Jonah 1-4, “And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice”, KJV
We looked at the first verse of the first chapter of the book of Jonah. We looked at three important keys Word, Arise and Go. Like I mentioned, there are times where God will give us a certain assignment to accomplish and if you know about assignments, they can be short term or long term but the key word to accomplishing the assignment is being faithful till the end.
Let’s look at what Jonah did when he received an assignment. Vs. 3, “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord…” Jonah should have known very well that you can never run away from the presence of the Lord, God is ever present everywhere. Psalm 139 talks of how God knows us from the beginning to the end, He knows when we sit and when we stand, He is familiar with our ways. David continues to say, “Lord if I put my bed in heaven, there you are, and if I put my bed in hell, there you are and if I took the wings of the morning and ascended to the uttermost parts of the earth, You will still be there”. Right now there are many who are trying to run away from God. They know they are being convicted of sin and instead of obeying the Lord, they have decided to run away from the presence of the Lord like Jonah. May I remind us that what God has designed for us to do, no one else will come and do it on our behalf. We can run all we want but eventually we will have to answer to that call. John 15:16, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” We did not choose Him, He chose us for a reason and for a purpose. You might say, “well it’s me who decided to follow Christ, I walked to the altar, I said the sinners prayer and I got saved”. The truth is, when you surrendered your life to Christ, He chose you, put the right words in your heart, convicted you and caused you to see that the things which you always thought were foolish were actually good news. The bible says, “a man cannot come to the Lord unless the Spirit draws him”. We can’t make people saved and declare them saved because they said the sinner’s prayer. The sinner’s prayer does not save anyone, it’s the Holy Spirit that does the conviction, conversion and gives assurance.
Jonah boarded a ship to go the opposite direction for he had his own good reasons for not responding to the call. Well everything seemed to have been going on well as planned by him but God will not let you do the opposite when He has a plan to save and deliver yourself and many. God wasn’t going to allow Jonah to abandon the assignment and let a whole city go to hell simply because he did not want to do it (he wanted God to pass a judgment). So what did the Lord do, even in the midst of Jonah’s foolishness, He demonstrated His power, number one to get Jonah know that He is sovereign over all and number two to turn the hearts of some men who were worshiping idols. vs. 4&5, “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 brake. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the luggage that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay and was fast asleep”. Our disobedience can make many suffer. We may be comfortable somewhere but someone somewhere will be hurting simply because of what we did or did not do. Remember in the OT, if one man sinned, the whole family suffered. Thank God, even the midst of our foolishness, God remains faithful. Watch something here, the men in the ship prayed to their gods, and their gods could not save them, they tried the human effort of getting rid of some stuff in their ship, but still that did not work out. We read in vs. 6, “so the shipmaster came to him (Jonah), and said unto him, what do you mean, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not”. Amazing right, we see men who never called on the true God, they meet a man of God for the anointing of God was upon him and they could tell that he worshiped the true God, they said to him, “call upon thy God”. Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, Psalm 18:3, “I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised so shall I be saved from my enemies”.
I thank God that even in the midst of my foolishness He still shows Himself mighty around me and through me that many may know Him. Jonah may have not known that “All things are working together for good to them that love God and to them that are called”. It will cost him dearly for the disobedience but the work will still have to be done and God would be glorified. Remember when David sinned having committed adultery with Bathsheba, even in his failure, God had prepared something good out of it. Yes He suffered the consequences but out of that marriage, Solomon was born to become the wisest rich man. God does not want anyone to fall but if we do, He has already prepared something good in the midst of our failure. To continue, blessings Ev