Jonah 1:15-16 “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.”
When God becomes real in our life, godly fear follows.
We are often put to sleep by the routine of our day. We fail to see the signs of God trying to get our attention. God seeks us through the Word of God, a sermon, a song, or even an encouragement from a friend.
Storms come into our lives to get our eyes back on our Father and our trust and dependence on Him.
Situations and circumstances take our attention off of the shiny things of this world that have captured our attention.
Here in Jonah, we see a man of God, a prophet, sent to proclaim God’s Word and God’s judgment on them. We also know the prophet’s disobedience and rebellion played out when Jonah decides to run from God instead of preaching to them.
Jonah knew and hated the Ninevites. He knew the power of God and His desire to have their hearts turned to Him. In his rebellion, the storm came to stop Jonah and cause his path to go back to Nineveh.
Jonah knew God was real. He had seen Him work. There was no doubt as to the turning of the hearts of that city. Yet, in the events the ensued, we see even more truth and the depth of God’s working in the heart of His children.
When Jonah submitted, he gave himself over to the sea, possibly thinking death is better than seeing the Ninevehites get saved. God provided transportation for Jonah to return by way of a great fish. Many say a whale, others a fish big enough to swallow him.
Those details cloud the truth that in that belly of the fish, Jonah comes to repentance and accepts the call of God. The fish spews him on shore, and he begins to go through the city, preaching.
He must have been quite a sight! And quite a smell!
Can you imagine the people seeing (and smelling) this man preaching the coming judgment on their city? Then, as Jonah feared, they did repent.
We have all heard the story and sermons on the need for immediate obedience. Yet, there is something here I see that I hadn’t before. It was the effect of throwing Jonah overboard and the immediacy of the calm that came over the water.
These rough and rugged sailors were brought to their knees in worship of the God of Heaven. They believed there was now a God who controlled the sea on which they sailed in what they experienced. A Creator God caused the wind to blow, the sun to shine, and the rains to fall.
It made sense to their minds and hearts to worship this God, of which the prophet had spoken.
We, too, witness the same power every day. Our minds can imagine, conjure, cogitate, and compute the most complex, unlike any other creature on the planet. Our body’s functions are miraculous. The nervous, circulatory, and immune systems are a work of art.
Yet, we take them for granted.
I believe that every child of God has had a moment of awe and wonder of the God of Heaven. A moment when we are overwhelmed by His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. A time when we see him like Isaiah did.
Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”
If we are not careful, God becomes the lucky rabbit’s foot or genie in a bottle to grant all our wishes.
Our prayers often reveal how we view God.
We read our prayers to Him like a laundry list of things for God to do for me, never once asking what He would desire for us to have or to do. The conversation typically ends one-sided, never really interacting or listening.
Our experience of this miraculous, Creator God who knows us better than we know ourselves, is open for us to go deeper, stay longer, and learn more every time. Yet, we hurry through our routine and miss the power of His presence.
We encourage each other to ‘walk with God.’
What does that look like to you today?
It may not be hours of study with a full and complete thought that you can carry throughout your day.
It may not be an earth-shattering, life-changing truth that opens up right before your eyes.
It may be a tiny seed thought planted in your heart that it becomes necessary to look back and study more about what God just gave you throughout the day.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
So very often, God will give us something and find later in the day that it was meant for us to give to someone else.
Let us genuinely glean from the Word of God, something to carry throughout the day. We’ll never know just how it will impact another life until we do.