October 4th, 1991                                            "Jonah, a disobedient man"                                       Bro. G. B. Solomon

Jonah 1:1 & 2, "Now the Word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.’" God asked Jonah to go and give a message to the people of Nineveh. "Their wickedness is very great and it has come before me. I cannot just let it go on. I have to take action against it. But you go and preach a warning of coming judgment," said God. God’s heart had a great burden for the city of Nineveh. But Jonah could not understand the burden in God’s heart. Some Christians do no understand the burden of God. When Jesus asked the three disciples too pray in the garden of Gethsemane, when He pleaded with them to pray, they could not understand His burden. "Pray with me for an hour; My soul is burdened unto death," He said. But they were asleep. Isaiah in the presence of God could understand the burden in God’s heart. So he said, "Lord, here am I, send me." That is how you must be ready to obey God’s Word. But Jonah did not obey the Word of God. Verse 3, "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord." A very disobedient man! Such people cannot serve God. They cannot glorify God.

Verse 4, "But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken." A disobedient man, took with him a storm. A storm usually follows a disobedient and rebellious man. To whichever Church he goes, he takes a storm. The ship was about to be broken in the storm. A church can be broken by such disobedient people. A home can be broken. But when obedient people travel in obedience to God’s Word, they will take revival with them. Mr. & Mrs. Daniel obeying God and His Word, they were in the will of God, so they took with them the blessing of revival wherever they went. Broken Churches, families and lives were rebuilt. That is the blessing obedient people take with them, wherever they go.

Verse 5, "Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his God, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship in the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep." A great storm is upon us. "People were afraid." Where a disobedient man is, there will be fear. When a Christian disobeys God he takes fear with him. That fear freely attacks those among whom he lives. In the whole world many Christians are disobedient to God, and so fear of death is taking hold of the people. Our Lord came into this world to take away the fear of death from the world. Wherever the "Prince of peace: is accepted, there the fear of death is taken away. Wherever the "Prince of peace" is rejected the fear of death grips the people. "Every man out of fear cried to his own god." Idolatry is on the increase. Each one, has his own god. Fearful men cannot believe on the Lord Jesus. The evil one will turn them away from God. So each one prays to his own god. When Christians disobey God in a land, idolatry will increase there.

When Elijah fasted and prayed for three years in the will of God, God asked him to go to a particular place and pray. "Go to the brook Cherith and hide yourself in prayer there." After three and half years of prayer God sent a great revival on Mount Carmel. The fire of God fell. The fear of God came upon the people. When the fear of God came on the people, they fell prostrate before God and said, "The Lord Jehovah is God." They found new faith. One God! One faith! One Baptism! Double mindedness was taken away from them. Elijah said, "Why you do not have any blessing. No rain, and famine everywhere." Do we have the fear of death because of a double mind? The Word of God says, "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways and will not receive anything from God." James 1:6,7. "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the LORD." When revival came, when people unitedly came back into faith, clouds began to gather and poured out an abundance of rain. In some of our revivals when people repented God sent rain where it had long ceased to rain. Thus God sent His blessing upon the people when they turned to the Lord! Idolatry is a curse to the land.

Each one prayed to their god. They threw their goods into the sea. The one that was the cause of the trouble was safe on board and they were throwing their goods instead of throwing Jonah into the sea. Instead of repenting for their sins people spend much money for the cure of their sicknesses. There is no obedience or sorrow for sin at all. Jonah was not bothered about all the anguish and trouble he caused. When people are disobedient they cannot understand the difficulties they bring on those around. They do not understand how people are suffering. Their conscience become numbed. That is what happened to Jonah. Fast asleep! "Let these fellows die, I have a nice place to sleep," was his attitude. The ship master came and asked him to pray. "O thou sleeper," he called Jonah. What a name for Jonah! Be very careful. Let none call you, "Oh thou sleeper, arise and pray, you who know the real God." We worship gods who are not gods at all. The have no power to still a storm!

Nobody can stop our country’s storms. Our people must come to the Lord Jesus. People will come to you if they know you are a praying man and a saved man. They will be troubled and tossed and then in the end they will come to you for help. The people came to Jonah. Their gods had failed. But this man was sleeping. If you are in a life of disobedience you will sleep even in such meetings as these. A kind of sleeping spirit will come upon you, because the spirit of disobedience is in you. Jonah woke up. We must wake up sleeping people. Many Christian people are sleeping. Wake them up and do not allow them to sleep. When God started the ministry of the Fellowship, many people were shaken out of their sleep. Jonah said, "I am a servant of God, but I am disobedient. I have to go to Nineveh. Put me down. Throw me into the sea. If I am here, I will be a danger to you and to myself. I am outside God’s will. So throw me into the sea." The sea became calm. Verse 15, "So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging." Then the men feared the LORD and sacrificed to God and made vows. When a servant of God disobeys, many worships idols. But when he repents and comes back into the will of God they will worship the real God. When a man is not converted he is a curse. But when he repents and comes back he is a blessing. God did not reject Jonah when he repented. When you repent God will not forsake you.

After that Jonah went into the belly of the fish, God took him to Nineveh. When we repent and want to do the will of God, somehow God will lead you and guide you and you will hear a voice on the right hand and on the left hand, "This is the way, walk in it." Jonah did not die when he was three days in the belly of the fish. When you are in the will of God nothing will destroy you. A fire heated seven times did not do any harm to Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego. It just could not touch them. Lions could not touch Daniel. "Nothing can harm you", said Jesus Christ. Such an almighty God is with us. Jonah was pushed to the shore of Nineveh safely. He came back into the land of the living. Jesus was resurrected from the grave. Jesus compared Himself with Jonah. Jonah had such an experience that his preaching turned the whole city towards God. After he came into the will of God, he became a blessing to the people in the ship and to the people in Nineveh. If we are in the will of God wherever we go we will be a blessing. Let us also be a blessing like that.