A Sermon on God's Sovereignty and Human Free Will
1. God orders
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,
2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
2. Man opposes
3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
3. God orchestrates
Hebrews 1:2, 3 … His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world… upholds all things by the word of His power.
a. He orchestrated the storm
4 The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.
5 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.
6 So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.”
b. He orchestrated the lots.
7 Each man said to his mate, “Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
8 Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
9 He said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.”
11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.
14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.”
c. He orchestrated the fish.
15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Matthew 17:24-27 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” 25He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” 26When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27“However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”
Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Psalm 135:6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Everything in the universe is sustained by that Word).
Jer 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?"
4. Man obeys
Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish
Jonah 3:1-3 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord.
The sovereignty of God cannot be successfully opposed.