For the next several weeks, we will be walking through the book of Jonah. There are countless connections between the life and example of Jonah and our lives as believers. Today we will discover that the Lord speaks to us, and we respond either in loving obedience or prideful rebellion.
“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah…”
It is amazing to think that the same word that spoke everything into creation is speaking to man. Imagine the power and the weight of such an encounter! You may ask, “Does God speak to us today?”
Hebrews 1:1-2 declares,
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” God speaks to us through Jesus.
John 1:1 says,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the Word.
Is it possible for God to speak to us today in this way? YES. He is able. You know who else is able to speak to you audibly? Satan. So how would you know who was speaking to you? The written Word. God will NEVER tell you to do something that goes against His Word.
I. God speaks to you.
This is called revelation. The act of revealing or disclosing.
Psalm 19:1 declares, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
You may say, “Well, I just don’t know what God wants me to do. I don’t know what He is saying to me.” Here are a few of several reasons why we may not know or hear God speaking to us:
- You don’t realize the truth that God speaks through his Word, the Bible (Jesus)
- You can’t hear it because of sin. (distracted – idolatry)
- You have selective hearing. “I just want to know what to do with _____________” (sin – self-centered heart)
- You want/desire to do something other than what God is telling you to do (sin – rebellion, pride)
What is the word that God spoke to Jonah?
(verse 2) Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.
What is Jonah’s situation/response to God speaking to him? “Nope.”
(verse 3) But Jonah rose to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, and from the presence of the LORD.
Jonah lived just north of Joppa. Ninevah was about 500 miles away. Tarshish was 2500 miles away from Joppa! He is running, even paying money, to go the direct opposite way than the Lord. Two major truths we can learn from Jonah’s actions here:
- What do we know about the presence of the Lord? You can’t run from Him.
Psalm 139:7-12 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there you hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
- It will cost you to run from the Lord. Money, time, satisfaction, and ultimately: eternity.
Ask yourself in your pursuits:
“Where is all my money going?”
“Where is all my time going?”
“Where is all my passion going?”
“Where is my life heading?”
II. What is your response to God speaking to you?
God speaks to us. What is the last thing that the Word, Jesus, said on earth before He ascended into heaven?
Matthew 28:18-20 All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the every end of the age.
How are you responding to God’s word in your life?
Do you not realize? Can you not hear because of sin? Do you have selective hearing? Or are you living in willful rebellion right now and it is costing you.
III. As long as you are alive, it is never too late to turn to God.
And for Jonah’s and Ninevah’s story, God has mercy on them. We will come back to this later in the semester, but the end of Jonah 3 says that “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.”
For those who do not know God, now you know there is a God who created you, who loves you, who speaks to you, and calls you to respond to Him.
For those who do know God, you have a choice to make. You know that God speaks to you, but you either are too distracted to hear or you are deliberately disobeying Him. It is costing you, and will continue to cost you, until you repent, turn from your wrong thoughts and wrong actions, and come back to Him.
- James 1:22-25 Doers of the Word and not hearers only
- John 4:31-38 Jesus’ food is to do the will of the one who sent him.
- John 14:18-24 If you love God, you will keep his commands.
Discussion questions for the family:
- What resolutions did you make for this new year? Do any of them line up with a Bible verse?
- If God were to give you a resolution for this year for you to follow, what do you think it would be?
- What was something you purchased that costed a lot of money, but after purchasing it, wasn’t all it was supposed to be?
- When do you think you waste the most time? Do you still participate in these activities/hobbies?
- What is the most satisfying thing in your life right now?