September 22, 2019
Scripture: Jonah 1:3-4
I. Sometimes God sends storms because we need to repent of sin.
A. In Jonah 1:3 we see that Jonah was trying to run away from God. Jonah wanted to rebel against God’s command, and the way he chose to rebel was to go in the opposite direction of where God commanded him to go. He went west to Tarshish instead of east to Nineveh. Notice how God responds to Jonah’s sin in vs. 4: “But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.” The storm was no coincidence. God sent it.
B. Why is God treating Jonah like an enemy to hurl a violent storm at? Because of Jonah’s sin. God then wants to get Jonah’s attention by sending this storm because Jonah has sinned. He wants Jonah to repent. Every sin will lead to a storm in our lives. That is true. But it is also true that not every difficult thing that comes into our lives is punishment for some particular sin that we have committed. That is the message of the book of Job. The Bible then does not say that every difficulty is the result of sin – but it does teach that every sin will bring you into difficulty.
C. Actions always have consequences. In 2 Samuel 12 we see the consequences for King David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then killed Bathsheba’s husband Uriah. Sin always leads to a storm. And yet we choose to sin anyway. We bring a storm from God down on ourselves because every sin necessarily will lead to a storm. God will send a storm so that you can repent of your sin and turn back to Him. Numbers 32:23: “But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.”
II. Sometimes God sends storms because we live in a fallen world.
A. In this story, who is the one who has sinned? It’s Jonah. He is clearly disobeying God. So, God hurls a violent storm at Jonah to get his attention. But is Jonah the only person on this ship? Is Jonah the only one enduring this storm? No. Verse 3 says that Jonah paid the fare to go on this ship so it was a commercial ship of some kind filled with sailors and others bringing goods and people to Tarshish. It was Jonah then who had sinned. But Jonah was not the only one suffering. The sailors on the ship were going through the violent storm with Jonah.
B. This world is broken. It is fallen because of sin. The world is not the way it is supposed to be. Sometimes, then, storms come into your life not because of your particular sin. Storms come into your life because of the unavoidable consequence of living in a fallen, troubled world. There is a question to ask when Christians go through a storm. What good will God bring out of this storm? God can even use a bad storm in this fallen world to bring good out of it for you. This is the promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Is it possible that there is love from God at the heart of any storm you are going through today? If you turn to God through faith in Christ, He will save you. He won’t let you drown in the storm, whether it is a storm caused by your own sin or by just living in a fallen and broken world.
Remember that God has good He wants to bring from your storm.
The book of Jonah
Commentaries on Jonah by Desmond Alexander and Tim Keller