God in Pursuit #1

Jonah 1:1-17

Perhaps some of you have heard about a book called 'The God Chasers'. As a matter of fact, there is a complete ministry built around the book. It is based upon one of David's statements found in Psalm 63:8a, "My soul followeth hard after thee…" Now, I cannot endorse the book or the ministry, but the idea of seeking after God is certainly a worthy goal. Unfortunately, I find that most of the time it is just the other way around. God is seeking after His own, and aren't you thankful of that this evening? When I was lost, I didn't seek God at all. He came seeking after me, and He found me! "I once was lost but now I'm found!" It is also greatly encouraging to me that He continues to seek me. We are prone to wander and drift away from God, but God doesn't give up on us. He continues to pursue us. We have a wonderful illustration of God's pursuit in the life of Jonah the prophet. Jonah was not just a Bible story character, nor was his life simply a parable. According to 2 Kings 14:25, he was a real man, a prophet of God to Israel under the reign of Jeroboam II around 800 years before Christ.

I. Introduction

II. God Calls…Jonah Rebels

III. God Pursues Jonah v4-17

Rebellion is the refusal to do what God tells us to do. Did you notice that Jonah was willing to die rather than repent? Why didn't he heed the words of the shipmaster to call upon his God? The longer we stay in rebellion toward God, the harder it is to get back to where we need to be. We are all guilty to one extent or another. It may be that some of us would rather go to our grave rather than to go to our knees. But we don't have to! God is a merciful and loving God who desires that we turn to Him in repentance and obedience. Are you running from God tonight? Have you refused to obey His Word? Come to the Lord right now!