Man proposes, God disposes - 6 August 2018

Neville Turley

“People may plan all kinds of things, but the Lord's will is going to be done.”  Proverbs 19:21 (GNT)

Jonah as the only passenger would no doubt have been able to go pretty much where he pleased on the ship. It is easy to imagine him standing at the ship’s rail as it got underway and the port of Joppa receding in the distance.

Jonah may well have felt a sense of satisfaction. His plan to put as much distance between Nineveh and himself was coming together. Yet, unknown to Jonah, even as the ship headed towards Tarshish, heavy storm clouds were gathering above his head.

Almighty God who controls the universe including our individual destinies, had unfinished business with Jonah and Jonah would soon be very aware of it.

A violent storm broke out and heavy waves began battering the ship. As the storm increased in intensity, the ship could not withstand the fury of the waves and was in danger of breaking apart.

The terrified sailors realised that the situation was beyond their skills. Panic stricken, each of them desperately prayed to their own gods for help, even as they heaved all the ship’s cargo overboard to lighten the ship and lessen the danger of it foundering.

In the midst of this crisis Jonah did what many people do when they find themselves in a situation over which they have no control.  He opted out. Going into the hold of the ship, he lay down and went to sleep! 

There the ship’s captain found him and angrily took him to task. “Why are you sleeping? Get up! Pray to your God for help, maybe He will still save us.” (Jonah 1:6)

This the hapless Jonah could hardly do, he was after all running away from God. How do you communicate with God when you are desperately anxious to avoid him?

Pray that we never find ourselves in a similar situation.

Prayer: Father, what a blessing to be able to come before you in prayer and praise in Jesus name.  Amen

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