know, we're obviously not back to where we were before COVID hit, but what is it that, and some people I've met, they said, that's it.
[00:12:58] I'm not coming back. If you don't back off that subject. I don't plan to back off that subject, because I don't think scripture backs off that. I don't want to hear what scripture says. So, so it's just, so we're all clear. We all be going okay. I'm starting to understand why we might be in the book of Jonah.
[00:13:15] Here. We run away from God, because we think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. And I want to just say this whenever. Listen to me, this is a standard principle. Whenever you're running away from God, you're going the wrong direction in your life. God has for you. He is not. So, let me just say what makes Jonah different than all the other prophets in the Bible.
[00:13:42] Okay. Listen, this is important, Jonah. The book of Jonah is the story of Jonah and not the prophecy that Jonah was to deliver. Now it's in there. You'll see it. There's only one verse. So we actually does a prophecy. It's the story of the prophet and how far a prophet would go to not. What God asks him to do.
[00:14:04] All right. Now, again, you might be a little confused right now. Like what exactly is a profit? So let me just get you to go in there. So let's just take our Bibles. So we're going to jump in now and again, I'm going to go quick. Here's what I need you to understand. Okay. You don't follow this. All right. I really want to ask you to bring your Bible when you come to church.
[00:14:21] All right. And I'll just make this blanket thing. If you can't afford a Bible, you contact my office. I'll get you a Bible. I'll buy it. I'll buy my own money. All right, I'll get you a Bible. If you need, if you need. Get a Bible, bring your Bible to church with you. Okay. Bring your Bible. And, um, I, last week I said, Hey, next, we're going to be in Joni.
[00:14:40] You might want to read Jonah one Regina one. And so we're going to read Jonah one here because we're going to go straight to the. Any guesses where we're going to be next week, by the way, there's four weeks in the series. And there's four chapters in the book of Jonah and he guesses she's the best thing you could do is come to church, having already read what we're going to talk about, and then I can go really fast and you're not hearing it for the first time.
[00:15:02] And we can cover a lot of ground quickly, which I kinda like to do. So next week, read donut do, and then we'll get to Jonah three. After that. For the most part, it's not going to come up on the screen, what you can read in front of you, but for us to get going and kind of get engaged in this. Let me get us moving here.
[00:15:19] Okay. Let me explain to you about profits. So it starts to Jonah. One, one, the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of MHI. Now here's what you need to know. Now I'm going to give you some backstory. Jonah was very, very comfortable just where he was. Jonah was very comfortable just doing what he was. He had no interest in having the word of the Lord in any way, come to him.
[00:15:43] But it says the word of the Lord came to Jonah. No sense that he wanted to hear from God that had anything to do with he's being asked to do very, very satisfied. And he was what is known as a prophet. And Jesus just called them a prophet in the texts I read to you from. He known as a prophet. Now here's what you've got to understand.
[00:15:59] The difference between priests and prophets priests are everywhere. Priests were very common. They did, they did worship. They did sacrifices. They work the temple. They worked, the synagogue. Priests were very, very common. Profits were not profits were specially anointed people that God would raise up at a certain time for a certain.
[00:16:17] They were rabble-rousers they were troublemakers. They were the ones who said what everybody thought should have been said, but no one had the courage to say, and they would get on they'd call. People sent out and they would say, this is exactly what you're doing. And they were not well liked. In fact, Jeremiah is known as a weeping prophet because he would prophesize.
[00:16:35] They wouldn't do anything. And then they'd heard him. It's not fun sometimes to be the person that God asks to go deal with. But he was a prophet. All right. Now God used the profits to turn people's hearts back to him. That's what you got to get. They were the ones that God would raise up for a special purpose, a special time special message to turn people back.
[00:16:58] And we need profits in our day-to-day. Now about Jonah. Jonah was a prophet in the eighth century BC. So it kind of place this in time. I need to get you to understand, just remind you of a little bit of hit a little bit of history. Okay. Real, real little. But here we go. You might remember that Saul was the first king of Israel.
[00:17:20] Saul was followed by David, which was the great king of Israel. And it was, he was followed by his son, Solomon, who was the wise king of Israel. And then when Solomon died, he handed the kingdom off to his son Rehoboam and reborn ultimately ended up by Lee. Uh, lack of acumen. He ended up splitting the kingdom.
[00:17:42] So 10 of the tribes, and when I say tribes, 10 of the 12 families that were sons of Jacob, 10 of them lived up north and they formed their own deal. They call it Israel. And two of them stayed down south and they called it Judah. So he got the kingdom of Israel and you've got the. Of Judah. All right. Now you got to understand that I can take you somewhere here.
[00:18:08] So in second Kings, and by the way, when you see in the old Testament, the book of Kings and the book of Chronicles, first Kings second Kings first Chronicles. Second, those are the stories of the Kings who reigned over those two kingdoms and the era. And in that era, second Kings 14, 23, and it'll come up.
[00:18:25] All right. In the 15th year of Amazonia, son of Joe Ash, king of. Southern kingdom. Jeroboam son of J J who Ash king of Israel became king in Samarria Northern kingdom. So Marisa capital of the Northern kingdom, Jerusalem is the capital of the Southern kingdom and he reigned 41 years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son bat, which he had caused Israel to commit.
[00:18:54] He was the one who restarted the boundaries of Israel, of your stored, excuse me, the boundaries of Israel from Liebow. To the sea of the in accordance with the word of the Lord, the God of Israel spoken through his servant, Jonah son of the prophet from Gath heifer. And that says a whole lot. He's got really lived.
[00:19:16] He's in, he's in history right here. He's from this place. Got the for wa where's gaffer. Gaffer is just north of where Jesus came from. It's just north of it's just north of Nazareth. And he came from there. But remember when the Pharisees confronted you enough, no prophet ever comes from Galilee. Galilee is north.
[00:19:38] No prophet ever comes from Galilee. They were not just dissing Jesus. They're dissing Jonah. That's just so insignificant in their minds. And this is where you start to understand, wow, what's happening. So, let me show you what happened. Here's the call. And again, I got to go quick, quickly, Jonah one to Jonah chapter one verse to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because its wickedness has come up before me.
[00:20:03] This is the call of God. This is the commission of God on him. Go there. He used to go to Nineveh. Nineveh is a real place. It's not some fictitious like, you know, in a galaxy far, far away. It's a real place. In fact, let me show you on a map and it'll pop up here, then you can kind of see, so here's Jerusalem.
[00:20:20] So there's that little strip that we would call Israel today. And again, I'm not reading sideways. You can see where it says Judah, the Southern kingdom. Alright, so Nineveh is 550 miles to the Northeast of where he is. So just the real place, real time. Okay. Good. Nineveh was at Capitol of what was called a serial.
[00:20:44] A serial was a literally a kingdom it's located where Iraq and Iran located today. Nineveh is called the great city, the great city, a little bit of history of 60 miles in circumference. Now 60 miles. Gilbert is probably 60 miles or more. It's not like it, but you've got to understand in that day, that is a huge city.
[00:21:05] In fact, real fast. Just jump over. You have a physical Bible jump over to chapter three, verse three. Now Nineveh was a very large city. It took three days to go through it. There's a little biblical testimony of how big that city is. The historians say that some historians say it had a wall around it. A hundred feet, high end places.
[00:21:24] It was. So the wall was so FIC to protected the city that they literally said three chairs could pass each other on the wall. On the top of the wall. This is, this is where he was being called to go. You need to also understand, and this is important that this kingdom of the Assyrians were the arch enemy of Israel, the Northern kingdom, their nemesis it's these guys that are finally going to come and capture them and haul them.
[00:21:51] And hold them in capita. They're going to vaporize Israel, the Northern kingdom. They're going to, it's going to disappear in, in history and then it's going to come back. All right. You got to understand these are bad guys. He is being called to go preach to bad guys. And he's like, I don't want to do that.
[00:22:13] They were notorious for their cruelty people in this. They were merciless. They prided themselves by the destruction that they could create. Genocide was never in it. Then raise an eyebrow. This is not a good place. Now Nahum is a prophet who's gonna succeed Jonah. About a hundred years later. Nahum is also gonna prophesize against Nineveh.
[00:22:38] All right, let me, let me read you the words. He's prophesying. Ready for this. Okay. And this is going to come from Nahum. He's another minor prophet. So he'd have a context. Just talking about an antibody woe to you, whoa, to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims. The crack of whips, the clatter of wills, galloping horses, and jolting chariots charging, Calvary flashing, swords, and glittering spirit.
[00:23:03] Many casualties piles of dead bodies without number people stumbling over the corpses, all because of the wanton, lust of a harlot alluring, the mistress of sorceries who enslaved nations by her prostitution and people by her witchcraft. These are not nice people. Okay. Let me give you a little bit more of what Nahum said in chapter three.
[00:23:29] Oh, king of Assyria, your shepherd slumber, your Nova slide down. The rest of your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them. Nothing can heal your wounds. Your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you collapses hands at your fall for who has not felt your endless cruelty.
[00:23:47] He's prophesied the destruction of Nineveh. And he said, people are going to clap and cheer when you crash, they hate you that much because of what you've done. No. I want you to see very carefully in verse two and Jonah, Hey, I want you to go preach against it now. Stop for just not preach to it. Not, Hey, let's go have seeker service with the Assyrians.
[00:24:10] Let's go out. Let's go among them and say things that don't offend them so that they can actually hear what we're trying to tell them. He's told the preach against it. Prince against these people. Are you crazy? You know what they'll do to me? And you start to understand. So then we get to the problem and the plot, this verse three, but Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.
[00:24:35] He went down to Joppa where he found a ship bound for that port. That's her paying the fare. He went aboard and he shelled for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Now, Jonah doesn't want to go. Is it obvious? It starts in your thoughts. And then you start thinking about. Well, then Nova is dangerous. Nineveh is incumbent.
[00:24:53] I don't even know the language that the Ninevites speak. I don't like these people, but the truth of the matter is this, is that when he thought about going there, he said, I am afraid. That's what's going on. It's just fear. I am afraid. And maybe you could relate to this. You feel like God wants you to talk to somebody at work about Jesus.
[00:25:11] You, you know, that there's a situation going on between people that are in conference. You know, you ought to be the one to mediate, to help bring some. Oh, God, I don't want to get, I don't want to get in the middle of that. You're in a crowd of friends and they're all about to do something you know, is morally wrong and you could stand, or you could just cave.
[00:25:31] This is Jonah right here. I want to stay where I am. I want to stay comfortable in my, in my own business. I don't want to fly under the radar and God goes, I need you to do something for me against the rationalize. Why can't I just stay here? I mean, why can't I just stay here? And speak against them from here.
[00:25:49] Like name's going to get to do in a hundred years. You're going to let him stay here and just speak badly about them. He's going to prophesize all that death and stuff. Why can't I just do that from here? Hey, I don't have an international ministry. God, I'm a prophet of Israel. This is home. This is where I belong.
[00:26:05] I don't belong on the road. I just want to stay here. And so we rationalized it. I'm not going to do it and God, you can't make me do it. You can not make me do it by the way. This is the only time in the Bible. Profit refusing to do what God asked him to do. So let me show you what he does now. I'm going to map up and I'm going to explain what you just read.
[00:26:27] So on the right hand side, there's Joppa. If you ever go to Israel with us, we'll take you to Joppa. Joppa is just south of modern day. Televiv all right. Nineveh, 550 miles to the north. John Joppa is the port for the city of Tarshish. Tarshish is at the tip of Spain by the straits of Gibraltar today. And he's like, why Tarshish?
[00:26:53] Tarshish is the end of the trade. Route of that day would be Spain. It would be modern Europe. It's the end, the Atlantic's on the other side. And so he's like, I'm getting on this boat and I'm hauling over there. And that's what you just read. I'm going to go 2,500 miles, 100% opposite direction of what God asked me to do.
[00:27:20] Why would he go to Tarshish? Let me, let me, let me show you something. I'm going to read to you from Isaiah 60 verse nine. And I forgot to put this on the screen. So just listen. Surely the islands, look to me in the lead are the shifts of. Bringing your sons from afar with their silver and their gold Tarshish.
[00:27:39] Why go to tars? Cause that's as Vegas, maybe mass art. That's where money is, you know, that's where the good life is. Adventure, excitement, it's wealthy. And did you notice that, you know, this is where you start looking at scripts, you go what's that he paid the fare. It says it right them for three, he paid the fair what's that mean?
[00:28:00] It means you had money and you know what money brings us. Look at me, options, options. If I have money, I don't have to do certain things. If I have money, I have choice. He had money. He paid the fair. He didn't say, Hey, if I got flopped, the decks for passage pay the fair he just gets. So what's on that ship.
[00:28:21] Gold, silver people destined for Tarshish and he bought fare and got. Can I, can I tell you something, please, please. Again, you can just listen to me. Listen to me any time you want to run away from the will of God, you will find a ship going to Tarshish. You'll find a ship. That'll take you where you want to go and you can get on board and off you go.
[00:28:49] What's he running from he's running from the presence of God. He's running from the purpose of God for his life, the power and the peace of God. And I would say the prosperity of God. It is, I don't mean that like money, but I mean that like blessing. Do you want to do what I've asked you to do? And he's running away from it.
[00:29:05] Now I want to remind you of a passage we talked about in our, through the valley series. Where, where do you, where do you think you're going to go? Where God's not going to. So, let me remind you Psalm 1 39, 7 on down to 10, where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
[00:29:23] If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the Dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, if I go to Tarshish, even there, your hand will guide me. Your right hand will hold me fast. You move those little Southwest airlines commercials. I don't think they still do these. They might, Hey, you want to get.
[00:29:42] Yeah. Want to get away, grab a ship to Tarshish, go to the good life, man, but you're not going to get away anywhere, but here. No. Oh, I gotta show you the second over fast. Get ready. We're going to work our way down from four to about 16. I'm going to go really, really quick if I'm just going to stop and we're just going to listen.
[00:30:03] This is what you need your Bible, so you can read along with me. Okay. So I'm going to read this. I'm going to narrate it and then I'm just going to comment on it. So we work our way through it. We're going to go really, really quick. Then the Lord, then the Lord Jonah is running them. The Lord. All right.
[00:30:19] Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea and such a violent storm or Rosa, the ship threatened to break up. Stop hard. Stop right there. Then the Lord sent the storm. You mean it didn't just happen that God created this problem for Jonah on the run. Then the Lord. Then the Lord caused the storm. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own God, oh, stop.
[00:30:48] These are sailors. These are not, these are they sail the Mediterranean sea. These are sailing your heart and sailors. One kind of storm doesn't have to be, that would cause them to become so frightened. It was a serious. There are, what is this? And then they started crying out to their little G gods, their little, your tribal gods from whatever country they're from.
[00:31:13] Most gods were just low little G gods were just localized in different countries and wherever they came from, you know? Oh God. And they were, and they're crying out. They're praying. They're pleading with their little G God. All right. So they're afraid each of them cried out to his own God and they threw the car.
[00:31:31] Into the sea to lighten the ship. What's a cargo, what's the cargo, silver and goal there, Genesee that's that's, we're going to die. And that is not going to have any value in the afterlife stop and think how hard is it to let go of that? What you built your life on there, like going look there's, none of this is going to be worth anything.
[00:31:54] If the ship goes down and they said it is better to let go of that, which is holding. Then the die with it in our hands. So they start flinging stuff over. I don't miss it. I have a hard time believing the next one. Right. But Jonah had gone down below deck where he laid down and fell into a deep sleep.
[00:32:18] Okay. I wish I had so much more time than have you ever just wanted to sleep it off? I mean, literally if you ever just want to sleep it off, just go. Like, I just want, I don't want to deal with this. And you're just like numb. And usually like out of it, Jonah goes below. He falls down, he films with the fleet and the captain went up to him and said, how can you sleep?
[00:32:40] Get up and call on your God. Like everybody else is up there doing, how can you be down here? She would get up, dude. Don't miss the irony in this. Jonah is asleep when he should be praying, the sailors are lost, they should be asleep. And then. Praying do you want to sleeping should be praying. They're praying.
[00:33:04] And it's kind of interesting. So get up, call on your God. Maybe he'll take notice of us for that. And we will not perish. This is chill. Good luck. Then the sailor said to each other, come, come let us count the caseloads to find out who is responsible for this calamity. This is the way they. In the day they cast lots.
[00:33:24] So, uh, like, uh, think of like straws too short, a straw. Just think of that. So listen to cast lots. Uh, and it fell on Jonah. Oh, sucks to be you dude. Bummer. Okay. Bummer. Uh, how weird that, how weird that turned out that way. All right. So they asked him, tell us who is responsible for making all this trouble for us.
[00:33:45] What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country from what people are. Usually when they are yo, how are you? What do you mean done? Okay. But, well, he answered, I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord now C L O R D in your Bible. It's kept, I don't have time to chase that right now, but I'm just telling you to say I, the God of heaven, I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.
[00:34:14] He's like he's Lord of all of this. All right. This terrified them and they ask, what have you done now? What Lewis? They knew he was running away from the Lord because he had already told them. So he gets on the boat. Hey, where are you going? Tarshish, Hakeem, going to Tarshish, run away from God. Does God want to get away?
[00:34:34] You know, you know what? He didn't tell him to she what? He didn't tell him. He didn't tell him he was a pro. Of God doesn't mention that the sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, what should we do to make the sea calm down for us? It's your God, that's doing this. What do we got to do? Pick me up and throw me into the sea now.
[00:34:56] Okay. My life's. I mean, I got no future here. God is after me. He's going to destroy me, save yourself, just get rid of me, throw me overboard. And it will become calm. I know that it's my fault and that a great storm that this great storm has come upon you. Instead, the men did their best to row back.
[00:35:18] We're not going to throw you overboard. They're doing their best to row back to land compassion, but they could not for the SU the C group even Wilder than before then they cried out to the L O R D C at cap. The God of Israel, they call out to the Lord, please. Lord, do not. Let us die for take whoever you are.
[00:35:37] However, this works. We know you're behind this, please, please. Don't punish us for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man for you. Lord have done as you please. We're not in control of this. Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard and the raging sea grew calm at this.
[00:35:56] The men, the men greatly feared. And they offered a sacrifice to the Lord God and made vows to him. So you see what just happened? Do you see what just happened? They grab a hold of Jonah. Who are you? What is your, what's this all about? He doesn't tell them. He doesn't tell him. They throw him overboard against their will.
[00:36:19] They want to do that. And then they come to faith and the God that he was supposed to talk to them. Well, that's interesting. I got to work that out now. I gotta, I gotta, I gotta hustle. I guess I'm gonna, I'll show you the pattern. I want you to see this. This is where it gets really personal. All right. And I'm going to credit Andy Stanley for this.
[00:36:38] Cause when he first said this, I just remembered it. When we run, when we run from God, we inevitably run to dangerous places. Why would you get on a ship on the Mediterranean when you're running from God? Have you ever been on a ship that lost power? Have you ever been on a ship that the motor won't start or the wind won't blow and yours is out there just bobbing up and down and there's like nowhere to go.
[00:37:07] You're stuck on a ship, this incredibly dumb and dangerous. That's like saying I'm going to run away from God. So I'm going to, I'm going to go jumping out of airplanes. I'm gonna ski black diamonds. I'm gonna, you know, like somehow that is going to help you to get away. This is the dumbest thing he could possibly.
[00:37:24] But what we do is I'm running away from God. So I'm going to get married. I'm running away from God. So I'm going to get a divorce. I'm running away from God. So I'm going to have an affair I'm running away from God. So I'm going to buy something incredibly out of my price range, and I'm going to load myself up with debt.
[00:37:44] I'm going to run away that way. I'm going to run away from God. I'm going to quit my job. I'm going to run away from God by taking my own life. You run the dangerous places when you run away from God and you know, what happens to you when you run away from God, people who love you go, why are you doing this?
[00:38:02] Why there, what are you thinking? What is going on in your head? Because when we run folks, we self-destruct, we self-destruct, and we run away from the truth. We run, we run away from God. We run away from. That would speak for God. And we run away from places that would tell us about God, I'm not going to church right now.
[00:38:26] I'm not going to church. It's too painful. I don't want to hear what God has to tell me about the choices I'm making and folks that can make really, really bad decisions. So, um, here's what I need you to understand that I'm almost done. Please stay with me when you run away from God, you know, what's happening in your head is God's there and I'm going this.
[00:38:50] And I'm getting distanced between me and God. And so if I ever were to turn around, I'd have such a long way back to God. It'd be so impossible. Listen, when you run away from God, here's what you need to understand. He's going with you. He's chasing you. You're running, he's running God's with him. That's why all this is happening on this book.
[00:39:13] Cause God's there. Where'd you go to go. You see, you think when you turn around and you read. I got all this work to get that to her. No, you don't. You just turn around and God's arms are embracing you, welcoming you home, but we think, listen, God wants you back. He wants you back. All right, straight up. You want your back, you know why he wants you back not to pay you back, but to bring you back, not to pay you back, but to bring you back home.
[00:39:46] That's the story of Jonah. All right now. Last last, last question. All right. How far, how far do you have to run? How far did you, how far do you have to go away from God? And I'm going to say, I'm going to say this is improper English. I get it. Don't write me. I got it. I'm going to say it this way on purpose.
[00:40:07] You know, you're lost, you know, you're you're on the run. Okay. Bad, bad grammar. How much lost her? Do you gotta get. I mean really how much lost her? You already lost. How much luster, how far do you got to run before you just deal with it? And you make a decision to turn around and go home. So I'm going to close with a quote, a verse and a prayer, and I'm done.
[00:40:37] It is never, it is never too late to quit running from God. It is also never too soon. To quit running from God, John Ortberg. There's never better, never been a better day than today for you to make a decision to quit running away from God. Joel, a minor. Even now to the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning in your heart and not your garments.
[00:41:06] Don't rip your clothes, rip your heart, return to the Lord, your God for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. And he relents from sending calamity. We're going to pick this up next week and you're going to rejoin it too. Right. And, um, I need you to understand in his kindness.
[00:41:27] Uh, he sends a fish, crazy things are coming. Come back, let me pray. And then on each of our campuses, our, our campus pastor will come up and close. Oh God, thank you for the story. And I do believe it happened. I, I don't, I can't explain. I don't need to explain it. I can't explain the resurrection. I don't need to explain the resurrection.
[00:41:48] I can't explain many things and you're doing what you do is not dependent upon me being able to figure out how. I believe you did this, and it's an incredible thing you did, and you didn't do that to hurt Jonah in any way, but you did do it to instruct him and you did record it in your word to instruct us, God, let us learn what not to do when we fear doing the right thing or doing that thing that you called us to do.
[00:42:16] God give us this kind of wisdom. I pray in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you guys. You are awesome.