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Jonah 1:4-16. God’s Grace to Jonah & Sailors. “The Hound of Heaven,” by Francis Thompson.

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Jonah 1:4-16

God’s Grace to Jonah & Sailors


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“The Hound of Heaven,” by Francis Thompson

  • I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter. Up vistaed hopes I sped; And shot, precipitated, Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears, From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

  • But with unhurrying chase, And unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat - and a Voice beat More instant than the Feet - 'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me'.

  • Ipleaded, outlaw-wise, By many a hearted casement, curtained red, Trellised with intertwining charities; (For, though I knew His love Who followed, Yet was I sore adread Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)

  • ….


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“The Hound of Heaven” (2), Francis Thompson

  • That Voice is round me like a bursting sea: 'And is thy earth so marred, Shattered in shard on shard? Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me! Strange, piteous, futile thing! Wherefore should any set thee love apart? Seeing none but I makes much of naught' (He said), 'And human love needs human meriting: How hast thou merited - Of all man's clotted clay the dingiest clot? Alack, thou knowest not How little worthy of any love thou art! Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee, Save Me, save only Me?

  • All which I took from thee I did but take, Not for thy harms, But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms. All which thy child's mistake Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home: Rise, clasp My hand, and come!'

  • Halts by me that footfall: Is my gloom, after all, Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly? 'Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest, I am He Whom thou seekest! Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.'


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Jonah 1:4-16

God’s Grace to Jonah & Sailors


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v. 4-5 Context

  • God’s call: Get up, Go, Call upon Nineveh

  • Jonah’s disobedience

  • God’s storm (to redeem Jonah, Nineveh, Sailors)

  • Jonah’s apathetic sleep during sailor’s emergency(fear, crying out, jettisoned cargo)


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v.6 Call of the chief sailor

  • “What’s with you?”

    • (Exclamation of incredulity/ Request for resources)

  • God’s command resurfaces: Get up… Call

  • Similar calls from people in crisis.

  • How should a Christian deal with being called down by a non-Christian?


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v.7 Jonah is nailed

  • “Cast lots” - Lit. “make stones fall”

  • Caution: Done by pagans in ignorance.

  • Truth: Prov. 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap, but the outcome is the LORD's.”

  • Point: Num 32:23 “be sure your sin will find you out.”


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v.8 The sailors’ interrogation

  • What’s your occupation?

  • And from where do you come?

  • What’s your country?

  • And where are your people in it?


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v.9 Jonah’s testimony

  • Decision: Save pagans & confess? Save pride and clam up?

  • I am a Hebrew, and I fear Jehovah, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.

    • Only answers the last question = "I am a Christian"

    • Proper name of God (LORD / Jesus) Pagans pick it up.

    • One God over ALL challenges Pantheism (I Kings 20) - and Postmodern relativism.

    • Fear God (Sailors follow suite, and so should we.)


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v.9 Creation Evangelism

  • Creation implies authority.

    • Reassuring for new believers leaving behind securities.

  • Biblical starting point for evangelism:

    • Genesis, Acts 14 - Paul in Lystra, Acts 17 – Paul in Athens.

    • EE-TAOW - Muku tribe in Papua New Guinea.

  • Materialists proclaim Big Bang, we proclaim crea-tion, neither are science; it’s o.k. (ICR, AiG, CMI)


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v.9 Incomplete testimony

  • Incomplete evangelistic presentation on Southside.

  • “I fear” (not worship, trust, hear, forgiven by, loved)

  • Behavior undermined his message.

  • Greek mythology about Arion.

  • Don’t stop short!


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v.10-11 The horror of the sailors

  • Confession: Trying to flee from this God.

  • It is not too late to confess

  • Prov. 28:13 - He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

  • Ps. 32:5 - I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.


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v.10-11 The horror of the sailors

  • Confession: Trying to flee from this God.

  • It is not too late to confess (Prov. 28:13, Ps. 32:5)

  • Sailors scared to death. Fear as God’s “lever.”

  • “What do we do?” (Acts. 16:30 – Paul in Philippi)

  • Why did they have to remind Jonah of the storm?


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v.12 Jonah’s crazy conclusion

  • “Pick me up and throw me into the sea that the sea may cease from [tossing] you up, for I’m realizing that it’s on my account this great storm is upon you.”

    • Realizing the storm as God’s judgment for his sin.

    • Realizing death is the wages of sin, but no grace.

    • Not willing to obey God. Confession w/o repentance.

  • Solution? Distance self from sailors. (Other interpretations)


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v.13-14 Sensibility of the Sailors

“O please, Jehovah, don't let us die with this man's life, and do not put innocent blood upon us, for you, Jehovah, have done as you pleased.”

  • v.13 – Attempt to row to shore

    • Why not follow Jonah’s advice? (Euthanasia)

    • Why couldn’t they get to shore? (God’s lever)

  • v.14 – Prayer to God

    • Based on God’s justice, sovereignty, & their ignorance.


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v.15-16 God gets the sailors

  • v.15 The amazing stillness of the sea.

    • God’s 2 purposes for the storm fulfilled.

  • v.16 Sailors worship Jehovah

    • Fear (v.9 from instruction, v.10 from circumstances)

    • Sacrifice (from common grace)

    • Vow (to convert / to give to poor, common grace)


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Conclusion

  • Praise God for His relentless pursuit of us!

  • Fear Him

  • Confess AND Turn Away from sin

  • Speak of God’s authority as creator of all

  • Use the name of Jesus and complete the message


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