We at Center Hill begin a short 5 or 6 week series on the book of Jonah during our Sunday Morning worship. My intention, as Pastor, was to continue in our series from the pastoral Epistles after the break we took to study biblical ordination. However, the Lord has brought the prophet Jonah to my mind on numerous occasions during the past month or so and I have become aware of the rich doctrine taught in the book named for him. The doctrines of God’s sovereignty, mercy and love.
We began this past Sunday with an overview of the book and I posed a question to our folks during the message and then later in our adult Sunday School class. Do you believe in the sovereign rule of God over all matters? We say we do even if we only have the most rudimentary understanding of the gospel. It is actually the very foundation of our hope. We hold to the truth that even during the worst of life’s calamities, there sits on the throne of the universe an omnipotent, good God in control working all things for His glory and our good. It is the very bedrock of our hope in times of trouble.
But do we really believe in God’s sovereign rule when His will comes into conflict with the obstinate disobedient human will? You’ve heard it said from the young lady considering marriage, “I now he doesn’t claim Christ, but we love each other. I know what God’s word says, that I’m not to marry him, but I don’t care. It will work out”. What about God’s sovereign rule in that case? Or what about “I know I should apologize and ask for their forgiveness but I just can’t, I just can’t. I was wrong and I know God’s word says I should make this right but I just can’t talk with him, I won’t”. What about God’s sovereign rule in that case? It seems that man’s will trumped God’s, right?
Jonah is told by God to go east to Nineveh because He had a purpose for him there but instead Jonah said ‘no, I’m going west’. And so he does and even pays his own fare for this disobedience, amazing. But turn loose the Hound of Heaven and watch stubborn grace at work. Watch as a sovereign God controls the forces of nature, appoints fish, a plant and a worm, and changes the hearts of a vicious murderous people from haters of God to lovers of God. His will will not be frustrated.
Join us for this series as we look deeper into the attributes of God and see His merciful, loving control over His creation to bring about His perfect will of redeeming a people for Himself in spite of His disobedient children, unbelieving bystanders and pagan idolaters.
soli deo gloria