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The Storm of Jonah

Doug Batchelor
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Doug Batchelor

Speaker and Director of Amazing Facts

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  • October 21, 2017
    2:30 PM

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Well we've been talking about being rooted in the Word of God and how to stand through the storms of life we're going to continue with that theme. You know. When you run from God things don't go well. I was going to be talking today about a subject called Fire and Rain but I've decided to go back to one of my favorite stories in the Bible and it's a story of Jonah. And in the story of Jonah you've got a very important lesson that tells us about. Tells us about Jesus tells us about surrendering to the will of God and it tells us about the blessings that come to ourselves and others as we do that and the storms that we may encounter when we run from God. And his will. Now there's a statement that Jesus makes in Matthew Chapter twelve verse thirty nine. Here the Lord says an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And no sign will be given to it but the sign of the prophet Jonah for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish so will of the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth it's interesting that Jesus said no sign would be given but the sign of Jonah and here in the Bible God tells us about Jonah and what happened with him now the story of Jonah is a true story and some people say you know Pastor Doug how can you believe that story of Jonah reminds me of a man that was riding on a bus one day and. He used to go home from work all the time. And there was his grandma that was on the bus and he always saw her reading the Bible Well this man was an atheist and they got to know each other because they rode the same bus every day she'd go and babysit for her daughter and he'd be going home from work and. And he said grimly said I see you reading that Bible every day riding the bus and he said Do you believe the Bible is true and she said Yes sir I believe it's true. He said you really believe that God made the world in six literal days. She said yes I do the Bible says so I believe it. I said the part of me is a distance hard for me to comprehend but you really believe that the Lord parted the Red Sea and the children of his will want to cross I do God's word says it I believe it and you believe the Noah built the boat and there were two of all the animals on there he said at least two some of them were seven. And he said I suppose you believe that Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. He said God's word says it and I believe it. He said How could someone survive in a fish for three days and three nights. She said Well I don't exactly know when I get to heaven I'll ask Jonah. He said Well what of Jonah is not in heaven she said then I guess you have to ask him. But it's a true story. That you find in the Word of God about the prophet Jonah. And so it begins by telling us that Jonah the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of amatory ice saying all rise and go to Nineveh that great city and preach against it for their wickedness the word that I'll give you. But Jonah didn't want to go and so instead of a rising and going to Nineveh he gets up and he goes the opposite direction and he goes to Tarshish now Tarshish was as far away as you could get in the known world back then you know you probably heard that Marine song. Or where it talks about Timbuktu. Actually as the shores of Tripoli I'm thinking about something else. Tim but to actually was the furthest Marine base at one time and never heard a person say well he went all the way to Timbuktu Well back in Bible times if you're going. Go somewhere that was just so far away you would say Tim Tarshish because Tarsus was on the coast of Spain just before you went into the Atlantic Ocean and they figured it was the ends of the earth and it's really saying he's going as far away as he could possibly get now in Nineveh where he was being told to go was East he goes west God's word says arise but instead of a rising he goes down the Word of God is there to elevate you now the story of Jonah is a true story one reason I know it's true is his Jesus says it's true. Some people say you know you can you can believe in evolution and still believe the Bible I don't believe that. Because Jesus said If you don't believe Moses you don't believe me. And if you don't believe Jonah you don't believe Jesus because Jesus talked about Jonah that he is a real character. For one thing you can also find reference to John in the prophecies of John in Second Kings fourteen verse twenty five Tell us about Jonah who lived during the reign of Jeroboam the second between seven ninety and seven fifty he was a prophet typically to the Israelites but now God is asking Jonah to go to the enemy and to prophesied Doman judgment on them now that would not be very popular I mean you can you imagine like you know a Jewish prophet going through ISIS held territory today telling them that their gods are all wrong how long would they last. Well that's about what he was expecting. And then he thought to himself we don't care much for the Ninevites they've not been very good to us and if I don't go preach to them then maybe God will judge them in good riddance and in love his enemy wanted to see his enemy destroyed so he gets up and he goes the opposite direction. Now. The Bible never says doing God's will is going to be easy but it will always be better. A number of the storms that you encounter in your life will be of your own making and when Jonah ran from God He encountered a storm now that storm was due to his disobedience it was a supernatural storm but the storm came because God wanted to save him and save others through it you'll see before the story's over how that worked. So Jonah rises and he flees to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Now can you flee from God's presence. Have you read in someone thirty nine verse seven where can I go from your spirit where can I flee from your presence where can you hide from God You can't even hide from man now there's cameras everywhere. Almost everything you're doing and someone's going to pull out a camera. And now people even pull on cameras to tape people that are taping others that are taping people with their cameras. And so it's like everything's being recorded but you know that's not only with recent technology the Bible tells us ever since the beginning the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth everything is being recorded. Jesus said in the judgment you will give an account for every idle word that you speak. He even knows the thoughts of your heart so Nothing's hidden from the Lord how a prophet can think that he's going to run and hide from God is really absurd when you think about it. But in desperation maybe he thought out of sight out of mind if I just go another direction maybe God will find a different prophet. So he gets up and he goes down to Joppa. And. He maybe tells himself well maybe I can find a ship. You know I. I'm going to look for providential openings maybe God will let me off the hook and I won't have to do His will and I won't have to bear this message I tell you what and starts making deals in his head if I get to Joppa and I find that there's a ship going to Tarshish I'll take it as a sign that everything's going to be OK and God will leave me alone so he goes down to the harbor sure enough there's a ship that's going to Tarshish. Tarshish was my mother's maiden name my mother is Jewish and my grandfather says that we're related to Jonah but he also told us a lot of other stories I don't believe so I'm not so sure. And then he thinks Well there's a ship but maybe there's no room on the ship if there's a ship and there's room for at least one more passenger so he inquires at the ship boarding plank on this yacht just so happens we got room down in the bottom on the stern for one more person. This is so great and then he thinks well maybe I don't have the money how much is it. And he says Lord if I've got enough money and they've got room I'll take it as a sign that everything's OK And I it's OK that I don't do your will. And they say well it's you know five shekels and sure enough he digs around his pocket he's got just enough. And so he starts to feel like well look this is providential God is going to just forget what the word of the Lord said You know he's going to let me go and I'll be off the hook I I really didn't want to go talk to my enemy. You know the Bible tells us that you have to pay a fair this is Jonah paid the fare and he went into the ship. He went down to Joppa he went down into the ship. Is getting ready to go down one more time when you run from God You tend to go down down down you know they say about a drowning victim Bob to the surface about three times and they go down. And so he gets down in the ship and he figures out everything's OK. Even the weather is good so they take off gentle breeze sun's going down he's taking a sunset cruise and he thinks hey this isn't so bad he actually drifts off into a deep peaceful sleep is that how we determine the will of God by circumstances. A lot of people talk themselves into believing that when they're disobeying God somehow it's OK You think a prophet would know better you would think a church member would know better but I've been counseling before we're all have a couple come talk to me and it's a man and his girlfriend they're both cheating on their wives and they'll say brother Doug you know we both filed for divorce we married the wrong people. And this is my secretary. And we just click and we study the Bible together and we just have such peace about a relationship we know what the commandment says. But we just see the Lord is in this. Now you might think I'm making this up I am serious I can't count how many times people have told me things like this where they've got themselves convinced that the word of the Lord doesn't really mean what it says. God's word does not need changing we need changing. And especially for Seventh Day Adventists living in the last days you're going to be under incredible pressure from the Christian world when they start to say why are you making such a big deal out of one commandment Islams you keep eighty seven the day doesn't really matter if it's of the seventh day. And this if you're worshipping God and you're sincere and you're going to tell me that God hasn't blessed us in our services over all those hundreds of Sundays thousands of Sundays who do you think you are. I mean the arguments are great. And you're going to have to say that all might be great but let me tell you what the Bible says of the last says the Lord. Heaven and earth will pass away my word will not pass away and God doesn't say a seventh day he says the seventh day and you're going to have to know how you can be firmly planted and rooted on the Word of God The Bible says in the last days the deceptions are going to be so convincing that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived you're going to have to know not only what you believe but how to defend what you believe and Jonah somehow a prophet of God. A bright star in Israel where you get ready to go down. Somehow convinced himself he didn't really have to do the Word of God Now that's another thing is why we're talking about the Word of God. I've met a lot of people that seem to have a lasting chronology really clear in their minds but they've not surrendered their hearts or the living in disobedience in some other area and they figure as long as I'm studying in the times in the seasons in the prophecies I can live in the finest the God's word in this area. You know for all you know Jonah was eating vegetarian meals on his cruise. Did that justify his running from God. So there are blessings that go with every area of obedience but don't think because you're obeying God and conservative in these areas that that somehow gives you permission to be defiant of the Word of God in this area man shall not live by bread alone but by most of the words that proceed from the mouth of God. Every word. Not every one that says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom but he that does the will of My Father which is in happen. Don't be hears of the word and not doers deceiving yourselves. God wants us to make him his Our lure which means we obey Him So John is running from God and you know what he is enjoying the first part of his cruise. There are pleasures that go along with sin but they do not last. I used to drink I didn't quit drinking because I didn't enjoy some of the effects of drinking sometimes it felt good that you know light headed happy feeling being intoxicated. I didn't quit smoking because I had emphysema I enjoyed smoking I even while I was smoking I could hold my breath for four minutes. I could so I didn't quit because that I enjoyed I quit is the new God wanted me to so there's certain pleasures in Zen the prodigal son ran away from home he had a good time for a while he had riotous living we don't know it might have been months or even years but eventually the famine will come and he got hit with a storm that landed him in a pig pen so join us and join the first part of his cruise seems like everything's going fine but you can't run from God Jeremiah twenty three twenty three I am God I'm a God near at hand says the Lord and not a god of far off can anyone the hide himself in secret places so I will not see him yet underline that one. Can Then he want to hide himself in secret places so I don't see him do I not fill heaven and earth and the sea but the Lord loves Jonah and in an effort to save Jonah even those with him he sends a storm. But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea. And there was a mighty Tempest notices not just any kind of a wind or any kind of a tempest it's a great when and it is a mighty Tempest on the sea so the ship was about to be broken up. Now the Phoenicians made some pretty good boats and. This storm was so severe that just came on them it was almost like a supernatural squall and the waves were beating against the ship and they could feel as it went up on the crest of one wave and then part of the boat went over the crest and all the forces were pivoting on one point to get here creaking groan and then it would dive down into the trough and the Canyon of the next wave and come up again they pulled all the G. forces and poor them into groaning the ship again and the water start to come in through the scenes and they're bailing as fast as they can the men were afraid for their lives why does God send storms. We're often saved through the trouble that God gives us sometimes he disciplines us through storms Hebrews twelve five how the forgotten the xor Taishan would speaks you as sons my son do not despise the chasing of the Lord nor be discouraged when you're rebuked by him for whom the Lord loves He chastens and he scourges every son whom he receives job five seven How happy is the man that God corrects therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. Psalm one nineteen I know this is verse seventy five oh lord that your judgments are right and in the faithfulness you have afflicted me because he loves you. Jesus says in Revelation chapter three verse nineteen is many as I love I rebuke and chasten so there can be struggles you know it's in storms that we often find the Lord. Have you ever read Psalm one hundred seven I'm going to go to Real quick Psalm one o seven I think it's going to begin with verse twenty three. There's actually him in our hymn books it talks about those who go down into the sea they see the works of the Lord when they go to verse twenty three those who go down to the sea and ships who do business on the great waters they see the works of the Lord in his wonders in the deep for he commands and he raises the stormy wind. Which lifts the ways of the sea they mount up to the heavens they go down again to the depths there's so many speak of in the because of trouble they real to and fro in stagger like a drunken man you ever seen people trying walking on the deck of a ship. My father used to take our family on cruises periodically out of Fort Lauderdale or Miami and he does bring the whole family in the wood all go and cruise and once or twice we got stuck in a storm and you've got all these retiree's that are there just trying to relax in the ship as pitch and roll and you see I'm there kind of. And they're not drunk they're just staggering like they're drunk because the ship is rocking so I know exactly what. Profits talking about here the soul melts they reeled to and fro in stagger like a drunken man they're at their wit's end. Then they cried to the Lord notice in the storm in their trouble sometimes you have to get a burden on your back before you get on your knees. Sometimes you need a heavy load sometimes it takes a storm then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble and he brings them out of their distress he calms the storm so it's waves are still then they are glad because they're quiet so he guides them to their desired he even older men would give things to the Lord for His goodness and his wonderful works to the Children of Men yes he said the storm Sometimes he sends trouble because he loves us now you're wise if you learn from your mistakes you're wiser still if you learn from the mistakes of others don't run from God learn from Jonah that it doesn't go well God sent out of violence storm and they were all terrified the Bible tells us it's the tribulation we will enter the Kingdom of God a gem is not polished by just leaving it alone it's polished by rubbing and a man cannot be made perfect without trials were often going to go through these things so the Mariners were afraid and they cried every man to his God this is a small G. and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea to lighten it of them but Jonah was gone down in the sides of the ship and he lay and he was fast asleep. Now Jonah here picture this he's in this ship that is about to be destroyed all the sailors are up on the deck praying they are ready to sacrifice everything they're throwing all their valuables overboard the one who knows the living God who calls the storm what is he doing. He is asleep. You know one reason the story John is in the bible it's a message to the Jewish nation. That he wanted them to reach the Gentiles they knew the living God. And they were often sleeping when they should have been praying sometimes the children of the world pray better than the children of light. I've got a friend I play racquetball with he's a Muslim. And sometimes he'll disappear in the middle of a set of games and he goes into another room and he prays and then he comes back. And I think you know while I would respectfully disagree with his religion and how he worships I admire his devotion there's a lot of Christians I know that don't pray five times a day the Bible says morning evening and at noon while I pray Daniel pray three times a day Daniel read Psalm fifty five seventeen. What's your devotional life like sailors the pagans are up there on the deck praying. They don't even know God the one who knows your whole body is snoring Have you ever noticed that the crucial times in Biblical history God's people are often asleep just before Jesus talks to Moses and lives on top of the mountain he wants as the cycles to pray with him but they were heavy with sleep. In the Garden of the A seventy before the cross he says pray with me and they go to sleep because the spirits willing but the flesh is weak and Jesus speaking of the Second Coming is said it's like these ten virgins and one hundred percent were asleep when the cry is heard the bridegroom is coming. But you don't have to be asleep Paul said you are not children of the night you are children of the days so you should be awake and you should be watching Jesus said Mark Chapter thirteen five times I think he says Watch watch watch watch less that day come. And overtake use a thief or less to come and find you sleepy he wants us to be awake Peter says be sober be vigilant your your adversary the devil is going around as a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour who we can resist steadfast in the faith but we got to be awake spiritually awake as we got to keep each other awake modified You might as well bow the person next to you right now to see are you awake. Don't do that might disrupt their dreams. So here he's sleeping before judgment. There praying Jonas snoring this is where I think the story gets really interesting. So the Mariners were afraid and they cried out every man to his God I'm a cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea they were willing to unload. Are you willing to unload. You know one of the ways that people get trapped is my materialism. We end up collecting stuff. Here and I just kind of went through a little bit of a crisis because Nathan is the youngest of our tribe and after he went to college we realize we don't need quite as much house anymore and so we downsize but after living in the same house for twenty three years and you move into a smaller house with less storage Well I tell you it was a crisis of faith I'll tell you a lot of life it's not the Bible but just take my word for it. Whatever space you have will fill. That's a truth. It is true whatever space you have you will fill it. With something. So if you want to be full of the Lord you got to make a conscious effort because if you do not choose to fill yourself with a lord that's basically can be filled with something else and so that's why we get to make conscious efforts to feed on the Word of God What they were willing to throw it all overboard is what profit is it if you gain the whole world and you lose your so. They're willing to sacrifice everything I was telling you my testimony last night. And. You know I mentioned I had a brother that had cystic fibrosis. And he lasted until thirty five which is pretty good I think the odds are even better today but that was good for back then. And I remember shortly before my brother's final illness we went I went to see him in Miami Beach and he would walk around the used to run around the golf course and try to clear his lungs out so we keep breathing and you couldn't really run he was walking the stop and cough and he'd walk a little more now I'm the black sheep of the family I mean I I ran away and did the whole hippie drug thing in and out of jail and just I was definitely the prodigal. My brother went to college stayed at home tried to work for dad as long as his health would afford had a nice home on the water in Miami beach the boat the nice car and all that stuff and we're walking around the golf course my brother says Doug you're lucky he said and life is not fair he said here I'm so smart and I'm sick. And he said in your so healthy but you're stupid. And. You know brothers can do that. And he said I would give everything I have. If I could have your lungs and live a little longer that's what he gets so mad at me when I smoked he said man I'm trying to take care of the lungs I've got is you've got healthy lungs in your reckoning. So I'd give everything I have if I could have your lungs and live a little longer. And I thought to myself he would give up every earthly possession for just a little more of this life and yet we're sometimes reluctant to sacrifice anything for Jesus and everlasting life not only for ourselves we're reluctant to give it up that others might have everlasting life. You know we've got the resources to spread the gospel problem is that there's still in our pockets. In the last days when the Lord comes the vast part of the wealth of God's people is probably going to end up being useless because we tend to hoard. But when those sailors realized they were going down all that stuff was just sinking in they threw it overboard. When I lived up in the mountains. Periodicals very rugged terrain people frequently got lost and. Sometimes they'd say Doug can you show us up talk what's Canyon and I knew it pretty well I'll say yeah you know I mean. The market such and such a day and time I had no cell phone and I'd meet them here at the market and. They'd have this big tall backpack with a sleeping bag strapped on top you know they got a sleeping bag that's good for forty below zero and I said You realize we're in the desert of Palm Springs you probably don't need a forty below zero sleeping bag and then they'd have the backpack full of canned food and I'd say you know that's kind of heavy. And they'd have the camera in their canteen and their farmers need a beer and all kinds that you want to believe the things that people brought or tried to bring I'm the one guy that carried a ten speed bicycle up into the canyon and there's no way to write it. Not serious I don't know that he was well but he did he brought a ten speed bicycle up there. And as would be hiking up the first really steep spot is like forty five degrees you know on our zigzag back forth up and down the hill in the desert out in the sun. They'd started seeing her physically in heavy. Heavy huffin and puffin you know and I use that as go and they go you know twenty yards I think we rest a good another twenty can we rest until you know I told you didn't need all that stuff and so they'd start looking for rocks where they could hide this one maybe I can just stick this under here I'll stick that under there and I'll get it on the way down. Well the short version of the story is when I first moved in the mountains I had one sleeping bag one frying pan one pot fork knife spoon. When I left a year and a half later I had thirteen sleeping bags I had enough pots and pans and silverware and things I could open a restaurant. And I mean people just they'd realize hey I'm going to die up here I need to unload suddenly this precious camping gear they bought these ten thousand things they bought this place what profit is a divide Diab here for the exhaustion with my tent you know and they just started on loading this stuff. Sometimes that's what it takes. We've got to reach a crisis in a storm before we start realizing what really matters. I told you that some of our friends in California just lost their homes in this fire. And they said it really helps you prioritize when you lose everything in a fire and there's things you miss and there's no doubt two years but I'll tell you Christians handle it a lot better because they know it's all going to burn eventually. We're not going to take it with us and all this stuff you're saving for your kids you think they really want it all they just don't have the heart to tell you they don't want it all. They don't want to seem a preacher because there might be a couple things they want but they don't want most of. The money they want the stuff they don't want. All the memories thrown overboard and while they're looking for new things to throw overboard. The shipmaster begins to go below deck the captain is a Jonah one six. And while he's looking for something else he finds Jonah sleeping he says what mean is that. Arise and call on by God If so be that God will think upon us that we perish not now this is where the story gets very interesting for me. Jesus said no sign would be given but the sign of Jonah. And now the captain wakes up John and he says. Arise that we do not perish. Was Jesus asleep in a boat during a storm did they wake him up and say Master Kara style not that we're perishing. No sign to be given but the sign of Jonah Not only that the Bible says Jonah was in the bottom of the ship and it's a Jesus was in the rear in the stern That's the lowest part of the ship in a storm both asleep. Wake him up that we might not perish finally did he come staggering up on deck and he sees the mainly of the storm around him and the sailors are on their knees their brain and everybody's kind of clinging to something on the deck as the boat is pitching and rocking in every direction and they realize this is a supernatural storm so they cast the Watts' to find out who's cause the storm has come upon them do you remember something about casting lots of The Cross and the lot fell on Jonah. Now they're not exactly sure but they have a suspicion that one of the ways they used to do this in Bible times was there was a like a play jar and it had a narrow mouth and they'd take all these stones are about the same size and they'd have all these black stones and one white one and care and I did we're just on a beach and in Maui or a few weeks ago and we very odd looking beach because everything on the beach was formed either by the white coral or the black lava and it looked like a chessboard the rocks were all all black were all white I took a picture of it is very odd nothing in between because if they either were formed by water or fire. In a strange time. So they take the stones and they put all you know if there are twenty sailors they put nineteen black ones in and they put one white one in and they drop out one of the time in front of each of the participants and whoever got the stone the lot fell on him that was one of the few ways they would cast we call it drawing straws whoever gets the short stick or the short straw and so they had this method of trying to determine the gods are angry they thought and it's a supernatural storm and the Lord means the pinpoint for his who is the culprit here John already knew how this was going to end the need for one thing is the prophets who already knows and sure enough they cast lots and probably not even looking he knows was going to happen. He's running from God. He caused the storm. And the lot falls on him you know there are thirteen questions in the Book of Jonah to get ready to ask him seven questions now. For whose cause is this trouble upon us. What is your occupation I'm a messenger of God The trouble is because of sin where do you come from fleeing from the presence of God If you have to know why would you flee from the presence of God whole purpose of salvation is the live in the presence of God you know why we're in trouble today. God went looking for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden they fled from his presence God never ran from us keep Let's get the record straight we ran from him the first question in the Bible first question is the devil saying hath God said the devil questioning the Word of God The next question is God seen where are you. First question in the New Testament the wise men are saying where is he We've been separated because of sin God has been pursuing us and if we running from. Iran from the presence of God What is your country Israel who are your people I'm a Hebrew he said I'm a Hebrew and this really made them nervous I worship the God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land while they were having problems with the sea if that very moment. I saw that explains everything then the men were exceedingly afraid and they said to him by the way you notice that exceedingly afraid that very phrase is used with the storm and Jesus and the Apostles after Jesus calms the storm and says they were exceedingly afraid. They were exceedingly afraid and they said to him Why have you done this now he doesn't really answer the question why would you run from God. Why would you want your will instead of God's will. Do you really even logically think that you know the future better than he does do you really believe that your plan for your life is better than God's plan for your life do you realize even just thinking that is idiotic. That's like saying I'm a better god than he is. Of course it's going to end badly if you run from God and you say my plan is going to be better than your plan. We end of self destructing when we do that finally they said What shall we do to you that the sea might be calm for us. For the sea was growing more tempestuous you know as you keep seeing is getting more tempestuous he tells them pick me up and throw me into the sea then the sea will be calm for you this is Jonah one verse twelve for I know that this great tempest is because of me. And of all all of the storms and trouble that you have in life is really because of the devil's anger for Christ and His people it's all because of a great controversy between good and evil. And you and I have been caught up in the war whether you like it or not so you may as well she is the land of the winning team Amen. It's all because of me. Christ said if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself and I thought why didn't Jonah just jump overboard What did he say you've got to offer me. Because John is a type of Christ in this story and we must realize that we are responsible all of us in a sense crucified the Lord. He didn't just die for the sins of the whole world he died for my sins my sins personally are responsible for the sufferings and death of Christ and yours are and we all need to realize that it was for us it's like Peter had that opinion either in the garden or in the tomb I'm sorry at the during the trial of Christ when he turns and he looks at Jesus in the judgment hall and Peter denies Christ for the third time and then a soldier hits Christ and Peter somehow realize that Jesus was being bludgeoned for his sense and that broke his heart he went out and he went bitterly he finally took personal responsibility for the sustenance sufferings of Christ and once we realized Jesus really died for us it's easier to love him not just that he died for this big kind of general nebulous world out there he knew you he saw you he died for you for your sense. Jonas and you've got to take me out you need to throw me overboard Well they don't want to do that it's interesting that these pigs are more civilized than some of God's people if they were church members they would have thrown him over right away. But they roll hard and we don't want to do that they roll hard to turn the land but they could not remember during the storm the disciples tried to save themselves by rowing and they couldn't do it. The sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. So when they had rowed about. You can see this where the disciples the road and they finally saw Jesus walking in the water we talked about that finally. They got ready to throw him overboard Jonah one fourteen they cried out to the Lord and said Lord we pray please do not let us perish for this man's life and do not charge us with innocent blood. Do you find that phrase of the cross. What pilots say I am innocent of the blood of this just person. Pilot also was a pagan. And he didn't want to be responsible. For you all Lord has done as it pleased you is what the sailors say does it say in Isaiah fifty three yet it please the Lord to bruise him for our sake you start looking at the story of Jonah and you realize that it is just exploding with meaning in the gospel so the men took up Jonah and they. Won on each hand and one on each foot they said one two three they hurled him over the side and he went splashing down into the water. And the sea instantly ceased its raging but that sound familiar. Did Christ calm the sea it was through the sacrifice of Jonah that they found peace it is through the sacrifice of Jesus that we find peace and when the sea was calmed instantly as soon as the seas swallowed up Jonah it flattened out the clouds parted the wind stop the moon was shining and then it says those sailors they got on their knees and they made offerings involves to Jehovah It doesn't take God's small G. It's the capital the name of God they suddenly realized they needed to worship the God who made everything the Jonas God was a god even the in running from God Jonah is converting the last. Can God work all things together for good. So now Jonah storm gets really bad. And I remember reading a story by Max Kato about Shippey the parakeet. Who was minding his own business one day in his cage tweeting having a great time and his owner the lady decided to clean his cage and so after she took the newspaper out she decided to vacuum up all the seeds and other debris and then the phone rang and you know if you're in a vacuum she pulled the little Miles aloft a vacuum so you could get it up real quick and the phone rang and she turned to reach for the phone and the edge of the cage hit the nozzle of vacuum the bar of the vacuum tilted up and she heard. And Chippy was gong. Quickly she hung up the phone and she turned off the vacuum cleaner she opened up the vacuum took out the bag opened up the bag and there with all of the dust and the crumbs and the pieces of carpet was a very day's looking chippy but still alive. And she felt so bad she took him to the kitchen sink and turned on the water she realized she had left the hot water on So first it was too hot so then she flipped over to the cold water and she's rinse the them off and then he was shivering so she got the hair dryer. She turned on the hair dryer and she blew him off. And she put a very dazed puffed up little bird. Back in his cage she told it to a friend who told it to a local reporter who wrote the story yes a few days later house chippy doing. And she said well he seems to be OK but he just stares out the window and he doesn't really sing anymore. Have you ever felt like you've been. Sucked up washed over blown over. Been through a storm. Jonah's storm it was over for the sailors but it was really beginning for him. The Bible says that God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah was in that fish for three days and three nights. Now very quickly some people have wondered about three days and three nights and they say Bible must not be true Jesus died on Friday rose and Sunday That's Friday night Saturday night. That's not three nights in a distinctly says three days and three nights and Jesus said there in Matthew twelve three days and three nights so Bible must be right and I've met people who have tried to change the date and the time for the crucifixion because they figured. Maybe must of been Wednesday ever run into this before yeah you know where their problem is when he says as Jonah was in the belly of a great fish three days and three nights so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth they think the heart of the earth means the tomb only and it doesn't know where in the Bible does it call the tomb the heart of the earth if you don't find that anywhere the heart of the earth is describing the sufferings of Christ which include the tomb but his suffering for sin when the father withdrew from Jesus and like Jonah he began to suffer and only was alive for his suffering Jesus was alive for his suffering the penalty for sin is real. And not just death it's suffering according to what you deserve in death. And they are Thursday night in the garden Christ was betrayed three times he says the disciples now is the hour now is the hour now as we are several times in his life before that he said this is not my hour but finally after the New Testament is sealed in the upper room he gets the garden he says now is the hour. He said Father not my will VI will be done three times in the third time told the disciples it started you may as well wake up the crowd came they arrested him and for the first time Jesus did nothing to save himself every other time he just passed through the mob this time he let the mob take him. And they began to brutally treat him and spit on him and pull out his beard and whip him and all the suffering that went with the penalty for our sins. Thursday night Friday night Saturn night he was in the heart of the earth he was in the clutches of the devil that word their heart is cardio you recognize that like cardiac arrest it means the heart of the earth there means the world the devil is called the prince of this world the father withdrew his protection from Jesus and the the Lord was in the hands of the devil and his minions for three days and three nights like Jonah was taken by the sea monster. Can you imagine what it would have been like to be in the digestive system of a big creature we don't even know if it was a whale could have been a bailing whale can't even man a sperm whale can. Spermwhale the giant squid we don't know what it was that I don't have a problem worrying about what kind of fish it was the Bible says the Lord prepared a fish it was a supernatural four storm it could have been a supernatural fish a few days later he had a supernatural gourd So I mean you know God did it I'm not worried about that but that fish could have eaten something else before he wanted to maybe it had some. Jellyfish there been stung by jellyfish. Some of the lock to put in their little suction cups all over his body in the dark. Bioluminescent things flashing sea urchins who knows what was in there sushi. Can you imagine being sloshing around in that hot stinking I can't stand the smell of fish. If I go to a Thai restaurant I tell him three times no fish sauce no what is there sauce I've learned to say in four languages I don't want any because you get that it's just it's on your breath all day I can't imagine being in that fish for three days and three nights but you know this is a wonderful story because Jonah is now suffering the result of his running from God and God finally got his attention and he prayed Now you might think I've messed up my life and I've gone so far I am so far from God I am down at the bottom of the mountains Can you describe anybody in the Bible who was further from God than Jonah when Jonah was in the fish at the bottom of the ocean. But Jonah prayed from there the got here as per can you turn to the Lord wherever you are will he hear you. Can he change your circumstances no matter how hopeless I mean who would have thought that story was going to end well when Jonah was down there in the bottom of the ocean. Don't underestimate what God can do. And when Jonah prayed he led Jonah suffer for a few days. And Jonah prayed and it took a while and God doesn't always answer your prayer right when you pray. He knows the best time but after three days and three nights God spoke to the fish. And the fish was given an inspired birth. And you know God is loving because the fish could have burped mount right where he was in the middle of the ocean but he took him to shore isn't God good. That fish beached himself a member of the Mount. I heard one preacher say a hypocrite will even make a whale sick. And you know what now the word of the Lord came to John and say Jonah you've been you've been through a lot I'm going to change my word for you. And so you just take some R. and R. right now you need to recover after that last cruise. Is that what the word of the Lord said. The word of the Lord said Jonah a rising go to Nineveh and do what I told you the first time now wouldn't it have been better for Jonah if he had listened to the word of the Lord the first time he heard the word of the Lord. You young people you're thinking you know I know I want to be a Christian I want to serve the Lord but hey I've finally gotten out of the house my parents aren't looking over my shoulder I want to get out there and you know find out for myself what's going on and you think you're going to take a side trip. And then come back when you feel like it. Do you really want to take a detour through a fish because if you know the Word of God and you're not surrendering to God You're going to hit a storm do you realize when Jonah was running from God Other people were perishing. While Jonah was running from God until he surrendered the sailors were dying the Ninevites were dying it wasn't until Jonah surrendered to God The people started being converted. Not only were the sailors saved you know the story Jonah goes to Nineveh and you have the biggest revival in the Bible this one preacher goes in and to Nineveh and a whole city with one hundred twenty thousand children is converted and saved even says the animals repent. Not a fact as you look at the story of John it's incredible. Every thing in the story of Jonah listens to God. The sailors listen to God the storm listens to God The captain listens to God the fish listens to God The Worm listens to God the gourd listens to God The Ninevites listen to God the King listens to God the animals listen to God the only one who doesn't listen to God in the story of Jonah is Jonah. You know it makes me think of. It's not only a lesson for the Jewish nation it's a lesson for the church today. We are feasting among ourselves with the bread of life while these beggars lay at our gate desiring the crumbs of fall from our table. And we may discover that in the judgments they're sitting with Abraham Isaac and Jacob and we're on the outside. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is not just another church God has given this movement the truth we have the bread of life and a lot of us like John are running from God. And he's got a mission for us but it doesn't begin until we surrender you know I usually start with an amazing fact I thought I'd end with my amazing fact this time. March in two thousand and fifteen outside of Lagos' Nigeria a tugboat with twelve sailors was making its way about ten miles. Off the coast they got hit by a freak wave and capsized eleven out of the twelve drown. The cook Harrison Okene was below deck when it all happened. And all of a sudden realized the boat had turned upside down and everything was all disoriented water began to rush and he saw two of his friends get sucked out of the boat he instinctively went up which ended up being towards the bottom of the ship. And he found himself in a pocket of air and he was there one hundred feet below the surface on the sea floor. Wondering how long he would last. For three days and three nights he was there in the dark Prain. And he was claiming a promise because his wife who was unsure a Christian texted him a scripture that was on his phone. And it was a quote that said oh God by your name save me the Lord sustains my life. Well Harrison was down there in the dark and gradually the oxygen was depleted. And you know even though you're near the equator when you get one hundred feet down the water's cold. And so he wondered how long he could hold off against the hypothermia sitting in there in the dark praying to the Lord perform a miracle please save me. Well three days later this recovery crew had been sent in to recover the bodies of the sailors. And they went down with the special equipment to the bottom of the ocean there going up through the ship it recovered a few bodies. And they get up in this one room Harrison he's running on a very he wonders if he's hallucinating all this on the water begins the glow green blow him and he was scared because he thought he had heard sharks bumping into the outside of the ship he did know of one of them and found its way into what was going on. Then bubbles begin to come up. To me solve a helmet of this guy come up and he was so scared. The guy in the diving suit was expecting to find bodies and I hand reached out and grabbed him. It actually got to you too because he had a camera running when it was all happening and you can even see the look on Harrison's face when he finally brings his mask up into the pocket of air and there is this very surprised and happy and exhausted survivor. He had been down there praying for three days can God work miracles you know there's a picture that's the actual picture here is. Came. Can God still work miracles in your life. When things seem hopeless Can he save you from the storm. You want to run from the Word of God you think your plan is better. Before we close this segment of our our weekend together you know I always like to pray. And if there's some of you here today and you're thinking you know. I really need to surrender my life to the Lord I don't want to run from God and you're willing to do that right now before we close for prayer would you be willing to stand where you are just say the Lord I want to surrender I want to serve you and do your word in your will. You not only wants us to come to Him because He loves us and he wants to save us like Jonah he wants to save other people through you. And God will work things together for good in your life. Father in heaven we just thank you for the presence of your spirit we thank you for the story in your word that you can change hearts and lives I pray that you'll be with each one of these dear people Lord I don't know exactly what the particulars are of how they may be struggling to surrender to your word and give themselves over to you fully but help them to do that I pray you will work miracles pour out your spirit on this campus floor let there be another Reformation among your people turning back to you in prayer and in your word a willingness to take you to the ends of the Earth we know Jesus is coming soon and we want to be ready Lord we thank you and pray all this in Christ's name Amen this media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons Please Visit W W W. Dot org.

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