SERIES: ...but God
MESSAGE: You Can Run…but God
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 1-2

MESSAGE SUMMARY
I’ll bet you played hide-and-seek as a kid (or as a parent with your kids). After a while, you get really creative in finding places to hide. But can you imagine actually trying to hide from God? This is the story of a prophet of God who found out that you can run but you can’t hide. As Jonah runs from the call of God, God pursues him. In this scene we discover three principles every one of us should remember.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: Sunday, May 27, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "You Can Run…but God"
Text: Jonah 1-2

Path

I'll bet you played hide-and-seek as a kid (or as a parent with your kids). After a while, you get really creative in finding places to hide. But can you imagine actually trying to hide from God? This is the story of a prophet of God who found out that you can run but you can't hide. As Jonah runs from the call of God, God pursues him. In this scene we discover three principles every one of us should remember.

  1. God's Call Doesn't Guarantee Our Success
  2. Knowing Truth Doesn't Mean Doing Truth
  3. Your Willfulness Won't Stop God's Will
Points

God's Call Doesn't Guarantee Our Success
Knowing Truth Doesn't Mean Doing Truth
Your Willfulness Won't Stop God's Will
Practice

Connect Up: The story of Jonah contains many attributes (characteristics) of God. Here are a few to discuss:
What other attributes of God are found in the story of Jonah? Find and download a list of God's attributes here.1

Connect In: What can the story of Jonah teach the church today? For instance, how does Jonah teach us to love the unlovable? Who are the unlovable in our world today (terrorists, murderers, politicians, people with different beliefs, etc.)?

Connect Out: What can Jonah teach us about God's heart to seek and save the lost? Furthermore, what can the story teach us about our own heart regarding the unsaved? What is our role in reaching the world for Christ, both proclaiming—and showing—God's love and mercy?

1Kay Arthur, Precept Ministries International, "Attributes of God," December 15, 2016, https://www.precept.org/resources/attributes-of-god/, accessed 05/27/18.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. The phrase "but God" appears forty-five times in the Bible, and "but the Lord" another sixty times
    2. These words consistently usher in great change
    3. No matter who you are, what you've done, or how you've failed, God can make things different for you going forward
    4. God is active in the affairs of this world
  2. God's Call Doesn't Guarantee Our Success
    1. Jonah's is the story of a man who ran from God and the God who ran after the man—a prodigal prophet and a pursuing God
      1. Jonah ran in three phases: from God, to God, and with God
      2. That can be our testimony, too
    2. God called Jonah to Nineveh
      1. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria
      2. 550 miles northeast of Jerusalem, where Jonah was in Israel
    3. Jonah sailed to Tarshish instead
      1. The southwest coast of Spain
      2. Jonah went as far away as he could to avoid God's calling
    4. God has placed a calling on every believer's life (see 1 Corinthians 1:26; Ephesians 4:1)
    5. Jonah did eventually go to Nineveh, and with great success (see Jonah 3)
      1. A lot of time was wasted; a lot of pain was endured
      2. The text mentions Jonah went down three times, and Jonah also went down spiritually, away from God's will
      3. When you go your own way, you never get to the destination but you pay the fare (see Jonah 1:3); when you go God's way, you always get to the destination and God pays the fare
    6. Why did Jonah run?
      1. It was too difficult a journey and too difficult a task for a Hebrew prophet to speak to Ninevites
      2. It was too dangerous; Nineveh was known for its brutality (see Jonah 1:2)
      3. It was too disdainful (see Jonah 3:10-4:3)
        1. Jonah knew God's message would work, that God would forgive the Ninevites
        2. Jonah was angry, bitter, and racist; he preferred bitterness to forgiveness
      4. Can anyone flee from God's presence? (see Psalm 139:7-10)
  3. Knowing Truth Doesn't Mean Doing Truth
    1. Jonah knew the will of God; Jonah knew the Word of God
    2. Jonah's words were bathed in Bible truth, but Jonah's actions were bathed in bitter self-will
    3. Exposure to Scripture is no guarantee of a godly life
      1. John 13:17
      2. The joy is in the doing, not in the knowing (see Luke 6:46)
    4. Sometimes we don't believe what we believe
      1. Our prescribed theology says, "Jesus is Lord"
      2. Our practical theology says, "I am lord when His lordship conflicts with my desire"
  4. Your Willfulness Won't Stop God's Will
    1. Jonah went to Nineveh
    2. If God wanted Nineveh reached, it would be reached whether by Jonah or someone else (see Esther 4:14)
    3. God is in the business of using the most unlikely people (see 1 Corinthians 1:27)
  5. Closing
    1. If God's still, small voice won't work with you, you may want to buy storm insurance
    2. Jacob wrestled with the Lord all night long and ended up with a limp for the rest of his life (see Genesis 32:24-32)
    3. God demonstrates severe mercy as well as "harsh discipline" (Proverbs 15:10)
    4. The quicker you listen to and obey God's call, the better off and happier you'll be
Figures referenced: Ashurbanipal, Adolf Hitler, Tiglath-Pileser

Cross references: Genesis 32:24-32; Esther 4:14; Psalm 139:7-10; Proverbs 15:10; Jonah 1-2; 3:1-4:3; Luke 6:46; John 13:17; 1 Corinthians 1:26-27; Ephesians 4:1

Topic: Obedience

Keywords: bitter, calling, discipline, mercy, prodigal, prophet, theology, will


You Can Run…but God - Jonah 1-2 | SkipHeitzig.com/4315
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