Moving God to Action

Moving God to Action

Passage: Jonah 2
Service Type:

Intro: Penalty box joke. (sin bin) 

…for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion

No replacement players come in.


God orchestrated a crisis for the sake of his servant. 

1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 

Pride runs from God, 

Humility looks for God.

Example: Doing the wrong thing, the cops are bad news. In a crises, “Where are the police around this town?”

Jonah no different than all of us. A child not wanting help until it goes wrong.

Adversity can be God’s provision.

Being injured and unable to work, sick and out of class, in jail or prison, are all forms of God’s judgment to keep a person out of the game for a period of time.

If you find yourself in the PENALTY BOX, what do you?

What did Jonah do?

2 He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.

From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.

Moving God to action from Jonah:

1. Call out to God for help.

…as opposed to everything else.

Don’t know what you got until it’s gone.

3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.

4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’

2. Accept the consequences of personal sin.

Example: This bad thing is happening because of what I did. 

5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.

But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.

7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.

3. Proclaim God’s faithfulness over the circumstances.

Example: I’m having a hard time believing God for a baby with Annso. 

Calling to mind how God answered my prayer for sobriety helps my unbelief.

2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord…

5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;

6 I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked:

7 “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. Psalm 77

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.

What might Jonah’s idol have been? Comfort, safety, good reputation?

Application: What is the “worthless idol” I use to avoid real life?

Netflix, alcohol, money, ambition, lust.

4. Acknowledge specific sin.

Name and renounce specific sins.

Not, “Sorry, I might have acted a little selfish there.”

Example: “Sorry Micah for taking the girls off your project and putting them on mine. I my project ahead of yours. It was wrong.” 

9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

Fulfill his ‘vows’. Prophets say, “Salvation comes from the Lord.”

5. Remember the broken command and obey it.

Eventually, Jonah would go to Nineveh.

The book is: A message to proud and obstinate Israel.

Original hearer = Assyria 

Original Reader = Israel

Jonah wrote this and included his prayer in the book. (self-disclosure)

Jonah shares his personal testimony.

6. Be transparent for the benefit of others.

“Provided the Fish.”

Jonah wanted mercy for himself but not for others (Application for Israel)

The penalty box was his chance to decide.

Jonah - self-disclosure 

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’

Matthew 18:23-33

Application: Desire the same mercy YOU have received for others.

Assyria and Israel were both wicked. 

Israel’s punishment was still on the way…

7. God’s delayed responses are actually good.

to prayer: many times, prayer takes a long time, but then the answer comes and many times, it keeps coming. 

Example: My prayer for financial provision.

and rebellion: Take courage in being obedient when the disobedient seem ‘blessed’.

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14

How did God respond to Jonah’s prayer? 

“And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” Jonah 2:10 

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