Jonah 1:4 -
But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
Some days back I was discussing with a friend with regards the crossing of the Red Sea in the book of Moses. He was very sad to point to the fact that the Lord killed all those of the Egyptian army when He drowned them in the Red Sea by bringing the walls of water on them. Had He not taken that step the Egyptians would have killed the Israelites and would God allow that to happen to His people. Will a mother allow her child be harmed by anyone?
Our discussion went on to another point; isn't God the one who created the Egyptians?
Firstly we need to understand everything in all creation is created by God that includes all mankind, animals, Angels and even Satan and his fallen angels and it is He who give life unto all. It is only when we study the Bible we understand the purpose God created all this, that we realize why He calls Himself a Possessive God, a God who is possessive of His people, who would do anything to save and protect them.
When any person takes the step to harm God's people, he or she becomes an enemy of God and does not qualify for God's mercy. God being the giver of life also has the right to take it away.
My friend saw only that one incident, what about all the calamities which happen throughout the world? The natural disasters like the tsunami, the cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, storms, sickness, accidents etc. do these just happen?
Today's message tells us God sent the storm when Jonah was running away from a task given to him, so are all the natural disasters sent by God?
Bible tells us when God created man and natural, man was in command of nature and they lived in harmony. But when sin came into man he lost his authority and nature turn against man and became his enemy. Bible states before sin Adam was able to farm even without rain for nature provided water in abundance for him, but after sin he had to sweat hard to farm and even after that the yield was not very good. So we see sin causes disasters to come into man's life.
Now coming to cases where God directly sends disasters in the way of man.
In today's message we need to understand the reason why Jonah was running away, that God needed to intervene is such a drastic way and bring him back to do the job.
Most people think Jonah was running away due to fear and they are wrong. Jonah was a man of faith and being told to tell the Nineveh to repent he knew that they would repent and that was something he did not want. History confirms the people of Nineveh were one of the most barbaric people who skinned live people and offered live babies as sacrifices to their gods among other things. They were a strong, prosperous and highly advanced in military and the world feared them. Jonah hated them and wanted them to be punished and destroyed but God did not share his views.
God knew even in these barbaric people was a heart which could repent and turn to Him. Our God always desires to save for He is a God Who sits on a Throne of mercy, but He is not a foolish God to keep pouring mercy on one whom He knows would never repent or change.
The possibility of the people of Nineveh to repent and turn to God was not even 1percent, but yet God was happy with that less than 1percent and made that percentage successful. Our God is love and sits on a throne of mercy, He desires to save and bring all unto Him for in Him alone can one have eternal life, true peace and true prosperity.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You created this world and us, so as to prosper us in You. You have great plans for man and want to bless him with things unimaginable. Lord, we pray that man open his eyes and see nothing just happens and realizes all things have a purpose and reason behind it. May we discern all things and changing our way of life so as to avoid being an enemy of You...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?
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