Missing the Boat
– Last week we looked at message #2 in our series “Go Fish!” The title of that message was Ready to Run. Here is just a quick review of the principles that we found in the 1st chapter of Jonah:
(1) God notices sin and doesn’t like it (1-2)
(2) When God tells you to do something, you can either obey or disobey (3)
(3) Disobedience to God’s commands brings serious consequences (4-6)
(4) Things don’t happen by accident (7-8)
(5) When you are a child of God and you disobey, God disciplines you (9)
(6) It is confusing to non-believers when believers disobey God (10-11)
(7) People should be very cautious what they do to God’s servant (12-14)
(8) Sometimes situations cause non-believers to revere God, His reputation is exalted (16)
– This morning we are moving on to message #3 in our series “Go Fish!” The title of this morning’s message is Missing the Boat. When someone makes the statement, “you are missing the boat on this one,” they are really trying to communicate that the person is really not getting the right idea, or solution to an issue. The statement includes the idea of a person being unfortunate because they are missing the boat. In this case we are going to see how Jonah missed the boat, and throughout the process, see a little bit of ourselves in him also.
– This is a psalm of thanksgiving for God delivering Jonah from death in the sea. Inside of the stomach of the fish Jonah is recalling his prayer for help as he was sinking into the depths of the sea. His gratitude is increased by the knowledge that he deserved death but God showed him extraordinary mercy.
I) Time to think and pray (1-10)
– Disobedience brings trouble (1-2)
* Called out of my distress to the Lord
~ God answered him (You heard me) because now he is in the fish
~ from the depth of sheol (the grave) – a figure used to describe Jonah almost dying
– God will discipline us for disobeying (3)
* You had cast me into the deep
~ the sailors were agents of God’s judgment
* Your breakers and billows
~ the storm is from God
– God followers must trust in Him (4)
* I will look again toward Your holy temple
~ this is a hopeful expectation that Jonah will survive because of God’s mercy and he will visit the temple in Jerusalem again
> The Israelites viewed the temple in Jerusalem on earth and the temple of God in heaven as inseparable locations – God was present in both places
– Disobedience will bring distress (5)
* To the point of death
~ he is drowning
* Weeds around my head
* Great deep engulfed me
– Disobedience will bring dark times (6)
* Descended to the roots of the mountains
~ the deepest valley
* The earth with its bars was around me
~ it was like prison
* You brought me up from the pit
~ pit = the grave, Jonah is looking back on the situation inside the fish; Jonah is thankful that God is merciful and spared his life
– In our darkest moments we must cry out to God (7)
* I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord
~ Jonah is in desperation, he was running out of air and was drowning. He knows that God is the only one who can save him now, so Jonah prays.
* My prayer came to You, into Your holy temple
~ When Jonah prayed, his prayer came directly to God (earthly temple, heavenly temple)
– God’s people must obey (8-9)
* Those who regard vain idols forsake their faithfulness (8)
~ Jonah recognizes that people who worship false gods will desert them when the cost for obedience becomes too high
* But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving (9a)
~ Jonah is contrasting his devotion to the one true God with non-believers. He says that others will give up their devotion to false gods, but Jonah will be devoted to the God of Israel. He will obey God, he will worship Him, and he will do it with thanksgiving.
* That which I have vowed I will pay (9b)
~ During Jonah’s descent or sometime inside the fish, Jonah promised God that he would do something. Jonah reaffirms to God that he will do what he said. Jonah will obey.
* Salvation is from the Lord (9c)
~ Jonah gives God the credit for his rescue from the drowning. He also recognizes God as the great savior/rescuer.
– God’s rescue (10)
* God rescued His prophet by using a big fish
~ Jonah missed the boat and was transported by the fish to God’s intended destination
(1) Disobedience brings trouble (1-2)
(2) God will discipline us for disobeying (3)
(3) God followers must trust in Him (4)
(4) Disobedience will bring distress (5)
(5) Disobedience will bring dark times (6)
(6) In our darkest moments we must cry out to God (7)
(7) God’s people must obey (8-9)
(8) God’s rescue (10)
– There seems to be non-stop action in the book of Jonah. In this text we saw that God is incredibly merciful. He rescues His very disobedient servant in-spite of himself. Though Jonah was disobedient, he still cries out to God. This is an example of total dependence on God.
– Next week we are going to be taking a look at the 4th message in our series “Go Fish”, which is entitled The Reluctant Revivalist.