SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-01-24 "God's Broken Promises"

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Remember the old saying that promises are made to be broken? I know that you’ve had someone who borrowed money or some substantial thing from you, promising to pay you back and never did so. When the money was due, the person avoided you like the plague. You’ve heard the old cliché, “The check’s in the mail.”  The mailman came and went and there was no check. The person failed to keep their promise to you and you were left holding the bag.

Ecclesiastes 5:4.5

“When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed; Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”

I’ve heard people say that God always keeps His promises. Mostly that is true, but in a few notable exceptions, God hasn’t kept His promises. Today’s text is like that. It demonstrates God’s incredible mercy and love, but His prophet Jonah doesn’t see it that way.


2 Corinthians 1:20

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”


Isaiah 55:11

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”



Pastor Phil  <><<



January 24, 2010

Sheepfold Ministries – Pastor Phil Roland



Jonah 3:1-10

“God’s promises to us are generally conditional, prefaced with the subjunctive, “If. . .”. God has, however, on occasion, broken His vows with a good purpose. Do you feel He has ever broken any of His promises to you?”                             Pastor Phil


1.  First Biblical Broken Promise by Adam, not God, in the Garden of Eden – Genesis 2:12,13

2.  Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord – Genesis 6:5-8

3.  God made a Promise through Abraham that is unbroken to the present – Genesis 22:18 –  "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

4.  David’s Numbering Incident – 1 Chronicles 21:1-15

(God repented of sending His Destroying Hand against Israel)



            A. Prayer will result in miracles

            B. With strong faith, you can manipulate God with final outcomes

            C. The gift of the Holy Ghost will give you power over sin

            D. The gift of the Holy Ghost will allow you to correctly prophesy

            E. Christians are are less apt to be deceived due to the Holy Ghost

            F. If I gave my tithe to God, He’ll be forced to bless me

            G. Christians are happier than other people

            H. Christians make wiser decisions than do other people

                        1. Statements are non-Biblical, but common assumptions

                        2. Can be true, but not absolute truth



          A. God pursued Jonah, even when he was in his rebellion

                        1. Aren’t you glad he pursued you?

                        2. God is unrelenting in His commissioning and purposes

                             Edwin Markham Poem, “Outwitted”

            He drew a circle that shut me out—  Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in!

        B. The Lord raised up a great wind - Jonah 1:4

                 “But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty  tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.”

                        1. God sends Adversity?  Remember the Book of JOB?

                        2. Use caution in blaming the devil for all calamity

                        3. With adversity we may FEEL we have lost God’s Favor

                        4. Through the eye of faith, we know that God is good


             C. God prepared the Fish – Jonah 1:17

                 “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

                        1. Black Sea Bass in the Mediterranean?

                        2. Prehistoric Fish, “Dunkleosteus” was raised up by God



          A. Note that Jonah didn’t “Like” the Ninevites”

                        1. That’s why Jonah became the first “wrong way” preacher

                        2. Enjoyed pronouncing their coming demise

            B. Announce to Nineveh their impending DOOM

                        1. The message came from God through prayer in blackness

                        2. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity: He has our attention

            C. Jonah enjoyed the prospect of his mission field being destroyed

                        1. Warm his hands over destruction’s fires

                        2. Like the Ben Laden El-Qaeda Terrorists



      “Then God saw their works, (of repentance) that they turned from their evil

        way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring

        upon them, and He did not do it.” Jonah 3:10

  1. A.     God’s Recanting Infuriated Jonah – 4:1

     “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.”

                        1. God’s Mercy made him look like a fool – 1 Cor. 1:21

                           “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the

                             message preached to save those who believe.”

                        2. Jonah is a Depressive, Immature, Self-Centered Fool

                            1 Corinthians 3:18-20

                           “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

                             For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is

                             written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; and again,

                            "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."

                        3. Preachers are at best Fools for Christ – 1 Corinthians 4:10a

                           “We are fools for Christ's sake,”



      USING JONAH – Matthew 12:40

       "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so

         will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

            A. Jesus: Jonah is an important Figure in Biblical Prophesy

            B. Jesus Himself prophesied using Jonah as an example

            C. His Second Coming Prophesied thru Noah as well –Matt. 24:37-39

            "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man  be.  "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking,

              marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,” and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will

              the coming of the Son of Man be.”



                        1. Noah was another example of how God changed His Mind

                            “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Genesis 6:6

                        2. Would Jesus use a “fantasy-story” to remind us of His 2nd  Coming?




          Little Sally was transferred from Christian school to public school. On her first day in the class the teacher introduced herself as "Mrs. Crump" and then said, "Today we're going to study in Zoology and the first subject in Zoology we're going to study will be whales.

          Does anyone know anything about whales?" No-one raised their hand. Then Sally raised her hand. Mrs. Crump said, "What do you know about whales Sally?" Sally said, "Jonah was swallowed by a whale!" Mrs. Crump said, "That's nonsense! The throat of the whale is too narrow to swallow a man! Where did you get that foolish supposition?" Sally said, "That's what my Bible says!" Mrs. Crump said, "Your Bible is wrong!

          As I said, a whale's throat is too narrow to swallow a man. What do you think now?" Sally thought for a minute and then said, "I guess I'll have to wait until I get to heaven and ask Jonah himself what happened." Mrs. Crump thought she'd be smart and asked Sally, "What happens if Jonah isn't there to ask?" Again Sally thought for a minute and then said,

"Then I guess YOU will have to ask him."



Use with point III, A

A mother was trying desperately to get her son out of bed. He had been warned three times it was time to get up. He didn’t want to get up. He yelled at his mother,

“I don’t like the people and the people don’t like me!”

His mother was in his face,

“There are three reasons you have to get out of bed,

“It’s Sunday morning. It’s your church, and you’re the preacher!”