Sermon on Jonah: God's Call, Rebellion to Redemption Jonah 1-4

Sermon on Jonah: God's Call, Rebellion to Redemption Jonah 1-4

A journey through the Book of Jonah, a tale of God's relentless pursuit of His wayward prophet. Jonah's story, filled with lessons of obedience, repentance, and God's boundless mercy, reminds us of our own need to heed God's call.

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I. God's Call to Jonah (Jonah 1:3)

In Jonah 1:3, we read, "But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish." God's call to Jonah was clear: go to Nineveh and deliver a message of repentance. However, Jonah's response was to flee in the opposite direction. Sometimes, like Jonah, we may resist God's call due to fear, discomfort, or our own plans.

II. Jonah's Flight (Jonah 1:3-4)

Jonah's decision to flee from God's call led him to board a ship bound for Tarshish. But as we see in Jonah 1:4, the Lord sent a great wind and a violent storm. Jonah's flight had consequences not only for himself but for those around him. When we run from God's call, it can affect not only our lives but also those connected to us.

  • The importance of responding to God’s call boldly (Jeremiah 1:4-8; Eph. 6:19)
  • We must answer God's call without excuses (Luke 14:18).

III. The Storm (Jonah 1:11-15)

In the midst of the storm, the sailors cast lots to determine who was responsible for this calamity. Jonah admitted his disobedience and told them to throw him into the sea. Jonah's disobedience brought a storm into his life, but his honesty with the sailors showed a glimmer of repentance. We too may find ourselves in storms of our own making, but it's in those moments that we can turn back to God.

  • Many sow winds and reap storms (Hos. 8:7)
  • What does a lazy man bring into his house (Pr 6:6-11)?
  • He who troubles his house will inherit the wind, and the fool will be the servant of the wise in heart (Pr 11:29).
  • Storms of Deception (Eze 13:1-16)

IV. Jonah's Prayer in the Belly of the Fish (Jonah 1:17; Jonah 2:1-10)

As Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, he cried out to God from the depths of his despair. Jonah's prayer in Jonah 2 reveals his acknowledgment of God's sovereignty and his repentant heart. It was in the belly of the fish that Jonah experienced a transformation. Sometimes, God allows us to reach our lowest point to bring about our repentance and renewal.

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V. Jonah's Repentance (Jonah 2:9)

In Jonah 2:9, we see Jonah's prayer from the belly of the fish. It's a prayer of desperation, acknowledging his rebellion against God. Jonah recognized his need to repent and turn back to the Lord. We, too, must recognize our own shortcomings and turn to God in sincere repentance.

  • Repentance begins in the heart. Jeremiah 31:18-19; Hosea 7:14-16; Joel 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11
  • Repentance involves the admission of sin. 2 Chronicles 7:12-14; 1 John 1:9; Matthew 3:6-8
  • Repentance requires action.Galatians 2:20; Psalm 51; Acts 9:2-22
  • God must grant repentance. Acts 11:18; 2 Peter 3:9

VI. God's Second Call to Jonah (Jonah 3:1-2)

After Jonah's repentance, God called him a second time, reissuing the command to go to Nineveh. This demonstrates God's grace and willingness to give us another chance, even after we've strayed. God's call often persists, inviting us to fulfill our purpose.

VII. The People of Nineveh Repent (Jonah 3:5-9)

Remarkably, when Jonah obeyed and delivered God's message to Nineveh, the entire city, from the greatest to the least, repented. Their genuine repentance moved God's heart, showing us the power of genuine contrition and God's willingness to forgive.

  • Preaching that produces respect for God (Nehemiah 8:5-6).
  • Read the book of Psalms and observe reverence and respect for God.
  • Preaching that can be understood (Nehemiah 8:7-8,12).
  • The objective of preaching is the salvation of souls. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
  • Paul spoke with great boldness (clarity) of speech. (2 Corinthians 3:12)
  • Preaching that applies to current needs (Nehemiah 8:13-14).

VIII. The Lesson of Mercy and Forgiveness (Jonah 4:1-2)

Despite the miraculous repentance of Nineveh, Jonah's heart remained hardened. In Jonah 4:1-2, he expressed his displeasure and anger with God's mercy. God used a plant to teach Jonah a vital lesson about compassion and forgiveness. It's a reminder that God's mercy knows no bounds, and we should rejoice when others find forgiveness.

Sermon on Jonah: God's Call, Rebellion to Redemption Jonah 1-4
  1. Sermon on Fear of God: A Foundation for Wisdom and Obedience
  2. Sermon on Unity inthe Church 
  3. Sermon on John 9: What happens when the blind man meets Jesus?


The story of Jonah reminds us that God's call is unrelenting. It shows us the consequences of disobedience and the beauty of repentance. Jonah's journey from running away to crying out in the belly of the fish paints a picture of God's mercy and His willingness to give us second chances.

May we learn from Jonah's story to heed God's call, even when it leads us outside our comfort zones. Let us remember that God is both just and merciful, and when we turn back to Him in repentance, He is ready to redeem and use us for His divine purposes.

The story of Jonah is a poignant reminder of the human struggle with obedience and repentance, and God's unwavering love and forgiveness. Jonah's journey from rebellion to redemption illustrates God's call, our response, and the transformative power of genuine repentance.

As we reflect on Jonah's story, let us remember that God's call persists, His mercy is boundless, and our repentance opens the door to His forgiveness and grace. May we respond to His call with obedience and experience the transformative power of His love.

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John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NVI)