Forest Park Church
Storm of Conviction
August 29, 2021

Storm of Conviction

August 29, 2021

So often we look to the old testament as non-relevant or simply historical, yet God wishes it to be so much more. Through its pages we find stories like that of Ruth which inspire and motivate our hearts to a closer relationship. Still other stories point out our own weaknesses and failings and challenge us to consider our own situation today.

This Sunday we will begin a new series through yet another OT book named after the protagonist the book of Jonah.

When you look at the book of Jonah and its place in the Bible, it, seems to be in the wrong section. It seems strange that it’s stuck among the books we call Prophets.

    Jonah 1

    1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

    3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

    4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.

    But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

    7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

    9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

    10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

    11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”

    12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”

    13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

    Jonah buys a ticket and jumps a boat for Spain.

    • The boat puts out to sea. Jonah would have been feeling rather confident as they pulled up the anchor and set sail.

    • But that confidence was about to be shattered.

    • God sends a storm.

    The sailors all begin to pray to their foreign gods.

    • They finally decide to cast lots to find out who is responsible for the storm.

    • The lot falls on Jonah.

    • He tells them he is running away from God and that the only way to calm the storm is to throw him overboard.

    • The sailors are not willing to do that – they don’t want to be responsible for taking his life. And you can understand that.

    • If Jonah being there can cause that storm imagine what KILLING him could do! They try to row the boat to shore to save his life – and theirs.

    • Finally, when the storm becomes even more fierce, they agree to throw him over.

    • Jonah knew the storm was his fault. He knew that he deserved to be thrown over.

    • Jonah is thrown into the sea where he is swallowed by a huge fish.

    Contrasting Attitudes

    There are some amazing contrasts in this passage between Jonah and those around him: –

    • The pagan boat captain has to tell Jonah the prophet to pray –

    • The pagan sailors work to save Jonah’s life when * he had endangered theirs –

    • The sailors begin to worship the true God while Jonah’s running away from God

    • The sailors understand the seriousness of Jonah’s disobedience better than he does

    I. Convicted of

    Vs. 14

    Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

    So many of the Old testament Authors we convicted of the greatness of God!

    “…from beginning to end, You are God” (Psalms 90:2 ).

    “For I am the LORD your God… I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44).

    “Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain You” (1 Kings 8:27).

    “Great is our Lord and mighty in power…” (Psalms 147:5).

    “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit”(Psalms 147:5)

    “The LORD is righteous in everything He does; He is filled with kindness” (Psalms 145:17).

    “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD–glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).

    “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).

    When we are convicted of Gods greatness we are convicted of our smallness.

    II.

    When we are trying to run from God, I believe He often times he sends a storm to bring us around.

    9. He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

    10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

    What Jonah forgets is that you can’t run from God!

     

    Psalm 139

    7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?

    8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

    if I make my bed in the depths, [1] you are there.

    9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

    if I settle on the far side of the sea,

    10 even there your hand will guide me,

    your right hand will hold me fast.

    Jeremiah 31:19

    After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.”

    Although Jeremiah used repentance in a slightly different way than most of the other authors in the Bible, he does show that there is shame, humiliation, and disgrace that come after repentance.

    II. Peter 3:9

    The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

    Hebrews 12:2

    We must focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

    We must fix our eyes on Jesus-

    • Fix our eyes on the love of God.

    • We must be rooted and grounded in Him; be firmly persuaded of Him, knowing that nothing can separate us from Him.

    • Nothing can separate us from the covenant and promises of God.

    • The covenant of God performed in Christ Jesus and the promises delivered by His blood are powerful, firm and sure.

    • We can depend on the faithfulness of God to make them good and to perform them in our lives.

    • We can depend upon Him as our Savior laying all our problems and stress upon His redemptive grace, relying on His righteousness for our justification and atonement.

    • He will supply all our needs, bear all our sorrows, and comfort all our burdens.

    • He is our preservation and we must depend upon Jesus, and trust in Him for protection and defense.

    Matthew 6:33

    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

    Conclusion:

    Colossians 1:28

    So we continue to preach Christ to each person, using all wisdom to warn and to teach everyone, in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature person in Christ.”

    Dictionaries usually define conviction as a fixed or strong belief. Conviction is really much more than that. Your convictions include your values, commitments, and motivations. I like the definition I once heard Howard Hendricks give: “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!” Our convictions determine our conduct. They motivate us to act in certain ways.

     

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