LESSONS FROM A DISOBEDIENT LIFE (JONAH 1:1-17)

Jonah ministered to the Lord during the reign of Jeroboam II (2Kgs.14:24-25).
Jonah was a prophet from the Northern Galilee region, something the religious leaders in Jesus’ day failed to notice when they accused those who followed Jesus saying, ‘No prophet has ever risen from the Galilee.’
The context of Jonah’s calling to go to Nineveh & preach to the Assyrians surrounds the fact that they were a wicked people & Jonah knew that if they repented, God would show mercy.  
That would be equivalent to sending John Elway to preach repentance to Raider Nation, first to Oakland, then to Los Angeles, & Lost Vegas.
So, Jonah got up & found a boat headed for Tarshish approximately 3,000 miles from where God told him to go.
But through a series of events, a storm at sea, fearful sailors & a sleepy disobedient saint, Jonah confessed his sin & was thrown overboard & swallowed by a great fish.
Some doubt the authenticity of the tale, smelling something fishy, or finding it hard to swallow. 
Yet, to make it easier for us to believe, Jesus Himself stamped the ministry of Jonah as authentic, using it as a sign of the most significant event in His own ministry. (His resurrection.)
Jesus said (Matthew 12:40) ‘For as Jonah was 3 days & 3 nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be 3 days & 3 nights in the heart of the earth.’
We Learn Seven Lessons from Jonah’s Disobedience 
(1) Disobedience Always Leads Down. (V.3,5) 
-He went DOWN to Joppa, & DOWN into the lower parts of the ship.
(2) Favorable Circumstances do not make Disobedience to God Okay. (V.3) 
-Jonah found a ship headed EXACTLY where he wanted to go!
(3) God’s Will is Determined by His Word, not by Our So-Called Peace. (V.5) 
-Jonah was fast ASLEEP in the lower part of the ship. Probably from spiritual exhaustion.
(4) Disobedience Always has a Price. (V.3) 
-Jonah paid the fare to board the ship.
(Someone) said, 'Sin always takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, & costs you more than you want to spend.' 
(Wiersbe) “In spite of all the blessings God gave to King Saul, & all the opportunities to grow spiritually, because of Saul’s disobedience to God’s Word...he first lost his dynasty (13:11) & then his kingdom (15:24) & finally he lost his crown.’ 
(5) Disobedience Unfavorably Affects Other People. (V.4-5) 
-The sailors tossed their wares into the sea.
(6) Disobedience Harms our Christian Witness before the World. (V.10) 
-Jonah missed an opportunity to share of His God to unbelievers.
(7) Disobedience Hinders our Prayer Life. (V.6) 
-There’s no record of Jonah ever praying when asked by the sailors.
Jonah sought to get away from God’s presence. No doubt he was aware of David’s writing in Psalm 139 where we’re told there is nowhere we can run from God’s presence. But when our minds and hard heads are bent on disobedience, how easy it is to forget the clear truth in God’s Word. 
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, & dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, & Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalms 139:7-10)
God can take any of us, no matter how discouraged & defeated we may be, & make out of us something wonderful for His glory.
No matter how far we think we’ve wandered away from God’s plan & purpose for us, God allows u-turns & He is ready to receive you when you return. 
(J. Oswald Sanders) said: “The place on Jesus’ breast is still vacant, & open to any who are willing to pay the price of deepening intimacy. We are now & will be in the future, only as intimate with God as we really choose to be." 
May the Lord draw us ever closer to Him as we realize that only what’s done for Christ is lasting!