Daily Reading: Jonah 1
“Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.”Jonah 1:16b
So often the Lord calls us to go on a journey. Hopefully, we go on the one that He designs for us, and not the one we decide to go on ourselves! What might happen if you go on a journey that you weren’t called to? You and I might end up in a place like Jonah, “So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.” (Jonah 1:15) Truthfully, I pray you and I are never physically in a position that we would be tossed into the sea. This is especially true if you are from Alaska as Jenn and I are. The storm would be the least of your worries.
It is here with Jonah, the ocean was the least of his worries. He had disobeyed God, and our loving heavenly Father wasn’t about to sit back and ignore the situation. God had called Jonah to go, and go he must. It’s true, the Father will allow us for a time to take and make deviations to His plan for us. Have you considered, my friend, that those deviations are also part of the plan. Remember that we serve an omniscient (all-knowing) God. This knowledge of God exists outside the limitation we call “time.” Perhaps that sounds strange to you, but remember God is the one who created time. God’s knowledge of Jonah was the same at the time of Jonah’s birth as it is now. Remember God has no potential to learn anything. There is nothing you or I can do to surprise God, and this act of Jonah didn’t surprise God either. God’s concern was in accomplishing the task and teaching and loving Jonah in the mean-time. All of these actions are part of God’s plan to achieve the result He wanted both in Ninevah and in Jonah. If that doesn’t give you pause, consider this, God knew you and I at the time Jonah was tossed into the ocean. He knew that I would be writing these devotions, and that we would be affected by His dealings with Jonah, and Jonah’s responses.
Don’t be surprised how God might use you, or how He has used you. God accomplishes miraculous things when we least expect it. Who would have thought that the men in the boat with Jonah would repent and turn to the One true God? Look again at verse 16, “The me feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.” These men did not just worship some nondescript diety, they worshipped YAHWEH, the God of the Bible, the God of Jonah!
These things did not happen by Jonah’s design, but they did by God’s design. You and I are reading about one person, and one incident thousands of years ago. Consider all the connected affects of God and His people throughout the years from Adam until now. Let’s avoid the pain that Jonah caused himself and live surrendered to God, and let us learn from Jonah and simply be obedient to God when He calls!