Today’s Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 14:1-14; 2 Chronicles 25:1-24; 2 Kings 13:12-13; 2 Kings 14:15-16, 23-27; 2 Chronicles 25:25-28; 2 Kings 14:17-22; 2 Kings 15:1-5; 2 Chronicles 26:1-21; Jonah 1:1-4:11
Jonah purposely rebelled against the Lord by heading in the opposite direction of Nineveh, his next “ministry opportunity.”
This wasn’t an optional assignment. God went after Jonah and some innocent bystanders–the crew of a ship headed to Joppa, got caught in the middle of Jonah’s mistake.
At first it looked as though they were going down with Jonah…
But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. –Jonah 1:4
The crew came to the conclusion that Jonah was the problem:
Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit. “Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded. “Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?” –Jonah 1:7-8
Once Jonah told them he was a Hebrew and a worshiper of the Lord, the God of Heaven who made the sea and the land (Jonah 1:9) AND that he was running away from the Lord (Jonah 1:10), they knew they were going down unless they did something quick. They asked Jonah what they should do…
“Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” –Jonah 1:12
The sailors tried everything they could think of to save Jonah, the ship, and themselves.
Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it. 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.” –Jonah 1:13-14
Everything they tried failed. So…
Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once. –Jonah 1:15
The storm was about Jonah’s mistake, it wasn’t about the sailors. But God used Jonah’s mistake to show Himself to the sailors, so that they could know Jonah’s God.
The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. –Jonah 1:16
Friends, our mistakes aren’t just about us. God can use our biggest and greatest mistakes for His Glory and His Plan. Give Your mistakes to Him and watch what He’ll do for His Kingdom and your Circle of Influence.
Heavenly Father, I have made some “Jonah-size” mistakes. I give them to You. Use them for Your Glory!
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Amos 1:1-6:14