Jonah 1:7 9-10
7When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 9But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.
10And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah was a Prophet in North Israel around 8BCE, God calls upon his prophet to minister unto the people of Ninevah who were living in sin, homosexuality, sluggardness, drunkenness and false idolatry. The people of Ninevah were not attending weekly bible study nor weekly church services. Consequently, their faith had fallen flat and they were delivered into the hand of the enemy.
Jonah, whose men had beef with the men of Ninevah decided to disobey God and not minister to the people so they would not be saved from destruction in sin. As a man thinketh a man doeth and Jonah, who has fallen from the grace of the Holy Spirit, now has the mind of a hatred filled murder. Once a faithful warrior of the Lord, Jonah has descended into a vigilante of his own factions. Wrought with disobedience – Jonah curbs God’s plan for Ninevah and instead boards a ship setting sail for Tarshish.
While onboard the sea begins boisterous roaring and violently knocking the ship around. The seamen identify Jonah as the mitigant to God’s wrath and against Jonah’s pleas, the seamen refuse to throw Jonah aboard. Eventually, the sea knocks Jonah overboard where he is swallowed by a large fish for three days and three nights. Jonah prays and pleads to God for mercy and God causes the large fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land. Thereafter Jonah obeys God – ministering in Ninevah for 40 days to deliver his adversaries and from God’s divine wrath.
Has God called you to minister unto others?
Will you promptly answer the call or get swallowed in your cowardliness?
‘For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. ‘ 1 Thessalonians 1:5
As God’s elect, we are called to profess the word of God unto the unbelief so that they may be saved from destruction and God may be glorified. Although we know the supreme power of God’s perfect will, why do we yet astray?
In Matthew 26:41 Jesus whom is preparing for crucifixion ask his inner circle to pray with him. He says, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Jonah refused to listen to God’s command because he was distracted by his flesh. We don’t know the exact details of Jonah and the beef between the opposing nation. For sermon sake let’s adopt Jonah in modern times and let’s say the men of Ninevah once lived in harmony with the men of Northern Israel. 7 years prior to the time God dispatches Jonah to minister, the neighboring countries wrestle into a tariff war over imported grain following a drought that was starving the cattle and sheep. The two countries make a barter agreement to trade access to the local river and exchange for grain bushels. However, the foot spies of Ninevah dumped pigs blood into the local river! stole all the grain reserves! raped the wives and girls of Northern Israel! sodomizes the young boys! and burned all the homes of the Northern Israelite!!! If we knew this do we have greater sympathy for Jonah’s vigilante justice?!
Jonah is a man of God, a prophet of the Lord, he spends his days and nights praying and fasting, receiving prophetic dreams and disbursing holy interpretations. Jonah is indisputably a man of God but Jonah drops his books and loses his lessons.
Eph 6:12 We fight not against flesh and blood but not principalities.God loves the sinner and hates the sin. When we face the unbelief, we are not interfacing with their heavenly souls but with the demon(s) that are squatting in their soul. As ministers, prophets, praise dancers, singers, musicians, teachers and servants in Christ we are instructed to pray and forgive thus spreading peace and joy because God’s grace has already destructed Satan and our continual praise is evident as our incessant faith in the glorious thing already done!
Jonah gets distracted in his flesh, he feels broken and embarrassed because the widowed women have blamed him for the destruction of their families. Jonah wants to feel validated by his community, by the widowed women who once sung praises unto him and poured olive oil unto his head as a gratitude for bringing the good word of God. Jonah’s self – esteem is shot, he is boiling hot and angry. Jonah’s pride has become his own stumbling block. As saints, we fall short of God’s way when the desire to respond to the flesh – when we feed the flesh over the spirit the flesh overpowers the desire to respond to the spirit.
Once Jonah reaches the boat he falls into a deep slumber. A whole nation of people has been scheduled for eternal death and homeboy Jonah was fast asleep! When we resist the pull of the holy spirit – we lose our conviction and become comfortable in our sin. While we are called to reside in Christ, what does it mean to reside in sin long-term? As demons lay permanent claims to our minds and we become sons and daughters of disobedience and the will of God is exchanged for the will of Satan. What does long-term sleeping in sin look like? It looks like homosexuality, a weed addiction, porn addiction or a shoe and nail addiction. Jonah is awoken by the ship crew who awaken him and demand that he call upon his God but refused to throw him overboard to spare their own lives.
Let’s pause –
Jonah, a man of God has fallen short of his own flesh. The bystanders who have failed to summon the protection of their own gods, yet respect the strength of a weak man of God over the strength of their false god. Here God is showing us that his elect – though spotted with the stains of sin and transgressions, his elect is always worthy of his forgiveness and repentance because Christ already paid the final ransom for our sins. God is a perfect God. God does not dwell on unclean things for he is a perfectly clean God. He wants us to respect the weight of our sins so that our sins don’t lead us to death but he does not want us to dwell and become obsessed with our sins. We must flee from this guilt, this condemnation, lest Satan abuse our negative energy as an entry portal to our souls.
As elect, our role is to thwart the stumbling block of condemnation so we may immediately return to ministering and edifying one another in Jesus Christ.
As men and women in Christ, let us be mindful and responsible for our supernatural power that is made potent by the power of our faith in God. May we not crucify Christ afresh with careless sins for the legitimate losses are too great to be negligent with self-constructed losses.
Though the dockhands refused to throw Jonah off the boat, Jonah alike Samson who committed suicide as a means to destroy the Philistines also should have died. As martyrs for Christ we are committed to the practice of perfect faith, willing and ready to die for our faith. We must always aim to live true versus living as a hypocrite and a stumbling block to the Christian faith. What does this mean? This means learning to check your spiritual thermometer, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. If our hearts are not in an optimal position for outpouring – let us seek our brothers in sisters in Christ so that our empty cups may be filled. Let the saints unite in the power of prayer to defeat the witches covens. When our hope has waned thin, our sight fuzzy and threateningly blind let us seek the aid of our faith-filled Christian counsel so that by their intercessory prayer we may be delivered from the snares of the enemy.
As the elect, we have the arduous honor of representing the perfect spirit of Christ. May our comrades in Christ who are justified by their faith – convict us in their demonstration of spirit-filled faithfulness.
May their bright Christian light arrive like Harriet Tubman in the night, guiding us from the slavery of sin and the plantations of our earthly pleasures.
For this reason, let us deal kindly and humbly with one another. Being one body, one mind, one spirit we must edify each other in peace and protection so we can withstand the guiles of the enemy. Judging each other not for we all have fallen short of the glory of God, otherwise let him who is without sin cast the first stone but other-otherwise let him who is delivered, cast their cares on God and declare God as their steadfast unmovable rock.
Psalm 18:2 2The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Joshua, one of the 12 spies of Israel rose to a position of faith and service following the death of Moses who was laid to rest after falling prey to his flesh when he struck the rock. Joshua, who goes on to lead the Israelites into Cannan reminded God’s people that in order to avoid sin that must remain slain in the spirit and hungry for the revelation of God’s word.
Joshua 1:8 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, Jonah is a prophet and is used by God to prepare the world for the coming of Christ. This is exampled by the 3 days that Jonah spent in the belly of the whale and 40 days ministering to his enemies. Christ who spends three days battling death before resurrection would overcome 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. The Israelites after being delivered from Egypt, spent 40 days in the wilderness.
Refer back to the last time you transgressed, how much time did you let lapse before reuniting with the written will of our master. As elect, we are chosen and appointed to minister to the world, as result we are more susceptible against spiritual attack and are commanded to pray without ceasing so we can withstand the temptation of this world.
2 Timothy 4: 17-18 “But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death.Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.”
From the belly of the beast, Jonah wailed from the whale.
God who loves his elect but still expects obedient results from his elect, causes the great fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land so God’s work could be glorified on earth.
What incomplete task(s) have been reassigned for your immediate completion?
Are you being called to complete your 365 daily bible plan?
Are you being called to fast?
Precious saints, let us not be led away by our flesh, like Jonah and the inner circle of Jesus, though we fall to a short slumber may we awake with fresh Christian energy and flee from the trap of condemnation that destructs the body of Christ from within! Instead let us remain steadfast in communal praise, worship and the prophetic revelation of God’s word. Our God is merciful! Our humility is for our own humbleness, not our humiliation.
As Eastertide approaches, the 50 days after Easter of which the eleven apostles and 3000 congregated being saved and speaking in tongues and prophetic prayer, let us evoke the holy spirit of Pentecost so we can usher in a supernatural healing for the parishioners of our church. Let us rejoice for even our stumbling blocks work together for our good so we may dwelve deeper in our faith to secure wisdom and salvation in our Lord.
Acts 2:17-18 ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people; your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on My servants,both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit inthose days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and clouds of smoke.…