Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jonah turned back to God and God got him back to dry land. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to turn back to God, as needed, and live like God is able to turn things around for us.
Read Jonah 2:1-3
I. Descriptions. Jonah is praying from inside the fish. He calls to the Lord in his distress. The Lord is pictured as listening to Jonah’s cry. Jonah talks about how the Lord hurled Him into the depths, and His waves swept over him.
- Praying in the fish. Notice in vss. 1-2 that Jonah prayed in the belly of the fish, and the Lord heard him. First, it is good to know that we can pray anytime and anywhere. We don’t have to wait until Sunday and be in the sanctuary.
Second, we should not wait until things get terrible in our lives before we pray. We should pray on a regular basis.
Third, God hears us. We are not just talking to ourselves. God will do what is best for His people. Let’s prayer like we trust that God is a prayer hearing and answering God. This kind of living should include regular praying and praying together with our church family.
- Repentance. Notice in vs. 3 that Jonah knew his troubles were because of his sins. On one hand, some of our trouble is not because of our sins. Sometimes we are going through our test, so we can have a testimony.
But on the other hand, there are times when our troubles are related to our sins. When this is the case, we should repent – turn to God from our sins. Let’s work on repenting, when sin is the cause of our troubles.
Read Jonah 2:4-6a
II. Despair. Jonah continues to describe his situation. On one hand, he talks about being banished from the Lord’s sight. But on the other hand, he talks about looking again to the holy temple.
- Hope. Notice in vs. 4 that Jonah had a glimmer of hope, even though he saw himself as banished from the Lord’s sight. In like manner, we should remind ourselves that no matter how bad things look, God can turn things around. God can move us from a terrible situation to a fabulous situation.
Let’s live like we have hope in God. Such living should be noted for confidence and obedience.
Read Jonah 2:6b-10
III. Declarations. Jonah talks about how the Lord brought his life up from the pit. The Lord is pictured as a prayer hearing God. Jonah talks about shouting praising to the Lord. He talks about keeping his vow. The Lord caused the fish to vomit Jonah up on dry ground.
- Memory and idols. Notice in vss. 7-8 that Jonah remembered the Lord. He also remembered that clinging to worthless idols turn people away from God’s love for them.
First, in order to remember, we must put something in our memories. Daily devotionals and active listening to Bible based sermons and teachings are great ways of putting things in our memory.
Second, we should avoid anything being all important in our lives except the Lord. At the end of the day, God is God all by Himself, and everyone and everything else are worthless idols.
Let’s live like we really understand the importance of memory development and avoiding worthless idols. Such living should be noted for intentionally putting some word of God in us. Such living should be noted for keeping God both number one and the only one in our lives.
- Jonah’s resolutions. Notice in vs. 9 that Jonah resolved to sacrifice to God with grateful shouts, to keep his vows, and to be a witness. In like manner, we should be so appreciative of God that we pay our tithes and give our offerings. We should be known for enthusiastic worship and praise.
We should be known for striving to keep our word. We can start with the marvelous ideas in our church covenant. We should work on being a witness for the Lord. Our witnessing should include giving serious effort to inviting and bringing people with us to worship and growth groups, so we can all grow together. Let’s work on giving, praising, keeping our word, and witnessing.
- Back to dry land. Notice in vs. 10 that God got Jonah back to dry land. In like manner, no matter how messed up our current situations may be, God is able to get us back to a great situation. In fact, God can take us to an even greater place. Let’s live like we trust that God is able to turn things around for us. Such living should be known for confidence, hope, and obedience.
Conclusion:, Let’s work on turning back to God, as needed, and living like God is able to turn things around for us. God has much for those who obey His will.
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