Daniel Fast 2023

hc_logoHOPE Community

Message Text

Jonah 1:1-16

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 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. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 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. 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.” 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. 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?” He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 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.) 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?” “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.” Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 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.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

Message Notes

1. Grace seeks out wickedness.

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

God solicited Jonah to preach judgement to Nineveh to give them a chance to repent.

In the New Testament Jesus is ridiculed for the same generous grace when he seeks out tax collectors and sinners.

2. God wants to extend grace to the people we don’t want to.

The people of Nineveh were enemies with the Jewish people. They were known as brutal torturers. Jonah knew God’s mercy could reach the people of Nineveh and they would be spared so he fled rather than give them a chance at Grace.

Jonah would have rather watched them suffer as a result of judgement than see them repent.

3.God gives us grace for running.

Grace looks extremely difficult sometimes. For Jonah grace was being thrown overboard and swallowed by a fish.

The grace for the prodigal son was a pig pin.

Difficult times can be the grace of God moving you back into His Perfect will for your life.

Luke 15:15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever noticed that God oftentimes seeks out people for grace that we only believe deserve judgement?
  2. Share a time where someone in your life received grace when you thought they deserved judgement?
  3. Have you ever experienced running grace? You were disobeying God and you thought you were being judged but it turns out that the fish was God’s grace.
  4. Why don’t we see the fish as the Grace of God at the begining?
  5. Talk about how God extends Grace to us in order to ultimately extend it to someone else?