Rebellion’s Reasons. - Jonah 1:3 & 4:1-3.
November 8, 2022, 8:00 AM

 Tue., Nov. 8, 2022. -

Jonah 1:3

“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.”

Jonah 4:1-3

“But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”

Pride is close to selfishness. One rebels when he wants his own way and not God’s way. The thought of going to Nineveh was distasteful. Jonah couldn’t bring himself to do what God wanted because he didn’t like God’s plan. He didn’t like Nineveh. It was a wicked city. It was the capital of the Assyrian empire. It rose to world power during this time. They were the enemy of Israel.

Whenever we say no to God it is often a pride issue. We think we have a better plan or His will doesn’t make sense. When we become the judge of God, we better look within and see if we aren’t trying to replace Him and His wisdom with our own.

Secondly, the reason for rebellion was prejudice. Nineveh was full of godless people. They were pagans and worshipped idols. Today most church goers would much rather be with other Christians than with people who are sinners. The Gentiles were people of a different race and Jews don’t want anything to do with them.

The facts are: Lost people matter to God. He does not want us to remain so comfortable among the saved that we have no compassion for the lost. The longer people are Christians the harder it is to break the barrier of being friends with those who hold different values, different life styles and different morals. It would be easy for Jonah to say, “I don’t like those that are not God’s people and I don’t really want to be around them.”

Thirdly, there is fear. So many disobey God and rebel out of fear of others and fear of the unknown. Yet many will never share a testimony or speak up for God’s grace for fear people will reject them or laugh at them.

I can imagine Jonah also standing up in the midst of the ungodly people and think, “They are going to kill me.” Most of the disciples of Jesus backed off due to fear of what would happen to them and the only reason they became bold and obedient is that Jesus said “You will be with me immediately when you die.” Jesus took the fear away.

Also, Jonah was apparently enjoying a successful ministry as a prophet to his own people. He was accepted and loved where he felt comfortable. Now he was asked to leave his country to go and speak to a pagan area. where he is unknown, unloved, and unappreciated and discriminated against.

How many people would rather hang out in Christian circles and among people who are just like you instead of where you might be made fun of, among strangers and people that are very different? I would.

I understand the protests of Jonah. We hate change. When God calls us to do something uncomfortable, instead of obeying, we want to serve God on our terms. When you look into your own hesitancy to obey, how close do those reasons match up with Jonah?

Application: May we see disobedience within our hearts as rebellion against God.

Prayer: Lord, give to me the understanding of your truth and the courage to live it out regardless of my surroundings.