Bible Reference: Jonah 1:14–16
Bible Text: 14 Then they cried out to the LORD, Jonah’s God. “O LORD,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O LORD, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” 15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16 The sailors were awestruck by the LORD’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.
Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
In much of what we hear about the story of Jonah, I believe that the part that really stands out revolves around how God got Jonah’s attention when he tried to run away from Him. However, let me share with you a little ‘nugget’ that I found in our referenced scripture this morning. I found where God was able to use this distraction to also speak to the hearts of a few sailors who may have otherwise continued in their blindness towards the living God. I’ve been on a ship before when it hit very rough waters, and I could see the panic in the eyes of the sailors when they realize that their ability to turn the situation around is virtually impossible, and way beyond their capability at that time. Therefore, I could only imagine how the sailors from the boat on which Jonah was riding, must have been in a very similar challenge – they must have panicked at the extreme waves and bad weather they were forced to deal with, while also being concerned about the safety of their passengers and themselves. I was impressed how the sailors tried everything possible before finally deciding to throw Jonah overboard. They asked the passengers, and Jonah, to pray to their gods for wisdom and safety. Then after hearing about Jonah’s God, the sailors chose to speak directly with God about the situation including, asking for their forgiveness should they have to pitch Jonah overboard. I found it interesting that they were fine with dealing with many gods in looking for a resolution, yet they settled for speaking directly to the God of Jonah. However, the most important find in this is in verse 16. The sailors were so amazed by the power of God Almighty, that they vowed to serve Him! Friends, I believe that this rough bunch of guys surrendered their lives to the awesome God that Jonah knew and worshiped! May I also remind you that this is the same God that I share with you every day through these devotionals? My prayer is that each of you will recognize God through these devotionals and, like the sailors, commit yourselves to my Savior and seek to serve Him the rest of your days. I implore you to consider this proposition friend. I stand as living proof that Jesus loves even me, and He especially loves you and wants your heart – fully surrendered to Him.
Father, You are awesome in every way! Stubborn though we are, yet You have ways of getting our attention so that we might recognize Your greatness, and our need for a Savior. Father, thank You for using even us to reach the lost so that You may draw them to Yourself. Thank You for the story of Jonah and for opening our eyes to the similarities of how we also run from Your assignments and therefore miss opportunities to reach the world for You. Lord, may this be a day that we can be used as mere instruments in Your powerful hand to reach those that need visible evidence of Your grace and mercy. Merciful Savior, may You be lifted up in all things that we partake in today, is my humble plea and request. AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!