Sinful Man Fleeing A Merciful God

Sinful Man Fleeing A Merciful God

Deacon Chengji - 26 June 2021

Sinful Man Fleeing A Merciful God

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Jonah Flees From the Lord

Jonah 1:4-16

4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 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. 6 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.”

11 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?”

12 “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.”

13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 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.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

Am I asleep?

  • Sleeping to escape from God
  • Not waking from our “dreams”
  • What about the perishing?



Jonah’s prayer

Jonah 2:2-9

“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.

7 “When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”


Have I “died”?

  • Made to “die” so that we remember the Lord
  • Made to remember the Lord so that we die to ourselves


Galatians 2:20 

 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”


Romans 6:4

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’



Jonah Goes to Nineveh

Jonah 3:3-4

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

Jonah 3:7-9

7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

Who knows what God will do?

  • Who knows … when we trust and obey?

We know that  “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)

We know, “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Look at the birds of the air; …. and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26)

  • Who knows … when we repent?


Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.


Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion

Jonah 4: 5-11

5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

What has God provided?

  • Give thanks for the comforts
  • Give thanks for the trials


Hebrews 12:11

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.



What does it mean for the modern-day messenger of the Good News?


773-756 BC 722 BC


654- 612 BC Likely 500 -400 BC

After Babylonian exile

Jonah preaching Assyria’s conquest of Israel Nineveh
Book of Jonah written
King Jeroboam II (786-746 BCE) Prophecy in
Hos 11:5
Prophecy in
Nah. 3:1-19


Why was it written?

  • What hope is there in the never-ending cycle of sin and repentance?
  • How is God using the gentiles and what is God’s heart for them?
  • How can God be merciful and just at the same time?


What hope is there in the never-ending cycle of sin and repentance?


Final and complete sacrifice for our sins


Jesus Christ

How is God using the gentiles and what is God’s heart for them?

Eg. Ruth, Jonah 

Salvation will come to the gentiles

by grace through faith.

How can God be merciful and just at the same time? But He was pierced for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities


3 takeaways

  • Love even your enemies
  • Love also the outsider
  • Obedience > Outcomes


Deacon Chengji
Deacon Chengji

Deacon Chengji is currently studying at Singapore Bible College. He joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a ministry staff in 2013. He is married to Preacher Huijun.

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