07/10/16 – Neighbors Who Are Strangers

Jonah 1:1-17 ESV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. 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. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” 7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:1-10 ESV
1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2 saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,and he answered me;out of the belly of Sheol I cried,and you heard my voice. 3 For you cast me into the deep,into the heart of the seas,and the flood surrounded me;all your waves and your billowspassed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I am driven awayfrom your sight;yet I shall again lookupon your holy temple.’ 5 The waters closed in over me to take my life;the deep surrounded me;weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains.I went down to the landwhose bars closed upon me forever;yet you brought up my life from the pit,O Lord my God. 7 When my life was fainting away,I remembered the Lord,and my prayer came to you,into your holy temple. 8 Those who pay regard to vain idolsforsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgivingwill sacrifice to you;what I have vowed I will pay.Salvation belongs to the Lord!” 10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

A.Jonah was a prophet of God and deeply patriotic Israelite.
B.Jonah tries to quit on God when asked to share the Gospel with Nineveh.
C.Hate for Nineveh meant Jonah would rather die apart from God than to see a single person in Nineveh die with Him.

A.God will not let Jonah quit or die.
B.Why did it have to be Jonah?
1.To teach Jonah and us about grace and sovereignty.
2.Because we are called to reach people, not specific kinds of people with Gospel.

A.It is not the job of the white church to reach whites and the black church to reach blacks.
B.Churches are not multi-ethnic because our friendships are not multi-ethnic, which is a subtle form of racism.
C.To not intentionally pursue multiethnic friendships is to intentionally ignore multiethnic eternities.

1.Don’t let fear keep you having neighbors who are strangers.


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