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See Jonah Run

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2021 12:00 am

See Jonah Run

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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October 18, 2021 12:00 am

There are two equally foolish errors that we as Christians often make. The first is running from God. The second is believing He won't come running after us!

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Joan rose up same verbal guards arise, boy. Okay, he rose but he fled to Tarsus from the presence of the Lord. Surely the will of God would never be upsetting or uncomfortable or unhealthy or undesirable, but Johnny knew he completely understood. This was and there's no way around it will God and there's only one thing in his mind that he thought he would do and that was no doubt that God was asking his servant to do something very difficult because God called you something hard. Maybe something that you thought was impossible. When that happens, there are two equally foolish errors that we might make.

The first is running from God to avoid obedience. The second is believing he won't come running after us. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi Stevens working his way through the book of Jonah with this lesson. He's calling see Jonah. What's the world's dirtiest job I had a socket through my mind and so I did a little research on the world's dirtiest jobs. I discovered jobs to gross to hardly imagine some people really do have tough dirty jobs. I will mention one job title houses grab you sewage inspector even provided a picture of a man in a full body suit.

Oxygen tanks strapped on his back. Divers hood taped type a mask thick gloves.

The pictures show to show him chest deep descending a ladder where he would disappear in the raw sewage well. I also ended up researching the world's most dangerous jobs number eight on the list was forestry lumberjacks article on same hidden roots, high winds, working with chainsaws hundred feet in the air. Falling branches made it one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet high up on the list you would expect those who serve as police, fire rescue personnel every day on the job as a is a risk Steelworkers roofers and crane operators will form another category high on the list.

Many die each year working with heavy machinery high above the ground. Many of them number one on the list fishermen and along with that they added pilots, bus drivers and truck drivers. Anybody basically in the transportation business literally hundreds of people die every year who work in that particular field. If you are on the clock back to the Old Testament there was a time when the most dangerous job on the planet was the office of prophet Elijah had a contract out of his head. Jeremiah was beaten and imprisoned often thrown on one occasion into a well where he sunk to his waist in the mind and he was left to die. Daniel was thrown into the lions even even Nehemiah was threatened with his life over and over in effect at one point he and his men worked on the wall restoration with one hand while in the other hand, they held the spear or a sword. There really wasn't anything more difficult or dangerous than obeying the will of God. One particular profit storyline usually focuses on a big fish is rarely appreciated for his great faith. Jonah has served faithfully for several decades. Some Bible scholars. As I mentioned earlier in our last session believe that John was an older man when the call came to go to Nineveh he is seasoned he is experienced, he is dedicated to King Jeroboam the second and to his nation Israel his prophecy. One of them.

We read to Jeroboam in the nation came true.

Which which grew his credibility and his fame.

He is definitely of the tribe of his mentor, Elisha. But then God calls Jonah into the next chapter of his life.

Without a doubt the most difficult one yet. Jonah will run away. Let's listen in as Jonah gets the call to go back and start again in verse one Jonah chapter 1 the word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of a mid tie, saying, arise, go to Nineveh, the great city and cry against it for their wickedness is come up before me. Their wickedness has come up before me one paraphrase puts it this way, they smell to the highest heaven's.

In other words, God says Jonah Nineveh has become a city of sinful sewage. The stench is reached heaven get on your your profit gear and deliver a message to them clean it up. Short and simple clean.

If not, your dad the command of God, by the way, got his attention. No question about it, but the destination of his assignment gripped him. I believe without with a flood of emotions. Emotions that would eventually cause him to resign as a prophet of God now want to climb back into Jonah's generation to recapture the sense of what's happening here and were going to have to forget that we've heard the story, or some of it many times in the past.

Nineveh was the capital city of the Syria. The prophet Nahum would prophesy against Nineveh as well and let me read his description of the city.

These people well to the bloodied city completely full of lies and pillage her prey never departs the noise of the whip.

The noise of the rattling of the wheel, galloping horses and bounding chariots and horsemen charging swords flashing spears gleaming many slain a mass of corpses and countless dead bodies because of the lost of the harlot, the charming one the mistress of witchcraft who enslave nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.

Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, while the neophytes were literally demon worshiping, immoral, brutal, unmerciful, perverted people. They literally boasted of their cruelty, excavated records, one after another drag of live dismemberment, leaving one hand attached so they could shake it while they watch the person die they made parades of heads requiring even friends of the deceased to carry ahead high on a pole. They boasted of the practice of stretching out their victims with rope so they could more easily skin them alive.

One Assyrian king boasted of his cruelty when he had recorded and we have excavated his words almost too hard to believe he said this a quote. The translation I flayed the skin from as many nobles as had rebelled against me and I drape their skin over the pile of corpses.

I burned their children.

I captured many troops alive and cut off their arms and hands, noses and ears is proud of.

It was their custom to gouge out the eyes of the prisoners that we have their artistry excavated that they would impale their captives alive in and set them on fire. By the way, that was a practice that Nero would would bring back in the vote against Christians where you cover them with tar. Impale them like them and they would serve as torches for his guard parties even on the hinges of the capital city of Nineveh, or Syria. This capital city Nineveh, even the hinges on the city gates which have been discovered depict the cruelty of dismembering their enemies.

They were proud of the terror they struck in the hearts of their enemies. They were proud listen.

They were proud of the reputation for being absolutely on merciful. No wonder Jonah will later say to God I did not want you to show mercy to be now we understand a little bit more. Why but this was call of God. It was his will by the way living to be to three thoughts here though the call from God didn't allow for any any confusion. Jonah could Mr. go back to verse two.

You might circle into your text. These three imperatives arise, go cry, literally speak out part of our problem in obeying God is it that we don't understand them as it is that we do understand that we we see the!'s we don't really like it though when he uses imperatives doing. We prefer suggestions we vote.

Don't wait God has one vote, and I have one vote. If you have one vote in and then we discoveries not of the practice of handing out ballots is he Jonah did not have to go back to his prophets, library, collateral lexicon and and parse these imperatives to make sure he understood. I wonder if God really meant what he said no it was very clear. Arise, go and speak. It was unmistakable. It was undeniable, and it was entirely upsetting the Jonah 2nd thought the will of God for Jonah didn't allow for any confusion. But secondly, it didn't attempt to hide reality. Jonah, their wickedness has come up before me.

Their sin stinks, as it were, the highest heavens there perverted their wicked their cruel.

I know exactly what I'm asking you to do. I realize how difficult it will be for you see we we think God really must not have wanted us to do whatever we thought he wanted us to do because had he known what it would cost us or claim from us. We created our minds and our hearts with our bodies. He certainly would have never called us to do that though this is the will of God for Jonah whether he felt good about it or not I read in here between the lines, God saying Jonah. You've walked with me for decades and you have spoken for me in pleasant places, and to a receptive audience now arise go and call out to the Ninevites the will of God didn't allow for any confusion.

It didn't attempt to cover up reality. One more observation about this call thoroughly the will of God for Jonah didn't announce return to safety. You notice that all Jonah was never offered. The benefit package.

The prophet I'm sure in his stage would have appreciated benefits like the assurance of listening audience welcome by the Ninevites in a no impaling pole in my future that kind of thing hospitality offered by this cruel kingdom.

By the way, to whom he will go and announce simply repent, or in 40 days.

Your dad, he walked through that gate to that people and would say that you gotta be kidding. Jonah has every reason to believe it's a one-way ticket in his head is going to adorn some long pole in just a matter of days.

No way see as we understand what's going on here. I don't think any of us would have probably done anything differently than do exactly what Jonah did, but there are no loopholes in this call. No way to misunderstand no guarantees of safe conduct, and safe return. He simply called to do something.

Don't miss this. He's called to do something humanly emotionally if not physically impossible, and I couldn't help but think what has God asked me what his. He asked you to do that you might be resisting what is his impossible task for you.

You've got your list of fears excuses good reasons why it will work, disappointments, and let's not forget lack of assurances. Maybe it's just not what you expected is the opposite of what you wanted all that is here. Surely the will of God would never be upsetting or uncomfortable or unhealthy or undesirable. But Jonah knew he completely understood. This was and there's no way around it. The will of God. And there's only one thing in his mind that he thought he would do and that was run run exactly what he did.

Verse three. But Jonah rose up same verbal God's arise. Why okay here is, but he fled to Tarsus from the presence of the Lord. So we went down to Joppa he found a ship which was going to Tarshish, he paid the fare went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord run Jonah run. See Jonah run will be too quick to judge your member Elijah ran for his life because of one woman in her threat. At least Jonah's running from an entire nation now to get your bearings on his flight. Jonah was we note born in Gath effort he probably was living in Samaria at the time of the call. That's the capital city of Israel is working Joe Jeroboam the second was raining where Jonah was serving as the court chaplain to the King at 28 miles Southwest was the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and Israel's main port called Joppa modern-day Jeff it's all here on this to Jeff or Joppa anything but wait. He knows he can run from the presence of the Lord God is omnipresent. Jonah knew David's words.

Where can I go from your spirit, where can I flee from your presence.

Jonah knows he can out run God, the new inside the new Jewish translation that I have in my study translated this to sort of_more than likely what was going on. Jonah is actually running from the Lord's service. The Old Testament talks about standing before the Lord, that the reference to obedience running from the Lord means you're you're leaving the place of obedience, and for Jonah it was a call to serve, so he is running from the Lord's service. He has effectively turned in his resignation. He's quit he's had it he will no longer be prophet of the Lord and to prove it. He leaves Israel for good and sets sail for this place called Tarshish what store wears Tarshish, Tarshish was located on the coast of Spain in the exact opposite direction from Nineveh. In fact, I discovered the Tarshish during the days of Jonah was considered the most Western spot of the known world going as far away west as I can from Nineveh. One author helped me in and with that I believe I can help you put it in the geographical perspective when he put it this way. This is like the word of the Lord coming to a Jewish man who is living in New York during World War II, telling him to go to Berlin to preach to Nazi Germany and instead of this he goes to San Francisco and boards a ship bound for Hong Kong's pretty good. It also implies, by the way that the Jonah has cashed in his prophets pension to come up with enough money for this kind of link the voyage, he assumes that he's going to live out the rest of his days as a retired prophet quietly three lessons strike me as I observed this prophet running from the difficult assignment of God first. Whenever you run in disobedience to God. You're always heading in the wrong direction. Imagine Jonah down at the docks looking for ship headed anywhere west. Okay he's running down the boardwalk.

He's asking captains and and and crewmen you know alike where you heading Egypt don't want to go there to close Antioch. No no no Carthage, no, don't go there.

Want to go there either certain where do you set sail. Tarshish, Tarshish patches Far West as a man can safely travel that's perfect how much can you imagine Jonah making his way to the shipping office to book passage and then paying his is fair with coins stamped with the image of Jeroboam the second, which was his currency and in many we paid it. I wonder was he smitten with guilt when he saw his Kings image. It also made me wonder. He explained that the king he was leaving and why. What about his friends. Evidently Jonah lived as a single man all his life.

No mention of his wife, which I don't believe you would've left but what about his friends. What about people counting on young prophets looking up to the disciple of Elisha, the people that heard the word of the Lord through him didn't even leave a note. We don't know but there is so much wrong in not doing what's right.

It affects so many people so much is lost, which leads me to make a second observation whenever you running in disobedience to God, you pay a higher price than planned higher price.

The truth is when we run away from God. We never really ever get to somewhere we can enjoy. They were here Dell now what a Christian in disobedience is the most miserable person on the planet Alexander white lived couple of generations ago, wrote in his commentary. No booking clerk in Joppa could have told Jonah what was actually going to cost him to get on board that ship running from God is always a costly affair. Remember that old saying sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go. Sin will keep you longer than you ever wanted this. Stay sin will cost you more than you ever wanted to pay by the fact that Jonah never got a refund. I mean, he sunk his whole prophets pension right there and only got about an old 23 miles out and he never got a refund on this ticket, but the Jonah did matter at this point he's probably thinking how good everything is working out and don't miss this either goes down to the dock. There just happens to be a ship going where he wanted to go.

It just happens to be weighing anchor fairly shortly. He has just enough money to maybe Morton to pay for the ticket and it just happens to be going as far away from Nineveh as it could go might have been thinking at this point this is easier than I thought maybe as we can become diluted in our sin, he might even think God must be helping me along the way everything is working out just fine, which is one more lesson to learn.

Thirdly, whenever you run a disobedience to God, Satan will be happy to arrange the transportation and I have to add this though to we also will discover that whenever you repent God will provide transportation back. Jonah disobeyed the imperatives arise, go and speak. What about us if we thought about the fact that the Christian life is is a life of imperatives, commands the clear. They are challenging.

They are unmistakable they are unavoidable here. Some some imperatives.

I'll give you by the way, this is the word of the Lord to you and to me holdfast. First Thessalonians 521 follow Goodwin John chapter 12 verse 26 speak the truth.

Ephesians 425 put on the new man. Ephesians 424. Be alert Revelation 3 to give to God. Second Corinthians 97 saying prayers Ephesians 316. Study the word second Timothy 215. That's just the beginning, Jonah disobeyed three imperatives and ran the other way. What are we doing with a dozen imperative in our lives today. Which way are you running but now II see him exhausted from the hurried packing and the frenzied you know decisions that he had to make in his race to the coast about 20 miles more than likely on on foot, and he boards the boat in the heat goes down below deck and he immediately falls into an exhausted sleep believing as he drifts off that he has successfully run away from the Lord's service. The words of one author summarize the issue in this text of John 11 to 3 and a quote appears the issue.

I am not the master of my destiny. Not even my daily life.

God is to obey, then means to yield my will for his will.

My desires for his desires to engage in activity that may be different or unpleasant, strange dangers difficult simply run I relinquish control and another's words call the shots. I am no longer my own master that could Jonah learn that soon enough. In fact, he might not have slept so soundly had he been able to see through the flooring Down in the deep water of the Mediterranean Sea swimming quietly keeping pace under orders to just have that will obey.

Thanks so much for joining us today here on wisdom of the heart. The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey Stevens working through the book of Jonah in this current series will continue in the days ahead. But between now and the next broadcast. I want you to be aware of a very special offer that we have right now.

Stephen has a hardback book that contains his practical and pastoral exposition of Jonah.

And during this current teaching series.

We have it available for you for the amount that it costs us to have it printed. We simply want you to have this resource in your library.

Go to our website which is wisdom you'll find a link to this resource right on the homepage. You can also call us and we can give you information over the phone. The number here at the wisdom international office is 86 648 Bible 48664824253 well, thanks again for joining us today are so glad you did.

Join us for our next Bible lesson tomorrow right here on wisdom

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