Most of us know the story of Jonah and the big fish. Jonah was a man on the run from God, and wanted nothing to do with the will of God. As he was on a ship trying to run away, a storm sent by God (that will upset someone’s theology), began to endanger all aboard the boat. Jonah told them the answer was to throw him overboard. The men did not want to throw him overboard, so they tried to row Jonah out of the storm. The longer Jonah stayed on board and out of God’s will, the more tumultuous the storm became for EVERYONE on board. Finally, the only answer was that Jonah had to be thrown overboard.
Let’s look at a few quick takeaways from Jonah:
- Running from God opens the door for a tumultuous life. Life is difficult enough, but it is faulty thinking, when one thinks I can do it on my own.
- When God is dealing with people who are running away from Him, stop trying to row them out of God’s dealings. Often the storm is from God, so an individual can see that bad choices can ruin a life. Parents, we do this so often with our children! We try to row them out of consequences.
- There are times in life that we might need to throw a relationship overboard, so God can deal with the person, and calm can return to our lives. This is not a decision that should be made lightly, but there are times it is necessary. As a matter of fact, the soldiers did it as a last resort. They first threw all their cargo overboard.
- God can speak to and restore those that are overboard. If you read the short book of Jonah, you will find that it only took a few days in the water and in the fish, for Jonah to realize this was not what he wanted for his life. The Bible records that Jonah began to communicate with God, and God got Jonah back on course.
Take a good look at your life today. Are you trying to outrun the will of God? Are there people you are trying to row out of the dealings of God? Are there things that need to be thrown overboard so the waters of life can become calmer? That might include relationships, or other things.
Perhaps this seems like a harsh word today. It’s really not. It shows a God who is in hot pursuit of us. He does not easily let us go our own way, and even when we do, He keeps His hand upon us. God could have just let Jonah die, but God pursued Jonah. The Bible actually says God “appointed” the fish to save His prophet.
Beloved, God is pursuing you today! He never gives up on you. There will be appointed things along the way saying, “Come on back.”
“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice” (Jonah 2:2).