As we continue through Jonah, verses 4-6 of chapter 1 show us a couple of major things:
- God controls the world (sovereignty)
- your disobedience effects other people
- people are desperately searching for help
I. You cannot run from God forever. He’s everywhere.
The LORD pursues Jonah by hurling a great wind upon the sea. Not just a light rain, not a drizzle. A tempest.The ship is gonna break!
Whether you are running from salvation (trusting in Christ) or from other commands of God, we will eventually have to stop running and realize that God is everywhere. He even controls the weather, and pursues us in love.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God called out to them in the garden, saying, “Where are you?” He knew where they were. It’s a spiritual location question.
Ask yourself, “Where am I in my walk with the LORD?”
The Lord is pursuing Jonah. He’s disciplining him. Think about my children. They are capable of doing lots of things, some good, and a lot of them are potentially bad things of which they are capable. If I were to let them do whatever they wanted, I know that one of my children would not be alive right now (I won’t tell you which one). Deuteronomy 8:5 declares, “Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. And sometimes that discipline is going to effect those around us.
verse 5b The mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them.
Who’s causing the weather to threaten the boat? the LORD
Who is responsible for the LORD threatening the boat with the weather? JONAH
II. Other people are effected by Jonah’s disobedience.
But their response is to call out to their gods. When you hear of really bad news, or face a significant problem, what do you immediately do? Death in the family, parents found out what you did, you were caught in a lie, even in a dangerous storm (tornado/hurricane). What do you do? This is one of the ways to see where your hope lies, and in what you have faith.
There response is also to solve the problem in their own strength. Tossing things out of the boat, struggling to figure out what else they can do. Trusting in their knowledge of being a sailor.
These men desperately try to survive this storm, using their own skill and crying out to their gods for help. They even go and tell Jonah to call out to his God…
III. Jonah is sleeping while the people are struggling to survive. (read verse 5-6)
Dude, how can you sleep during all of this? The boat is about to break up because of the water and the wind, people are struggling for their lives, and Jonah is asleep?!
One of the possible outcomes of disobedience is a hardened and numb heart. You are oblivious to what’s going on around you. You think, “I am so tired from running from God, doing my own thing, that I’m exhausted.”
Think about this: We are in very uncertain and chaotic times. People are struggling to survive, physically in some cases, but primarily spiritually. They are searching for answers (people, substances, hurting themselves, anything!). Christ followers have the answer, an answer of peace, hope, purpose, joy, love, eternal security, but we are asleep.
We aren’t aware of what’s going on around us spiritually. You may not even realize that people’s suffering around you could be related to your actions. The captain of the ship wakes up Jonah, and asks him for help! Your friends, family, and other unbelievers you know are desperately searching for answers, and you have it! You have an opportunity to share and respond.
Who do you need to speak to this week about the hope that you have?
1 Peter 3:15
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense (give an answer) to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
May God our Father grab our attention, wake us up, and show us who we need to share Christ with.
Supporting Scripture to read:
- Hebrews 12:4-12
- Proverbs 1
Questions to ask throughout the week:
- Have any of your choices hurt other people this week?
- When was a time you got into trouble because you were “guilty by association”?
- When we mess up (sin), who does it hurt the most?
- How can you be a positive force on campus this week?