Leaving the Presence of the Lord
The story is told of Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. went to the platform to preach in Dallas, Texas, just a few short months before he died. He said that the presence of God was so real that all he could utter was two words: "Oh God!" For thirty-five minutes, all he could say was these two words. However, though there was no message preached, the presence of God was so powerful, that men, by the hundreds, began falling out into the aisles for salvation, and confession of their sins.
What a blessed time it is when God shows his face in the midst of his people. Nothing else can be substituted for the presence of God. There are no artificial sweeteners, no substitutes for His presence. But, what about when the presence of the Lord is not there? Now, we know from scripture, that it's an impossibility for his presence to leave us(c.f. Heb. 13:6), however, it is a very real possibility for us to leave his presence.
Jonah demonstrates, for us, a man who left the presence of the Lord, and we see three causes for leaving His presence. We see that it results from a:
I. LOST DESIRE FOR THE WORD (v. 1-2)
This is the first step that Jonah took in leaving the presence of the Lord. We might ask, "What kind of a word was it?" It was a:
A. DYNAMIC WORD "And the word of the Lord. . ."
1. This word comes from Jehovah--the revealer of new truth
2. The source and authority of this word is Jehovah God!
3. Not a word from man--IT IS FROM THE LORD!!
4. This is no ordinary word, it is a word from God--it's DYNAMIC
B. DEFINITE WORD (v. 2a) "Arise, go to Nineveh.."
1. Not only is this a dynamic word, but a definite word.
2. Though brief, and without explanation, it is clear-cut to the core
3. Jonah is left with no doubt as to where he is to go.
4. With haste/urgency the word is given---"Arise!"
5. With military precision the word is uttered---"Go!"
C. DEMANDING WORD ...
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