Writings on Christianity

Jonah 2 Sermon

Here’s the outline for my sermon on Jonah 2, preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship on 1/22/23. Audio can be found here.

Jonah 2 “God’s Saving Mercy” (1/22/23)
Imagine you live in an area where there are pools of quicksand.
      -You’ve been given stern warns not to go to a certain path because of danger of quick.
                  -But you refuse to listen, and choose to go anyway. And to your horror, one day, all alone, you fall into one!
                              -There’s no around and it looks like certain death, a death due partly to your own pride and arrogance.
                                          -But at the last time second, someone comes to your rescue and saves you!
                                                      -How would you feel? Full of joy and relief. You’ve experienced a kind of saving mercy.
      -What we see today is God’s mercy to us in the gospel is a SAVING mercy. It is a mercy that saves from certain peril.
                  M.S.: “Because God’s mercy is a saving mercy, we have reason to rejoice and encouragement to pray.”
RECAP: Jonah 1: God’s call on prophet Jonah, Jonah’s disobedience, God’s pursuit in storm, sailor’s conversion, and Jonah in sea.          
-LAST WEEK: Unexpected Mercy of God: Sailors converted; Jonah prevented from further disobedience.
      –TODAY: Saving mercy of God. God’s mercy is the kind of mercy that is powerful enough to save us.
Jonah’s deliverance from death; Jonah’s prayer after being delivered from death
                  “Because God’s mercy is a saving mercy, we have reason to rejoice and encouragement to pray.”

I. Jonah’s Deliverance: God’s Saving Mercy Gives Us Reason to Rejoice! (1:17)
In 1:17 we learn of how God showed mercy to Jonah saved him from certain death of drowning.
      -God’s mercy to Jonah was a saving mercy.-GOD, acted: “the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah”
-God is powerful, and has power over the greatest beasts of the Earth and stars in the universe.
                              -This is not a myth, but it is a miracle, brought about by God saving Jonah.
 -Jonah spent 3 days and nights in “belly of the fish”
       -This is a miracle of deliverance and preservation.
*APPLICATION: God’s Saving Mercy gives us REASON TO REJOICE!
      -We experience this saving mercy in the gospel, as God powerfully saves us from sin, spiritual death, and hell. Titus 3:3-7
                  -We rejoice because God’s mercy is powerful enough to deliver us.
                  -We rejoice because God’s mercy comes to us even when as we don’t deserve it: He is gracious.
Many need this mercy, but do not realize it.
      -Our sins make us spiritual dead and we deserve hell.
                  -If you have not trusted in Christ as your savior, your soul is danger of eternal hell.
Believer: Many Christians forget that God’s mercy is the kind that saves, and thus struggle to rejoice in God. 
      -We beat ourselves up over our failures and sins, instead of remembering the saving mercy shown to us in Christ
                  -Dwell long this week on how God’s mercy to your is a saving mercy. Think again about this and rejoice.
                              “Because God’s mercy is a saving mercy, we have reason to rejoice!”

II. Jonah’s Prayer: God Saving Mercy Gives Us Encouragement to Prayer (2:1-10)
In this section we read about the prayer Jonah prayed from the belly of the great fish (2:1).
      -This is prayer is kind of a psalm, where Jonah reflects on almost dying, crying out to God, and experiencing God’s saving mercy
                  -ENCOURAGES us to pray to God in our distress.

-V2 SUMMARY STATEMENT: Jonah Crying out and God Answering Him (READ v2)
       -Jonah was about to drown (distress, belly of Sheol) and he cried out to God in prayer and God heard him.
-We do this initially at conversion: we call out to God in faith, in the distress of our sins. God hears!
                              -But throughout our life: we experience more distress in our lives, but we call out to God for help.
                                          –REMEMBER THIS: God does hear your prayers. Keep praying to Him!
                                                     -The Christian life is one of constantly praying, and experiencing fresh help from God.
-Jonah recognized God was behind his circumstances
     -“you cast me into the deep…your waves and your billows passed over me.”
                 -God brings discipline to His children, but it is done in love. (Heb 12:11)
                             –NOTE: Some of our suffering and trials are due to our sin—God disciplines us. But not all due to discipline.                                            -Some of our suffering for other reasons—God’s sovereign purposes.
                                                     –PRAY: Lord, if this is discipline, help me to submit to you, repent, and follow you.
                                                                  -If it is for other reasons, help me to trust you with my suffering. Help me in it!

-Jonah Felt a Sense of Despair:
 4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight;
     –SURPRISE: Jonah’s sorrow is being relationally distant from God (a result of his sin)
                 -Unique experience of Christians: the worst thing for us is not death or suffering, but being far from God!
                      -QUESTION: Is that true of you? Has God so worked in your heart that you want to be close to Him above all?
-Jonah has hope:
yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’
-SURPRISE: even in the darkest situation, he recognizes God will make things right.
                 -We too can have hope in our darkest hour. ‘Behind a frowning providence he hides a smiling face’ (Cowper)
                             -The promises of God (eternal life, God’s care for us) offer unshakeable hope in face of suffering.v 5-7 JONAH’S PLIGHT AND DELIVERANCE
-Jonah’s plight poetically described (5-6a)
-Enter into the darkness with Jonah as he DESCENDED down in the sea (READ 5-6a).
                 -In the darkest PLACE, Jonah cried out to God (and so can WE!)
Jonah’s DELIVERANCE (6b): yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.
-God is the one who brought deliverance for Jonah, and rescued him from drowning.
-Jonah’s Desperation (7a)
7 When my life was fainting away,
-Jonah was about to die at the bottom of Mediterranean Sea.
                 -“When”: During the darkest TIME of his life Jonah cried out to God (and SHOULD WE!).
-Jonah’s Prayer Came to God (7b) I remembered the LORD, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.
-Jonah prayed to God and God heard him!
-Futility of idolatry (8)
Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 
-“vain idols” things we trust in instead of God
                 -Consequence: “forsake their hope of steadfast love” (covenant love)
-Jonah’s New Resolve (9a)9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay.
-Jonah resolved to serve the LORD and be faithful to Him.
                 -God is kind to do that to us too: a new chance to follow and obey Him.

-Jonah gives a summary statement: 
Salvation belongs to the LORD!”
-This summarizes his whole experience.
                  -Also a key summary for Christian Faith: God is the one who saves us, not us. (Eph 2:8-9)

      -Keep praying to God, especially in your times of distress.
                  “Because God’s mercy is a saving mercy, we have reason to rejoice and encouragement to pray.”

III. The Sign of Jonah: God’s Saving Mercy Finds its Fulfillment in the Gospel (Matt 12:38-41)
Jesus referred to this chapter and connected with his own death and resurrection.
      –READ Matt 12:38-41
-The SIGN of Jonah
      -Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights.
      -Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days!
                  –BRUCKNER: “A place that ought to have been a place of death became a place of deliverance and life”
-Jesus offered a saving mercy to all who came to him in faith.
      -Jesus died for our sins, out of mercy and love for sinners.
                  -How do we know his sacrifice was enough? How do we know his mercy is a REALLY saving?
                              -We know through the sign of Jonah. The resurrection of Jesus shows it worked!
APPLICATION: Look again to the death and resurrection of Jesus and rejoice in God’s saving mercy.

CONCLUSION: “Because God’s mercy is a saving mercy, we have reason to rejoice and encouragement to pray.”

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *