Google+ 09/02/13 Being Disobedient to God Usually Hurts Others!

 

Jonah 1:1-6

 

The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai:

 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh.

Announce my judgment against it

Because I have seen how wicked its people are.”

But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.

He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish.

He bought a ticket and went on board,

Hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.

But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea,

Causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.

Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help

And threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship.

But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold.

So the captain went down after him.

“How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted.

“Get up and pray to your god!

Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.”

 

 

Today we begin part one of our seven-part series entitled, “Jonah and the Whale.”  Since Rebecca, Debbie, and I, along with our families, are presently on our “Family of God” cruise, it seems really appropriate to talk about Jonah!  Fortunately, we are not on a boat going in the wrong direction!!!  All of us should be able to identify with Jonah easily.  God speaks directly to Jonah and tells him where he needs to go.  Like any “good” believer, Jonah goes in the opposite direction to avoid God!  How many times have we done that in our lives?  The sad part is that Jonah thinks he can get away with it and God won’t be able to find him!  The other people on the boat Jonah has chosen are okay with him being there until the storm comes.  The sailors on board ship became desperate and began praying to their “gods.”  They threw supplies and cargo overboard, in hopes of lightening their load so they would not sink.  Nothing they did worked, while Jonah was in the bottom of the ship sleeping.  The captain sought out Jonah and asked him to pray to “his” god.  The captain’s last act of desperation was hoping that Jonah’s “god” would spare the lives of all on board.  What a mess!  Yet, it all could have been avoided, like most problems in our lives.  Jonah disobeys God by trying to hide from a direct order!  By disobeying, Jonah hurts lots of people and puts them in imminent danger.  Notice that all the people on the ship are in peril while Jonah sleeps.  We must be responsible to God, and others, for our actions.  The captain did not arrive in the bottom of the ship to receive an apology from Jonah.  The captain did not even care if Jonah was sorry or not!  The captain simply wanted Jonah to fix the situation that Jonah had created.  The next time you say no to God, think twice before doing it.  Not only will it turn out badly for you, it will most certainly create havoc for others.  Remember that being disobedient to God usually hurts others!