Rebellion and the Grace of Rebuke
Jonah 1:1-6

Title: Rebellion and the Grace of Rebuke

Jonah 1:1-6

Key Vs:2-3a

Big Idea:

When we rebel against God’s call, like Jonah, disastrous consequences follow. We should pursue the joy and fruit of immediate obedience.


5 Weeks in Jonah. Why Jonah? Several reasons.

  1. Concrete examples of sin and grace.

Sometimes those words lose their meaning as we can throw them around. Real examples.

    1. Sin-Running away from God (Physically and Inwardly through  Begrudging obedience to God)
    2. Grace-God’s pursuit and discipline of His prophet and His enemies.

Must understand these to understand the GOSPEL.


  • All of us can relate to Jonah.


All of us have or are running away from God. Either outright or inwardly. It’s a result of our broken nature.

Ex.) Adam and Eve-first sin lead them to run and hide.

All of us run and hide from God in certain areas of our life. Jonah was obedient in other areas. He was a prophet and listened and proclaimed God’s word. God confronted his nationalism, his bigotry, his hatred. All of us can relate to drawing lines with God and limited our obedience to conditional or being half-hearted and rebellious even though we’re doing what God asked.


  • We get to clearly see the love of God for a City.


B.L.E.S.S. Series.

Jonah shows us clearly God’s heart and mission to send His people out to great urban centers to proclaim His justice and grace. God is a sending God. He called Jonah to go to a city surrounded by idolatry, or worship of false gods, and proclaim the truth of both their evil and His grace.

God has placed us in St. Petersburg area. One of the most densely populated areas in the United States. People are moving here in the droves from the Mid-West and other countries. It’s a hot spot for young professionals and retired folks. #4 fastest growing places in U.S. (Tampa Bay Area). In the greater Tampa Bay we have around 3 million people whom God has put His church in the midst of.


Jonah 1:1-6

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil[a] has come up before me.” 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.

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. 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. 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.”

Big Idea:

When we disobey God’s call like Jonah disastrous consequences follow. We should pursue the joy and fruit of immediate obedience.


God’s Call-A Prophet’s Rebellion-Consequences of Rebellion

God’s Call

Who is Jonah?

  • More obscure-A Prophet of the North, Israel (along with Elijah, Elisha, Hosea—2 Kings 14 prophesies correctly about God giving victory to gain back land)  during the divided kingdom (800 years before Christ). A Prophet’s role to listen to God and speak truth, or else death via stoning.
  • Son of Amittai (Amittai means TRUTH) and is from Gath-Hepher. Jonah writes a book about himself and discloses the truth and reality about who He is. We hope because of the writing he has learned.
    • Conjecture about Jonah being the widows Son whom Elisha raised from the dead.

God’s word comes to Jonah:

Spirit of God spoke in great clarity to Jonah in very specific instances and details.

God clearly speaks to His people today. Through His word. We can read the Scripture and know that God is speaking and guiding us. God speaks to us through His Holy Spirit, though in a different way than Jonah. God also speaks to us through His people, the church. Do you believe that God still speaks, and calls you to act? Calls you to obey?

God’s word called Jonah to action:

“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city.”

  • God is a sending God. He’s not a staying God. From the Garden He is sending. He sent Adam out to subdue the world. He sent Abraham out to find a new home. He sent Moses out to find the promised land. He sent Jonah out to reach Nineveh. He sent Jesus into the world to reach us. He sends us into the world to make disciples and reach others. God’s sending call to go out into the world as His ambassadors and missionaries isn’t for a select and special “holy people/ missionaries/few”. It’s for all of us. God calls and commissions each one of us to this task right where we are at. Go out into your neighborhood, go out into your workplace, go out into your friends, go out into your city. His grace and love send us out…..

God’s word calls us to do what seems impossible:

  • Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil[a] has come up before me.
    • God called Jonah to go to Nineveh- Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrians. One of , if not the, largest city in the world- 2million people. 60 mile circumference. 100 ft. wall all around the city. 1500-200ft towers around the wall. The wall was wide enough to fit 3 chariots.
    • Nineveh was ruthless in battle. Forms of torture used: Bury people in sand with only head out to let them slowly torture before death…..would kill the men, rape the women, and tear out the infants from the mother’s womb to kill them….They had already wages war against Israel 3 times. Do you think there was some hatred and animosity here?
      • Immensely dangerous for Jonah-He risks his life by going.
      • Immensely humbling for Jonah– Goes against his national pride, his hatred for his enemies, his desire for revenge.

God’s word calls Him to make known God’s judgment and grace

  • “call out against it, for their evil[a] has come up before me”
    • God knows and see’s evil. He will bring judgment in His timing. He made known desired to make known to the city their impending fall if there wasn’t repentance. It was His grace to call them out.
      • Objective Truth will always offend subjective culture: Christianity will offend you! It offended Jonah (Grace and Mercy offended Jonah—Justice and Wrath often offend us).
      • God’s word calls us to proclaim the reality of our sin, of God’s judgment, of His grace through Jesus. We must use our words. “Faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.
        • Share your Story-

A Prophet’s Rebellion

The Heart of Sin

Jonah 4:1-2- But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.

The heart of Sin is Self-Authority. I’ll obey IF….

  • I’ll obey IF….you keep my health, my kids safety, my marriage, my income, my comfort, I fully understand everything.
    • When you begin to deny God’s authority…you’ll doubt God’s goodness which will cause you to ignore God’s GUIDANCE” Darrin Patrick.
  • Self-Righteous Pride– I deserve grace but they don’t. Pride in His Religion, Pride in His Nation…..
    • It’s ok FOR me….but not for THEM…I’m the exception….
      • My sin is the speck and theirs is the plank vs. Jesus (Ours is the PLANK theirs is the speck).
    • When grace is earned rather than freely given and received, obedience is conditional and is limited by the false god we truly worship.
      • Matthew 20:1-16- Jesus Parable about the Vineyard and Workers
        • A Danarius: Early, 9, Noon, 3 and 5.
          • First though they’d get more but got the same….God can choose to be gracious to whom He wills. Are we entitled?

The Actions of Sin

Jonah 4:3-“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.”

  • Flee from the presence of the Lord. Outwardly we run from God. Avoid His people, avoid the church, avoid His word. Try to run and hide.
    • Jonah ran the exact opposite direction from Nineveh (2500 miles the other way).
      • Trying to avoid and suppress the call of God upon your life. What you know He desires for you to do.
        • Engagement-Confession of Sin-Neighbors Roof.

God’s Discipline (Consequences of Rebellion)

  • There are always going to be ships to take you where you want to go! Always “Open Doors” for running away from God and justifying our actions. Opportunity for disobedience and sin ARE always going to abound.
    • Pornography—Adultery—Cheating—Selfishness (You deserve…..)
    • God doesn’t always stop you the MOMENT you disobey. Jonah went on a likely several day journey walking to the boat, he got on the boat and everything seemed fine for awhile. He thought he’d escaped and gotten away with it.

What are some of the affects of Jonah’s disobedience?

  • Down-ward Spiral (Goes down to Joppa-Down to the boat-down into the inner part of the boat and is asleep). Disobedience robs us of the peace and goodness we know of God. Active rebellion against God hinders our joy in the Lord, which is our strength. Leads to what’s the purpose….depression….
  • Apathy and Indifference to the pain and eternity of those right around you. Doesn’t even care about their salvation or their safety…
    • It also brings pain and difficult on those around him. Our disobedience doesn’t just affect us, but also the people around us.
  • Jonah brings discipline upon himself. Stuck in a storm. Unable to go where he wants. God brought the hammer. God’s gracefully stopped Jonah in his tracks. He knows how to get our attention.
    • Lost job – Broken Relationship – Loss of loved one – etc.

Why did God choose Jonah for this task?

  • God knows everything, He knew who Jonah was. He knew his struggles and prejudices. Why would God choose a prophet like this for this specific task?
    • GRACE- It’s God’s grace that REVEALS this in Jonah. He doesn’t leave Him like He is but is changing him, molding him.
      • God Disciplines those whom He loves-Hebrews 12.
    • – Fairy- Tale Story of witch who turns people who sleep comfortably into stone in her bed….servant girl who brings uncomfort to SAVE him… think it uncomfortable but you don’t know what your comfort would have brought you.
      • Calvin- “Though one may excel in heroic virtues, yet all his virtues are mere fumes, which shine before the eyes of men, except the object be to obey God. The call of God then, as I have said, holds the first place…” Obedience holds the first place. “…as to the conduct of men; and unless we lay this foundation, we do like him who would build a house in the air”
  • God’s grace of Rebuke often comes in the storms He brings into our lives.
    • Mt.7- Two Houses Built-God’s grace to reveal in this life, that you’re building on the wrong foundation, rather than waiting until it’s to late.
  • GOSPEL- Jesus stepped into the STORM of God’s wrath so you and I might have peace! Sign of Jonah is that God uses weak vessels to bring about His purposes and glory (Death to Life)



Yom Kippur- All Jewish people who celebrate read the book of Jonah and proclaim we are JONAH. The first place to get back is to admit we’re lost. Admit we’re running away, admit we’re lost for only then can we find help. It’s the person who refuses to admit that they’re lost that is truly and utterly lost!


  1. What does it look like to share God’s heart and concern for this city. How can we be the neighbors and bearer of good news that is so needed here?
  2. What areas are you running and hiding from God in? Where is He calling you into obedience…to go out…that you’re running from Him in?