Alan Redpath (former Senior Pastor of The Moody Church from ‘53-‘62) famously said: “When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible man and crushes him.”
Pastor Redpath understood that certain kinds of traits that tend to get you ahead in life, like driven-ness, strength of will, self-confidence, and ambition. But, these things are spiritual liabilities until they’ve been tempered, chastened, and humbled.
Just as coal must be crushed to become a diamond, and gold must be purified in the fire, there is a brokenness we must learn if we’re ever to be useful to God. And that’s exactly what’s happening to Jonah. God crushes Jonah to temper him so that he can be useful.
In this sermon, we join Jonah as he finally comes to the end of himself and the beginning of his usefulness in ministry. There are four significant moments for Jonah’s redemption from this passage:
- Recognition: Jonah perceives the Lord’s discipline and begins to realize that God loves him enough to stop him in his tracks and bring him to the end of himself.
- Remembrance: Jonah remembers the Lord’s covenant. In the moment of Jonah’s greatest distress, when all hope seems lost, and he comes to the end of himself, it is God’s Word that comes to mind.
- Repentance: Jonah returns to the Lord’s steadfast love. He lays down his idols and returns to the hope of steadfast love.
- Redemption: Jonah glories in the Lord’s salvation. The only thing Jonah contributed to his salvation was his sin and rebellion and distress. Every ounce of his salvation belongs to the Lord and the Lord alone!
- There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.
- Salvation belongs to the Lord!
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