Summary: No matter how far we run form God He loves us enough to bring us home. This is also a story that when one man sins that God can still save others through our disobedience.
We left off in the last devotional on “Hope” where Jonah was on his way to Tarshish in the opposite direction of Nineveh. A tremendous storm came up and the sailors cast lots to see who was responsible for this problem. The lot fell on Jonah. Apparently Jonah had already told the sailors in verse 1:10 that he was running from the Lord. I want to stop here for a moment.
God can bring deliverance and salvation to others even in our disobedience. God can use ANY CIRCUMSTANCE to do multiple things for His perfect plan. Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard for the sea to be calm but the sailors rowed harder.
Jonah 1:13-16 “Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.”
First of all even though Jonah was being disobedient by running away he still told the sailors whom He served.
Jonah 1:9 “He answered, "I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land."
If Jonah had not told the sailors whom he served when the sea grew clam they would have cried out and praised their own created idols. Even though Jonah was running from God he told his fellow ship mates why and whom he was running from. He was still truthful.
So here is what we know so far and maybe you can make some parallels to your own life.
1. No matter which way you are running “God’s will WILL be done”.
2. Even though you may not like the circumstances you are in right now can you be truthful to yourself and others that God IS in control?
3. Other people are watching you if you are a believer. They may desire what you have as everyone is searching for the one true God, they just don’t know it yet. The best way to be a Christian is to be transparent. To tell the truth in and all circumstances. People can relate to hardships and disobedience mixed with the truth. People do not like being lied to.
4. I believe that some of these sailors were saved. They cried out to the Lord. They believed in His awesome power and then not only offered sacrifices to God but also made vows to Him.
5. Even in our disobedience God can bring salvation to others. That is why we need to have our own relationship with God. We need to ONLY be responsible for the relationship between God and us.
The story just gets started because when the sailors threw Jonah overboard and the sea became calm Jonah did not drown.
Jonah 1:17 “But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.”
Even when we are disobedient God is still chasing after us for not only our salvation but to accomplish His perfect purpose. So here is the truth today. Some of you may be running from the Lord. Maybe you know why or maybe you do not. Start today by not looking at the relationship that others have with God. Search the relationship that YOU have with God. God desires to save you from hell, to love you and to make you part of His perfect plan. Will you go willingly or will you start to make a mess and include others in your drama. Remember this life is not just about you and I. Everything we do has consequences. These consequences can be good for others or bad depending on which way we are running. Please pray this prayer with me if you are running form the Lord