Whale of a Mess

Whale of a Mess

Jer 18:2-4

2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

  1. A potter must keep the clay constantly rotating. Turning is crucial to shaping an ordinary piece of clay into something magnificent that the potter has designed.
  2. You must keep “turning” for God to turn things around for you.
  3. Life is a series on constant turns.
  4. Branson, Taxi had to turn around on a narrow street. Could not do it in one turn. Like us, we might need a series of turnarounds to get in the right direction.
  5. Not one of us can claim we are so put together or too messed up for God to turn our lives around.
  6. My typing class. The moment I knew I reached my minimum requirement to get an A, I stopped.
  7. Luxury cars have more problems reported because they are putting so many new things into the cars.
  8. Olympics, skaters, divers, skiers, level of difficulty.
  9. Try: more church, more bible reading, more prayer, more volunteering, more risk, more changes,


Jonah 1:1-3

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.

  1. Whale of a mess.
  2. Tarshish, the exact opposite of Nineveh. “Go to Los Angeles, but you go to Dallas.” Picture of Jonah Runs
  3. Tarshish was 2,500 miles away from his hometown and Ninevah was a mere 500miles away.Sometimes we run further in disobedience, than we could have if we just obeyed God.
  4. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire. Nineveh had made several raids against Israel. Jonah hated the Nivevites.
  5. Jonah understood that God was giving the Ninevites a chance to repent.
  6. One of the top reasons we often go the wrong direction is bitterness and hatred.
  7. Forgive spouse, parents and children.
  8. Hate the people at work.
  9. Stubbornness is a great cause of going the wrong direction. Prophets can even be stubborn.
  10. God told Jonah to take a turn to Nineveh because He knew Nineveh was going to make the biggest turn inside of Jonah’s own life.

Jonah 1:4

4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea,

  1. If you remain stubborn God will send a storm to get you unstuck.
  2. When you are on the right track, the devil will send the storm, but when you are running from God, God will send it.

Jonah 1:10

(They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

  1. Just because you admit to others that you are doing wrong does not mitigate the fact you are doing wrong.

Jonah 1:17

17 But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

  1. Likely that Jonah could not swim.
  2. “I should have been dead.” Common phrase.
  3. Jonah had an obsession with death. “I just want to die.”
  4. Took Jonah three days to finally repent. How long do you want to stay in your whale of a mess?

Jonah 2:9

What I have vowed I will make good.

  1. Your help comes when you decide to help others, even others that you do not like.

Jonah 2:10

10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

  1. Whales do not normally vomit. It was supernatural.
  2. Vomit-smell all over Jonah. Whale vomit used in perfumes. In time the smell turned into a good perfume.
  3. God will take your past vomits and turn it into a sweet smell.
  4. AA group started as a result. 1930s well to do Rhode Islander, Rowland was told my famous swiss Pyscholanist, Carl Jung, that he needed a spiritual experience and sent him to an Oxford group. Rowland introduce Ebwin (Vermont) to the group. Edwin introduced his school mate and drinking buddy, Bill Ebby to the Oxford group, and thus AA was born.
  5. We are like a cog. Picture of Cog.
  6. When we fail to see the need for our cog to turn, we deny all the cogs God has connected to our turnarounds their change to move forward.
  7. God spoke to me, “You are an answer to many people’s prayers. “
  8. Examples:
  9. Moses turned and the Israelites were delivered.
  10. Gideon turned and the war was won.
  11. Esther turned and genocide was prevented.


Jonah 3:1

3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:

  1. God will give you another chance.
  2. Gifts and calling are without repentance.

Jonah 4:1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. (NIV, newest version)

  1. We are less patient than God.

Jonah 4:2

I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

  1. This same grace was given to Jonah, yet, he forgets it.
  2. Sometimes, even after we repent, we still need some more repentance.


  1. Others that turned.
  2. Jacob had a label, some of it deserved, but he changed after he wrestled with God. Became a prince.
  3. Life nice, but it was shook up when he knew he had to confront his past.
  4. Change his label.
  5. Sarah doubted and laughed at the suggestion of being pregnant.
  6. Sarah was not looking to attend Lamaze classes at ninety. You need to believe.
  7. Never too old for turnarounds.
  8. Gideon, unlikely candidate to be the leader.
  9. Weakest family in the weakest clan.
  10. Say yes, even if you feel unqualified.
  11. Esther, just another pretty face.
  12. She didn’t see the genocide as her problem.
  13. Sometimes you have to use your position, wealth and influence to save others.




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