DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-12-11
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Jonah 2:7-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 7 “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went to you in your holy Temple. 8 (Those who worship false gods have turned their backs on all the mercies waiting for them from the Lord!) 9 “I will never worship anyone but you! For how can I thank you enough for all you have done? I will surely fulfill my promises. For my deliverance comes from the Lord alone.”
OBSERVATION: One of the earliest Bible Stories someone might remember is about Jonah and the whale, yet I was intrigued as I read this book this morning! Perhaps because I was so easily reminded of how stubborn we Christians are about seeking, and following, the will of God in our respective lives and ministries. This obscure verse (8) spoke volumes to me. Stay with me as we meditate on this.
APPLICATION: It would probably be difficult for us to think about a time that God led us to do something, and of our own will we went in a totally opposite direction to do what we thought best. But I found it amazing that in spite of Jonah taking off in his own personal direction, yet God used him to save the sailors on the boat that transported Jonah. It is understood that Jonah headed to Joppa, a place way out of the way. While on the boat, Jonah slept in the hull of the boat – way out of the way. Perhaps Jonah thought that he could hide from God, and therefore help distract His concern from the disobedience of this messenger of His. Sounds like us, right? But what really caught my attention was the point at which Jonah came to his senses in the belly of the whale. What do we normally do at this point? Whether, a follower of Christ or not, we tend to seek God’s favor at the point of realizing that our situation is way beyond our control. Well, that’s exactly what Jonah did! At this point, Jonah’s eyes was opened to the fact that for those, like him, who turn their heads on God and choose any other god, they have actually just said ‘no’ to the mercies and power of the only One who could effect change in their situation – Almighty God. Jonah disobeyed God and chose his own god, and did what he pleased. In the pit of the whales belly, he needed God Almighty, but having turned his back on God he realized that God may now turn His back on him. Friends, have you thought about the possibility of needing God when you are off doing your own thing and feeling overly confident that nothing will go wrong? Has there been a time in your life yet where you returned to God, told Him how silly you were to think you could handle life on your own, and then ask His forgiveness because He is ALL you will really ever need? If you are still running, then obviously you are ignoring the mercies of the one true God. May I encourage you today to consider getting back in the loving graces of our all-powerful, all-forgiving, ever loving and merciful Father before it’s a day too late? The words of a popular old hymn echos in my mind ‘I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord’. If you are out of right relationship with Jesus Christ today, please accept Him, or return to Him, while there is still time. Remember, He will never turn His back on His faithful children!
PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand and lead me on. Thank You for promising to always be with us! I pray that You will speak boldly to us if You see us straying away or choosing to follow our own dangerous path. I praise You for being there for Jonah, even when He disobeyed You and went his own way. I thank You for bringing him to his senses. Something that I believe each of your children need on a regular basis. Please encourage us each day that You see us wandering off. Please don’t let us get too far off, but instead stay close to the cross. Oh that You would be so prominent in our lives that others will be reminded of Your grace, Your love and Your everlasting hope. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!