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January 19, 2021 2:00 am
Even though the prophet Jonah ran from the call of God, God pursued him. In the message "You Can Run...but God," Skip explains that even your willfulness won't stop God carrying out His will for your life.
This teaching is from the series ...but God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
I think you'll agree not sure went to a lot of trouble to use Jonah I do window fish.
That's the point.
God is in the business of using the most unlikely people in my life first restrictive one God has chosen the foolish things will force you respect your choice for this what God has ways of strongly persuading just knowing God's truth doesn't mean you growing you have to apply in your life and live it out today on connect with Skip Kaiser Skip shares how God still works in and through you even when you failed right now want to tell you about a resource that sheds light on what the Bible says about God's nature and character, including his plans and purpose for your life.
Does God exist, and if he dies. Is it possible to know him your answer to those two questions shapes how you see the world skip. I think once wrestled with those very questions himself, you know, I've been teaching the Bible for over three decades before I became a Christian and when I was new to the faith. I studied science and philosophy alongside the Bible as I studied, I grew confident that God does exist.
And yes, we can know in the biography of God.
The brand-new book by skip, I think you learn to remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. Everything changes when you acknowledge and believe that God is who he says here's biography of God is always a thank you when you give $35 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach to more people request your copy when you give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888 Jonah chapter 1 as we get into the message with Skip Heitzig. Nineveh means Fishtown fish down there right on the Tigris River, which is an interesting fact because the guy with the greatest fish story is about to go to Fishtown Tower. They worship a fish God couple of them and come up with a message so it's possible he never wants to difficult and I go second possibility was too dangerous to dangerous. Did you know that the Ninevites were famous or infamous for their brutality. Look at what it says in verse two the Lord says their wickedness has come up before me. I am taking notice of how wicked the city and I'm to do some about. There is another profit that was sent to the Ninevites by the name of Neha on the profit who says of Nineveh. It is a bloodiest city. A great number of bodies and countless corpses are there. The Ninevites were known for dismembering people, decapitating people, burning people alive. One of their emperors Shabana, Paul, the grandson of Southern Caribbean would take people's lips and tear them off their bodies while they were alive. All their hands and get off and then killed to go police. Another of their rulers laid his captives alive and then piled up their heads so they were eventually piles of schools at the gate of the city of Nineveh severe Jonah goddesses go to Nineveh you're thinking, no thanks.
I want to get ahead in life.
Not at my head to a pile of a bunch of other people, so two possibilities. It was too difficult.
It was too dangerous. Our truth is none of those were the reason the real reason that Jonah ran from the Lord is and because it was too difficult or dangerous, but because it was too disdainful to listen to this. He's not to go there because he knew that his preaching would actually work. I want to read it yourself. I want to see it go to chapter 3 verse 10 were skipping ahead in the story all the people of Nineveh turned to God incredible revival unlike ever seen before verse 10 then God saw their works that they turned from their evil way and God relented from the disaster that he said he would bring upon them and did not do it.
Look at chapter 4 verse one let's eat, but see how this profit is preaching just worked the whole town turns the God you think you be going yes yes hallelujah praise the Lord at this guy verse one, but it displeased Jonah exceedingly white and he became angry so he prayed to the Lord and said now because as he was angry got to do this is that Lord was not this what I said when I was still in my country. Therefore, I fled previously to Tarshish using this is why I left for I know that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness.
One who relents from doing harm.
Now, therefore, Lord. Please take my life for me.
What pouting prodigal profit kill me, but it's better for me to die than to live. You see Jonah admit I I know you're the kind of God. He loves people and you love to forgive people and you would love and forgive the people I hate Jonah was a racist. He was a big he was bad attitude profit down in the mouth profit you have a pretty bitter and pretty bad to not want to see people repent and turn to God is pretty deep stuff. Jonah ran from God because he hated the very people God loved now or get down too much on Jonah we should. God does in this story limit.
Let me frame it in more modern times to help you maybe get a better understanding. Let's say it's World War II and the word of the Lord came to a Jewish rabbi in New York City and satirize go to Berlin speak to adult Hitler and the Nazis. This message and if they turn I will love them and forgive them. I think that Jewish rabbi would probably not go okay. I think you might read and the rabbi went and took a boat in Manhattan and went to Hawaii to flee from the presence of the Lord. Nonetheless, Jonah is a prejudice profit who prefers bitterness to forgiveness. You know some people actually like to live in bitterness. It's comfortable to them. It's their home. They made a bed out of. But here's the problem with bitterness it blind you from truth want to know that Jonah again what is Jonah get his way is a prophet.
John is a prophet to Jonah should have known better. This is Jonah went to flee from what the presence of the Lord to can a prophet do that. Can anyone do is possible, can you get to any place on earth where God is not on my present and wooden of all people on the earth. A prophet know that. Oh yes he knew that that Jonah knew the Scripture very well and approve that you in a moment. By the time Jonah lived. David had lived and David written the Psalms they were part of Jewish liturgy temple liturgy already one of the Psalms of Psalm 139 is familiar. David said were can I go from your spirit, or where can I flee from your presence. If I ascend into heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in a hell, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, behold, even there your hand will hold Jonah sitting on.
He did know that the blindness is on Jonah's heart because of bitterness.
So God's call doesn't guarantee our successors.
The second life lesson.
Knowing truth doesn't mean doing truth. Knowing truth doesn't mean doing truth see chapter 2 verse one then Jonah prayed to the Lord is God from the fish's belly. Not I can read what follows, but there's a prayer that follows nine verse prayer and when you read the prayer you discover some you discover that Jonah knew the will of God. Jonah knew the word of God because in that prayer.
There are no less then 11 references to Old Testament texts nine from Psalms 1 from Lamentations one from Joe all embedded in his prayer, he knew that stuff. He prayed that he prayed that prayer in the belly of a sea monster now when people pray in a crisis that will pull out a little thing in the park a little written down type of prayer. The Holland and pray some flowery prayer when people are in a crisis.
They pray spontaneously extemporaneously whatever comes out is what's inside and that's my point. This was inside Jonah. And here's the greater point exposure to Scripture does not guarantee a godly life knowing truth is not the same as doing truth.
Jonah's words are bathed in Bible truth.
Jonah's works are bathed in bitter self-will. One author said if you know the words of the Bible, but don't take them to heart. It is practical atheism to run from God is to be digested in the belly of your own pride and over the night of the Passover we celebrate communion. Moments ago after the supper Jesus did something very uncomfortable for those friends of his, got up a towel around them, a basin water what you do. Wash the feet and every wash their feet.
He said I done this is an example so you'll do it. Many said this, if you know these things.
Happy are you if you do them to get that. He didn't say if you know these things.
Happy are you if you know these things and say if you know these things. Happy are you if you underline and memorize. If you know these things happen you if you preach them is that if you do these things. Joy is not in the knowing the joy is in the doing what you know so we can study a passage of Scripture that can stir us emotionally or challenge us intellectually, but it will never bless us spiritually unless we do what we know Jesus said why do you call me Lord when you don't do what I tell you to do good question and it's a fair question or you keep calling me Lord, you don't do anything I ask, why do you use the title Lord. I think you and I had a think of the Bible is an accurate map that tells us how to get to a good destination, but the map itself doesn't have the power to transport you to that destination anymore than a GPS. If you put in accordance and then you just servicer to sit there with your arms holding okay then our outcome are not there to go where you're told to go get it. Do what you know to do. She sometimes we as believers have a problem. Here's the problem. See if you agree, we don't really believe what we believe we have two forms of theology. We have a prescribed theology, but then we have a practical theology are prescribed theology, Jesus is Lord I received Jesus as my Lord, but our practical theology says now, Jesus is the Lord your Lord because if Jesus is Lord, why are you sleeping around. If Jesus is Lord, why, why did you leave your husband Jesus or why to leave and Fisher wife. If Jesus is Lord, why do you swear like a sailor. Jesus is Lord why you keep cheating at what point does the Lord portion really take root, we mean. Sometimes we say Jesus is Lord is Jesus is Lord as long as it doesn't conflict with my desire, but when it does I'm taken over. That's what we really mean Sony tell you this if Jesus Christ as your Lord. On Sunday, but not the rest of the week that he's only 1/7 Lord is you really Lord thinks I've always liked the story about the goat was in the jungle always wanted to be a lion in the actually thought that if he could walk like lions walk and talk like lions talk and goal or Lions go he would be a lion so he practiced. He practiced imagine a goat walking majestically and he would switch that little stubby goat tail and pretend it was some majestic fur-lined lions take any actually thought he was doing. Then he practices voice and you try to turn that pitiful little bleak man into deep ferocious roar. Her and he convinced himself that he was walking and talking like a lion.
Then he thought about this nail. I now just need to go or Lions go so the next day at lunch time he went where lions went in the story. End of goat. The goat at the right speech. He didn't have the right stuff and sometimes people think if I go over Christians go and talk like Christians talk and sing like Christians saying I am one within your lien. Sorry, couldn't resist God's call doesn't guarantee our success. Knowing truth doesn't mean doing truth and finally we close with this your willfulness won't stop God's will. Now when were reading the story and we just barely get into it. God gives this guy a call tells him to give do a job and then verse three we read this, but Jonah arose to flee to Tarsus from the presence of the Lord. We might be tempted to say stories over is not to happen until we get the bratwurst for Jesus but John. In verse friends like God says no. I see her. But Jonah and I raise it about God.
But Jonah fled, but the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea. Verse 17 now the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow John chapter 3 verse one now the Lord. The word of the Lord came to join a second time to get to it.
Verse three so Jonah arose and went to Nineveh a now here is the point I want to make if God wants Nineveh reached. Guess what, Nineveh going be reached whether Jonah doesn't, or if he still things in his heel.
God can use somebody else and he might. Nineveh. If God wants it to be reasons good to be read as a principal in the book of Esther Esther is the Queen second Queen, there's a guy in the court named Heyman who has his genocidal scheme to exterminate all of the Jews living in Persia. Esther's uncle Mordecai hears about it comes to essences.
You gotta approach the king should like and is going to the king any time he could kill me. Mordecai says to her, if you keep quiet at this time deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place. It's going to happen but you and your relatives will die.
What's more, who can say, but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this is the key verse of that book.
What we see here in the book of Jonah is a case of severe mercy God wants to be merciful to those Ninevites and he wants to be merciful to the prophet Jonah was and if I was around back then and I was a guy in charge of taking profits. I wouldn't take Jonah despise I got the skies disqualified.
Let him go. There's plenty of other servants of yours will say yes immediate let him go bypass him. He is disqualified. In fact, I think you'll agree God sure went through a lot of trouble to use Jonah write a window fish. That's the point. God is in the business of using the most unlikely people my life verse first Corinthians 1 God's chosen the foolish things of this world confound the wise God won't force you to respect your choice. Billing for this what God has ways of strongly persuading. I think you'll agree with that. Moses went to Pharaoh and said, thus says the Lord. Let my people go with her as response not to happen now. Let your people go. I'm fairly or not, I'm in charge are not by but God has skills in the fine art of persuasion. After a few plagues like flies and lies and frogs in darkness inhalant River turning the blood. What is pharisaic.
Okay go so we put it to you this way if if and if God still small voice to you doesn't work, you may want to buy flood insurance storm insurance and some people got to speak to the automatic samuel was like speak, Lord, your servant, here's just ready to obey other people are not so much so that way and so the Lord resorts to stringent methods. Jacob wrestled with God all night long and walked away.
The rest of his life limping.
Proverbs 1510 harsh correction is for him who forsakes the way harsh correction is for him or her.
Who forsakes the way the NSV the new Skip version of that verse. If you want to fight God he can take you on. There was a story and I closed this in a newspaper from the East about a woman driving home one night on the freeway. She was in the car she noticed that in the rearview mirror. She could see a semitruck getting uncomfortably close to her car. She sped up only to discover the truck sped up, no matter how fast you went that truck kept the speed and was close to her, followed her. She's scared she pulls off the freeway on offramp and guess what's behind her same truck she turns on the main street in town hoping to slow them down, but he runs a red light on that street and stays even closer to her in panic mode. She lifts her car into a gas station, jumps out screaming for help. The man sums out of his truck runs toward her car opens the back door to take a man who was hiding in the backseat, she was running from the wrong guy from the vantage point. The truck driver could see a man who was in the backseat. He was a would-be rapist writing waiting for the right opportunity. She was running from him, but he was chasing her not to hurt her but to save some people run from God because they're scared when God has their best interests at heart when a typo on this, and in this sense, two years ago at opportunity to go to Iraq and I was in the city of Beale in northern Iraq. I was asked to speak at a church service at night. I said I'd love to do it and that night the church service midweek was packed every chair pack people standing around the perimeter of the building. I never seen a service so Jan was interesting about the services that the people who are at their believers. Most of them were not local. Most of them were war refugees, displaced people who had fled from the city of Moses all Mozilla is the modern name for ancient Nineveh is Don dammit I'm preaching to Ninevites and guess what book of the Bible. I talked book of Jonah was perfect and it dawned on me that Jonah spoke to Ninevites centuries before about the judgment of God. I was able, by the grace of God to speak to them about God's love for them. Plan for them and in spite of the horrific things they it's and bring hopefully some sort of comfort and purpose for the great privilege all of that to say whatever God's call on your life is, the quicker you say speak, Lord, your servant here's the better off you'll be, the happier you will be happier. You do then wrap subscription powerful message for series but God now want to tell you about a unique opportunity to take your knowledge of Scripture to a new level.
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