Jonah’s Disobedience

On January 1, 1929, a young man named Roy Riegels was playing football for Georgia Tech against UCLA in the Rose Bowl. In the second half of that game UCLA fumbled or lost the ball and Roy picked it up. He quickly ran down the field as fast as he could, all the way to the goal li … More


The book opens with Jonah choosing to run away from God’s will for His life.

  1. Jonah chooses to go his own way (vv. 1-2). God tells him to go to Nineveh which was the capital of Assyria, and cry out against it for their great wickedness. Instead Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He did just the opposite of what God wanted.
  2. Jonah finds a ship going his own way (v. 3). “He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish.” It is amazing how Satan provides free transportation for those who are running away from God’s will. However, you can be sure a great storm is coming.
  3. Jonah has enough money to go his own way (v. 3). “ he paid the fare, and went down into it (the ship).” Notice that running away from God is expensive. Sin is costly and we pay our own way. The trip to Tarshish from Joppa was 2200 miles and took six months.
  4. Jonah had peace going his own way (vv. 4-5). “But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had laid down, and was fast asleep.” It was no ordinary sleep but was a deep heavy sleep. The sailors awaken Jonah and begin to question him as to who he is (vv. 6-9).

Jonah had convinced himself that everything was alright. The circumstances were right. The ship was there, he had the right amount of money and he felt such great peace that he went to sleep. However he was out of the will of God because he disobeyed the command of God. Notice that he went down to Joppa, he went down into the ship, he went down into the sea and he went down into the whales belly. No one ever goes up when he disobeys God and goes his own way.


I want to make sure that I’m running God’s way and not in my own way in this life. (I John 2:3-6).

Jonah 1:1-9 (English Standard Version)

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 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 on board, 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." And they said to one another, "Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us." So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, "Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?" And he said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land."

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