1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. 4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” (Jonah 1.1-6, ESV)
Memory Verse: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me” What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish. (Jonah 1.2, 6 ESV)
The Lord came after Jonah as he was asleep in the bottom of the boat. The sailors were fearing for their lives, throwing everything overboard and crying out to their own gods hoping something would help save them from the fierce storm.
Somewhere in the ciaos the caption remembered there was another man on the ship and he when to get him. He found him asleep, the Word says, “But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep” (Jonah 1.5, NASB95). He did not care about the storm, it did not affect him, his conscience was alright with what he was doing. Therefore, he was able to go to sleep in the middle of a great storm.
The captain approached him amazed he could be sleeping at a time like this, with a terrible storm all around them, beating against the ship, the ship is being tossed to and fro, and here is Jonah asleep. “How is it you are sleeping,” the captain said, “Get up, call on your god maybe he will save us.” But Jonah already know what the problem was and how to fix it.
Couple of things we need to see concerning Jonah, which apply to us as well. First, our sin rarely just affects us, usually when we do something bad others get caught up in it too and are hurt by what we have done. When we lie others are hurt, when we steal others have loss, when we cheat someone else is affected by the outcome. There is hardly a time when our sin is ours alone, someone else will be affected.
Case in point, David king of Israel, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13.22), committed what we might consider the biggest sin. In II Samuel 11 we find these words;
And it came to pass, at the return of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And it came to pass at eventide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, I am with child (II Samuel 11.1-5, ASV).
Here we find David, when he should have been out to war with the army was at home (not where he was supposed to be). He got off his bed (being lazy), and saw a woman bathing and instead of looking the other way inquired about her and sent for her. She came and became pregnant.
As we can see here David’s sin has already involved Bathsheba and his servants. But it does not end there in the ensuing verses David involves the commander of his army Joab, as well as Bathsheba’s husband Uriah in his sin. Unfortunately for Uriah he was more noble then king David and because of this David committed another sin, one Uriah carried to his commander Joab, his death sentence. David committed murder by the hand of another person, his enemy, under the disguise of battle (II Samuel 11.6-27).
David’s sin to him might have seemed harmless at the beginning but in the end, it affected a family, and a nation. His sin was far from harmless and not only caused a man his life, but also caused a child his life. About now we might be wondering how could David be considered, “a man after God’s own heart,” when he did such a terrible thing? That is a great question and the answer is found in Psalm 51.
David recognized his sin, that his sin was not against Bathsheba or Joab or Uriah or his servants or the nation of Israel. Even though he sinned against them all, and needed to confess to them asking for their forgiveness, but his sin as well as our sin is always against a holy and righteous God. He said in Psalm 51.4, “I have sinned against You and You alone oh Lord.” And there it is, against God, and God alone is Who we are sinning against. Every time we get angry, cheat, steal, swear, lie, are mean to someone, disobey our parents, refuse to obey God, or anything that is unrighteous it is sinning against God and God alone.
Jonah was running from God, he had paid the price, went down in the boat and was fast asleep. He was trying to run from a holy and just God, because he did not want to obey His command to go to Nineveh. But God in His loving kindness, came after Jonah, bring a storm to wake him out of his sleep, but unfortunately it was affecting others just to bring Jonah back into right standing with God.
Oh my God how I have failed You, failed to obey in everything You have asked of me, to obey Your commands and to serve You faithfully. Lord, I know I have tried to do many things on my own, but You have not made me that way. You have made me to rely on You, to trust in You, to depend on You, and when I do not then I fail. Lord forgive my lack of understanding and willingness to follow You. Help me seek You daily, to serve You in every circumstance without question or fear and to share Your gospel with others. In Your Son Jesus Christ’s Name I pray, Amen.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jon 1:1–6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 New American Standard Bible, 1995 Edition: Paragraph Version. (1995). (Jon 1:5). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (2 Sa 11:1–5). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
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