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Scripture Reading: Jonah 1:1-6
Echoes from the Belly of a Fish
1. Jonah tried to run away from God; it didnít work (Jonah 1).
2. God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah (1:17). There, Jonah had three days to reflect on his life, his choices, and his death. There, he cried out to the Lord, and was heard.
3. Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, as Jesusí resurrection is a sign to His generation, and us all, Lk. 11:29-30, 32; Matt. 12:38-41.
4. Jonahís experience in the fish has been called Jonahís conversion. Consider some messages that still echo from the belly of the fish.
I. YOU CANNOT HIDE FROM GOD, Jonah 1:1-3.
A. Cannot Hide our Hearts from Him, Heb. 4:13.
1. He knows our thoughts, actions and words, Psa. 139:1-4.
2. No hiding place, Psa. 139:7-12.
3. Like Jonah, God makes His presence known (storm).
B. Our Moment of Flight from God Can Become Our Moment of Salvation, Jonah 1:17.
1. God prepared the fish to deliver Jonah; Divine mercy.
2. Prodigal son, Lk. 15:17-20.
II. GOD HEARS AND ANSWERS THE PRAYERS OF HIS PEOPLE WHEN THEY TURN THEIR HEARTS BACK TO HIM, Jonah 2:1-2.
A. Power of Penitent Prayer, Acts 8:22-24; 1 Jno. 1:9.
B. Power of Righteous People Praying, Jas. 5:15-18.
C. Although Our Sins Separate Us from God, He Delivers Us When We Repent and Look to Him, Jonah 1:17; 2:4, 6-7.
III. GOD DISCIPLINES US WITH TRIALS AND SUFFERINGS SO WE WILL REMEMBER HIM, Jonah 2:3-7.
A. God Uses Trials to Discipline Us, Heb. 12:3-6, 9-10.
B. It Requires Faith to See the Blessings of Trials, 2:6; Heb. 12:11; 1 Pet. 4:12-13, 16 (Jas. 1:2-3).
-Instead of self-pity over our trials, be strengthened, 2 Cor. 12:8-10.
IV. SALVATION IS OF THE LORD, Jonah 2:9-10.
A. The Idols of Men are Worthless to Save Us, 2:8.
1. False religions, money and possessions, wisdom, power, fame,
2. Idolatry comes from human wisdom, and fed by fleshly lusts, Rom. 1:21-27; cf. Col. 3:5.
B. Salvation does not Excuse Us from Keeping Our Vows to God, 2:9; Eccl. 5:1-5.
1. Graciously do our duty, Lk. 17:10 (1 Jno. 5:3).
2. Fear God and obey Him, Eccl. 12:13-14; Heb. 5:8-9.
V. OBEDIENCE WITHOUT THANKSGIVING IS EMPTY, Jonah 2:9.
A. We Obey God because We Adore Him and Thank Him for His Mercy; 1 Tim. 1:12; Rom. 6:17-18.
B. You Must Repent So that You Can do Godís Work, Jonah 2:7-3:4.
1. Jonahís repentance prepared him to preach.
-cf. Peter, Lk. 22:31-32; Jno. 21:15-17.
2. We must repent to serve God in sincerity and truth, Josh. 24:14.
1. Many additional lessons from Jonah. But, these echo from the belly of the great fish, teaching us to honor and fear God.
2. Obey Him without reservation, but with thanksgiving and assured faith, that He delivers us from every trial.
3. He has work for us to do! Let us be vigilant to do it!
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: October 10, 2017