God’s love casts out fear - 2 August 2018

Neville Turley

“Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.”  Isaiah 41:10 (GNT)

What motivated Jonah to refuse God’s call to go to Nineveh? Was asking him to leave everything he held dear to go preach to the Assyrians, notorious for their dissipated lifestyle and depravity, simply a step to far for Jonah? Was he frightened? 

All of us have fears with which we live and strive to overcome. We fear not being able to cope with the challenges we face each day. We fear for our loved ones.  We fear ill health. We fear financial insecurity. We fear pain and death. The list is endless.

The Bible recognises that fear is a current problem for all of us. There are nearly a hundred passages that exhort us to fear not. It is easier said than done.

Even the Apostle Peter who had the privilege of walking with the Lord Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry, would in a moment of fear, deny our Lord to save his own skin.

Prophets were essentially men of faith who interpreted God’s will to his people. Their calling demanded great courage. They were often in danger of ridicule and bodily harm. Many were killed by those determined to silence them. 

As a prophet, Jonah would have been often confronted by those opposed to his preaching. In the events narrated in the story of his life Jonah is shown as a courageous man who was even prepared to be sacrificed to save the ship’s crew.

So, fear was not his motivating factor. By running away Jonah was in fact leaving everything he held dear for the unknown. 

Jonah rebelled against God because he was at the end of his tether. He wanted out.  He would cast himself off from God and the responsibilities that went with it. People still do so today.

God never forsakes those whom he has called. Jonah would realise that God’s love endures forever. Therein lies our ultimate security.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise and glorify you in Jesus name. None of us know our future, but we do know that we will never walk alone for your Holy Spirit guides us each step of the way.  Amen

 

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