Back Where I Belong (3 of 4) by James Merritt

This content is part of a series.
Back Where I Belong (3 of 4)
Series: See Jonah Run
James Merritt
Jonah 3
February 21, 2010

Introduction

1. How many of you have ever had at least one spanking in your life? How many of you remember the first spanking you ever got? I do. In fact, the first spanking may have been the worst one.

2. I was four years old. We were living in Tampa, Florida, and we went to church one Sunday and back in the day when you turned four years old you left pre-school and you went into big church, so I was going for my very first Sunday into big church. My dad looked at me and before we went in said, "Son, do you need to go to the restroom?" I said, "No, Daddy. I don't need to go the restroom." He said, "Okay. We will not be leaving after church starts. We are going to stay through the entire service." I nodded my head and walked in.

3. After the singing, the preaching began and it didn't take long for this four year old boy to get very, very bored. I looked up at my dad and said, "Dad, I've got to go to the bathroom." My dad looked down at me and said, "We aren't going to the bathroom." I said, "Dad, if we don't go to the bathroom, I'm going to wet my pants." He looked at me very sternly and said, "Son, you don't need to go to the bathroom." I looked at him and said, "Daddy, if I don't go I am going to wet my pants." He then said, "Son, you really don't want to go to the bathroom." I said, "Dad, I really do." He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Okay." He took me to the bathroom. I was as happy as if I was going to a store to buy some candy just to get out of that boring service.

4. Dad never said a word going home. When we walked into the door, Dad grabbed me by the hand, walked me into his bedroom, pulled off his belt and quickly reminded me why I never did like his belt. When he finished, he said, "Do you know why I whipped you?" I said, "No!" He said, "It is not because you had to go to the bathroom. It is because you lied to me and disobeyed me, so learn your lesson."

5. From that time, until this very day, I have never gotten up in the middle of a service to go the bathroom. In fact, I have to admit even as an adult, I've thought about it a time or two and broken out into a cold sweat looking for my dad's belt. There was a lesson that day that I wish I had learned permanently, which unfortunately I had to learn more than one time. It is a lesson that is found all throughout the Bible. The lesson is this - Disobedience brings burdens. Obedience brings blessings.

6. We are in a series of messages on one of the most fascinating books in the Bible, the Book of Jonah. We've entitled it "See Jonah Run", because all throughout the book, Jonah is running. In Chapter 1 he is running from God. In Chapter 2 he is running to God. Now we are going to see, here in Chapter 3, he is running with God. In fact, what you are seeing in Chapter 3 is where he should have been all along. He has simply come back t ...


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