Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Jonah 1:1-17

" 1Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
4But 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.
5Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
6So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
7And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
9And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
10Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
11Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
12And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
14Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.
15So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
16Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.
17Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

Leave it to your devotional to pin you. God always gets through. So, brief synopsis of the passage: Jonah knew what God wanted him to do and he ran in the opposite direction. His attempt to escape God put the lives of the sailors in danger and caused them to lose all of their cargo. Jonah, could not escape God. Now, as we all know, Jonah's a terribly stubborn man and even after he gets to dry land, he will try to resist God. He obviously has a trust problem. I mean, he can't seem to believe that God would have his best interest in mind.

We are such Jonahs...How often have you found that as God tugs on your heartstrings to beckon you down one path, you run at breakneck speed in the other direction? Is it because we think we know better? I sure hope not because God is the God of all creation...He is the One who created us in the first place. Is it because we don't think that His way will make us happy? Again, I hope not because God has only ever desired to give us good things...He seeks to bless us and to care for us because He is our Father. It seems the only explanation is that we don't trust God. We don't trust ourselves to have truly heard His call. We don't trust that God's pull will work for us in the long run. How ridiculous is that?!?!

So, I guess, what we need to do is be open...be open to God's call and be ready to go...ready to go and do what God is calling us to do.

Lyrics of the day? Steven Curtis Chapman's "For the Sake of the Call"

Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure was Jesus had called to them
He said "Come follow me" and they came
With reckless abandon they came

Empty nets lying there at the waters edge
Told a story that few could believe and none could explain
How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus lead
With no thought for what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name and they answered

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

Drawn like the rivers are drawn to the sea
No turning back for the water cannot help but flow
Once we hear the Savior's call we'll follow wherever he leads
Because of the love He has shown
And because he has called us to go we will answer

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die


Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we'll obey


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