Agonizomai: Jonah 1:4 - But the Lord...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Jonah 1:4 - But the Lord...
4 But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.

You can’t win against God. Jonah is about to learn this. God will prevail.
"Remember this and consider, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former the things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’" {Isa 46:8-10}
Remember the "but Jonah" of verse 3? Here is the trump card to that, and to all human rebellion..."BUT THE LORD". He has the final say. He is in charge.

We might deal with what God could have done: He could have translated Jonah back to the land, like he translated Philip the evangelist to Azotus. He could have placed it on the captain’s heart to turn back in the same way he moved the hearts of Cyrus and Darius. He could have had the ship taken by pirates and Jonah ensalved to them, sold to a Ninevite and brought back to His mission - in a way similar to Joseph’s enslavement. God did none of these. God worked through the weather.

God uses the so-called "natural" as well as the miraculous. In this story there is the miraculous preparation of a large fish and the preservation of Jonah in its belly. There is the bringing of the fish to land and its spewing of Jonah upon the beach. These things are what we call "miraculous". But we often hesitate to see the hand of God in everyday things, like the weather.

It might not be the weather. It might be bumping into somebody on the street or losing your keys. It could be a spate of orders from your customers at work or a dry spell in your social life. It might be a change of pastors. We often fail to see the hand of God at work in all things for good to we who love God and are the called according to His purposes. {Ro 8:28} Some of us want the overtly miraculous all the time. Such people want to see God doing the unusual, the supernatural, the exciting thing.

But God has recorded so little of this. Apart from the creation itself, there were only three times in Biblical history where this overt form of miracles abounded. The first was the Exodus, the second in the times of Elijah and Elisha and the third was the coming of Christ and the establishment of the church. And we must be careful not to crave such things. We are in danger of walking by sight and not by faith when we do. If God is pleased to do them that is one thing – but running after them is another.

So let it be as it is in Jonah. Let us neither crave the dramatically miraculous nor deny it. Let God be God. But let us obey His inspired Word when He said…
Do not quench the spirit. Do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast to what is good, abstain form every form of evil. (1Thessalonians 5:19-22)
God acts in mysterious ways - but He plainly acts most often in the ordinariness of life. Will we see His hand in it all? It seems that ancient believers and infidels alike did.

My moniker - that's John Hancock to Americans


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