“So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.” (Jonah 1:15–16, ESV)
Jonah tried to flee from the presence of the Lord. But it did not work out well for him. God caught up. There was a great storm that threatened to sink the boat. The crew did everything they could to try to save the day. But nothing worked.
The crew had learned that Jonah was attempting to run away from God. Jonah suggested that they throw him overboard. He thought that maybe God would then save the others in the boat. As a last resort, the crew casts Jonah into the water.
Then a miracle happens. The sea is calmed. It is reminiscent of another story in the gospels where Jesus calms the storm (see Luke 8:22-25).
But here is something that stood out for me in this instance. Jonah’s disobedience led to deliverance for the sailors. It also led to them giving glory to the Living God. They “offered a sacrifice” and “made vows.” If Jonah had been obedient and gone to Nineveh, that would not have happened. The sailors would not have experienced such a great deliverance from God.
God can take our waywardness and disobedience and use it for his good purposes. He shows us why he is God. Of course, it would have been better for Jonah to have skipped this whole ordeal with the storm and the later the fish. But God takes our worse and uses it for his good.
It is good to know that God’s will is accomplished in spite of our worst efforts. It is also great to know that God still gives us a role even after we fail him. As we will see, God still has a role for Jonah to play. Jonah’s story is not over. God is a God of second chances.
- How have you seen God use your poor decisions for his good?
- How does it comfort you to know that God can use your worst for his good?
Lord, it is good to know that the fate of the world is not in my hand. Your plan and your will cannot be thwarted. You will work your good even when I am at my worst. Thank you for loving me and giving me the opportunity to serve you in spite of my waywardness. Amen!