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Jonah and the Perfect Storm

Black and WhiteFearing for their lives, the crew called out to their gods and did everything they could to save the ship and themselves. Desperate, the captain went down into the hold, woke Jonah up, asked how he could sleep at a time like this, and urged him to cry out to his god for help.

Meanwhile the crew resorted to a game of fate to try and determine who among them had made the gods so angry. When the “spinning bottle” pointed to Jonah, they started asking questions.

Seeing the fear in their eyes, Jonah told them what he knew and that their only hope was to give him to the waves. Not wanting to throw their passenger overboard, the crew tried even harder to get control of their ship—as the storm got worse.

Finally, they did what Jonah wasn’t yet ready to do. They prayed to his 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.” 15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the Lord ’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him”

From the mariners’ point of view, Jonah had breathed his last. At his suggestion, they had sacrificed him to save their own skin.

Jonah is no Jesus. By his sin he brought the ship’s crew into great danger— and, in spite of his sin,  into a personal knowledge of the living God… whom they now gratefully vowed to serve.

Meanwhile, far below, in a place the sailors could not see, Jonah was coming to his senses. From “the land of the dead” (2:3) Jonah prays like the former pagans above, acknowledging that those who worship false gods turn their back on his mercies— and ending with a similar vow to serve the God he had told them about (2:1-10). (When you get a chance read the whole prayer. It’s a huge stretch in light of where it comes from, what has happened— and is yet to happen.)

And this is the little whale story, with such huge implications of comparison and contrast, that some of us learned as children…

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64 Responses to “Jonah and the Perfect Storm”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

    After three days and three nights of being in the belly of the fish (Jonah 1:17) Jonah finally prays (Jonah 2:1).

    Personally I would have been calling out to God as soon as I hit the water.

    However this part of the story went as it did because it was a precursor to Jesus’ time spent “in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).

    It wasn’t the power of Jonah’s prayer that convinced God to have the fish vomit up Jonah (Jonah 2:10), it was when God’s purpose had been fulfilled.

    At another time Jesus prays to the Father and asks if it He were willing to let this cup pass from Him (Luke 22:42), but Jesus explains that He can do nothing except the will of the Father (John 5:30).

    God’s will was accomplished in Nineveh and His will accomplished at the cross.

    God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    Warming up from 10 at 4 am to 17 as I finish this at 6:30 am. Rain is on the way.


  2. tracey5tgbtg says:

    That is the first time it ever occurred to me that when the sailors threw Jonah overboard, they fully believed that he died. They, of course, had no knowledge of further developments. All they saw was that as soon as Jonah went into the sea, the storm miraculously ended.

    Thanks for pointing all this out, there is SO much in God’s word to study.

    In Jonah’s prayer he says, “when my life was ebbing away, I remembered you LORD…” I think that is a very honest thing for him to admit to God in prayer.

    Why is it that God must use storms, and distress, and the ebbing away of life to get our attention?

    Jonah says in his prayer, “Salvation comes from the Lord.” Clearly God has given Jonah knowledge. Jonah knows God intimately. And still, he is not perfect.

    I read these stories of God using imperfect people, and I love God all the more. Maybe God could use even someone like me.

  3. poohpity says:

    tracey, that was the same conclusion I came to as I read through the bible, “Maybe God could use even someone like me.” since the majority of the people He used all had some kind of faults, failures and personality issues.

    No one knew about Jonah’s time in the fish except God, Jonah and the fish. The people of Nineveh had no idea neither did the sailors. It seems when we come to the end of self is the time we decide to look up. Those who have it happen that way sure do seem to have a greater appreciation and deeper relationship with God, if everything is going fine not many seek God it seems like. As Jesus pointed out it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone to acknowledge God when things look like they are going good.

  4. jeff1 says:

    Why, you asked, does God use the storms of life to get our attention because otherwise we would not get the message that Christ died to save mankind!

    I see what I want to see and I hear what I want to hear and that is how it was for me until God’s ‘Storms’ coupled with the ‘School of Life’ shook my whole being into the realization that God is in control.

    When you spend your life being told you have to be in control, it is sometimes difficult to let go of that control, not just difficult for some but impossible.

    I cannot be perfect, like God is perfect, because what comes between us is ‘ME’.

    Frank Sinatra done my favorite version, “I did it My Way”, what Jonah tried, and I get Jonah very well, as they say, been there, done that, got the t-shirt!

    It is in the storms of life that God shows me “His Way” is best!

    It is then, that I agree, with God, that the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is fulfilled at the “Cross of Calvary”.

    Would you be free from your burden of sin?
    There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
    Would you o’er evil the victory win?
    There’s wonderful power in the blood

    Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
    There’s power in the blood, power in the blood,
    Sin stains are lost in its-life giving flow
    There’s wonderful power in the blood

    There is power, power, wonder working power
    In the blood of the Lamb
    There is power, power, wonder working power
    In the precious blood of the Lamb

    Would you do service for Jesus your King?
    There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
    Would you live daily His praises to sing?
    There’s wonderful power in the blood

    There is power, power, wonder working power
    In the blood of the Lamb
    There is power, power, wonder-working power
    In the precious blood of the Lamb

    Power, Power, Wonder working power
    In the blood of the Lamb
    There is Power, Power, Wonder working power
    In the blood of the Lamb

    Lord how we need Your power
    Every day and every hour
    Lord how we need Your power
    Every day and every hour

    Lord how we need Your
    Power, power, wonder working power
    In the blood of the Lamb
    Power, power, wonder working power
    In the precious blood of the Lamb

  5. cbrown says:

    It does not indicate in the book of Jonah that Jonah knew what God was going to do since he had attempted to run from the presence of God. God provided a sign to Jonah that Jonah should obey God and reluctantly he did.

  6. fadingman says:

    As Steve said, I believe God chose Jonah to bring the message to Nineveh because He knew he would run away and provide the sign of the prophet Jonah. Now how does this apply to us personally? Did God choose us in Christ because we’re better than Jonah? While I sometimes like to think I am, the answer is a firm no.

    But God always gets His way in the end. He did so with Samson as well. God said Samson would deliver the Israelites from the power of the Philistines (Judges 13:5), and it happened, even though Samson lived for his own pleasure, ate unclean things, slept with prostitutes, scorned his being a Nazarite, etc. While Samson suffered and died for his wrong-doing, God still worked through him.

  7. phpatato says:

    Good afternoon Everyone

    What struck me while reading what Mart said “By his sin he brought the ship’s crew into great danger” was that how everything we do, good or bad, has a ripple effect which affects others along the way. By his sinful actions, Jonah’s ripple effect brought great danger and grief to a ship’s crew; by his godly actions, Jonah’s ripple effect saved a whole city of people from destruction.

    Our actions, or lack of actions, isn’t contained to just us and we fool nobody but ourselves if we believe that what we do “won’t hurt anybody but me” or “what I did was so insignificant it won’t even be noticed”. Someone or “someones” – plural – will be affected, somehow, somewhere, someday. Being snarky or snippy with someone will ruin that someone’s day just as a smile can make someone’s day.

    Will what I do be a selfish harmful or loving helpful?

    Freezing rain overnight changing to rain tomorrow morning and Sunday. Highs of 41 and 45 F forecast for both days. I am thinking that will take care of what snow we have down. Some places in Central and Southern Ontario are expecting 3 feet of snow next week due to lake effect snow squalls. Glad I live in Eastern Ontario. :-)


  8. poohpity says:

    That sort of sounds like we are puppets in the hand of God. Not that He saw into the future and knew what would happen as if we do not have any choice in the matter like a dictator or puppet master would do. The love of God allows freedom not manipulation to force His will on anyone.

    Jonah knew God well enough to know that after predicting the destruction of Nineveh that when it all came down to it God’s compassion and mercy would win out instead which was plainly displayed in the lives of the sailors, people of Nineveh, Jonah and for us.

  9. poohpity says:

    My last comment was for Steve and fadingman.

  10. jeff1 says:

    I see where you are coming from Pooh, I was always taught that God did not force His will on anyone for He was gentle of spirit.

    It troubles me when I read something to the contrary. I agree Pooh, Jonah knew God and knew God wanted to save Nineveh, Jonah wanted to do things His way and it backfired on him, as it does us, for God has to teach us a lesson or we would not progress.

    God’s motives for rebuke is always pure but like Jonah mines
    is not always. I must examine my own heart before I act on God’s behalf.

    I do not see anything wrong with not acting, if in doubt, do nought. I choose to leave matters with God because I am in over my head when it comes to solving them.

  11. poohpity says:

    I think if one realizes what God’s basic will for us is then we can see how He acts in light of that.

    #1. No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

    #2. Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29

    If one looks at those things in light of what happened to Jonah or anyone else the bible one will see it rings true throughout.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Oh my. Let’s see, God wanted Jonah to go and proclaim judgement upon Nineveh; Jonah didn’t want to and ran away.
    In the end Jonah does exactly what God had wanted of him and we hear no more of Jonah except of the story of the vine.

    So the score is God 1 and Jonah 0.

    Whose will got done and whose did not?


  13. poohpity says:

    So God forced Jonah to follow Him in the first place? Usually those who follow want to do what God wants them to do, that has been my experience anyway. That is like saying, I want to follow you God but don’t ask me to do anything for you just let me say I follow you without any of the commitment or deeds, is that how it is? Pick me God but send someone else.

    That is like someone who says they are married then live their lives as if they are not, each in their own home, each have their own bank accounts, each dates whoever they want, right? That is the difference in those who “say”(profess) they are Christians and those who actually do follow Him and go where He send them and do what He asks of them.

    So the score was Jonah 2 chances and Nineveh 120,000 and God 120,002.

  14. jeff1 says:

    It seems God uses our bad choices where He can and makes a positive result from a negative action, it is God who is faithful and I am thankful that He is the merciful God that deep down I knew He was when I was not letting others mess with my head.

  15. street says:

    you know mart, jonah, the people in Exodus, and i have a lot in common. if not for the grace and mercy of God i would have become like sodom and gomorrah. i know we will see Him some day. i wonder if sin is the only thing keeping me from seeing Him? all these stories are to teach yet there main purpose is to reveal. job saw God with his own eyes before he died. God reveals Himself to the pure in heart. Matthew 5:8

  16. SFDBWV says:

    Jonah couldn’t see the big picture and neither can you pooh.

    28 degrees with freezing fog and icing.


  17. bubbles says:

    It’s foggy here as well, but NO snow yet!! Winter has been easier because of very little snow. The fog and damp makes the cold go to the bone. We may have up to an inch by tomorrow night.

  18. poohpity says:

    Steve, what is neat about the bible is reading it backwards we do get to see at least some of the picture and I never claimed to see the whole picture but I get to see part of it with even a glimpse of the character of God which I have not seen that He is in any anyway a control freak, puppet master or it is His way or the highway. People are like that but I have not ever been given the thought in anyway that God is. He seems to love us so much that He has given us free will and with that comes a brain with the ability to think and reason.

    Jonah had made a vow to God to worship and serve Him alone. That is not my guess Jonah says that in his prayer to God in chapter 2. It seems if that were not so then God would have never sent Jonah to Nineveh since there were several other prophets in that time but Jonah seemed to want to serve God but serve, it looks like, his own way not the way God needed him to.

  19. poohpity says:

    Steve, you should be able to empathize with Jonah. What if God sent you to speak to the radical Islamist’s you hate so much? Because of your hate would you run the other way or make excuses for the reason you could not go knowing that if they turned from their ways God would forgive them and show them mercy?

  20. poohpity says:

    Does God know that you want to follow Him no matter what the task He puts in front of you is? He has given each of us a job to do like to pray, bless and do good to our enemies which is what was given to Jonah. Do we do our job or let our hatred and anger get in the way of following God?

  21. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Agreeing with you over here, Mart, that the prayer of Jonah has deep implications for everybody.

    Jonah prayed:

    “I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
    The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
    Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
    O Lord, my God.
    “When my soul fainted within me,
    I remembered the Lord;
    And my prayer went up to You,
    Into Your holy temple.
    “Those who regard worthless idols
    Forsake their own Mercy.
    But I will sacrifice to You
    With the voice of thanksgiving;
    I will pay what I have vowed.
    Salvation is of the Lord.”

    By contrast with Jonah’s confession and re-dedication of his life in the belly of the fish, Jesus spent His time “under the earth” (His three days and nights in the grave) freeing the captives, according to Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus:

    “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

    “’When He ascended on high,
    He led captivity captive,
    And gave gifts to men.’
    (Now this, ‘He ascended’—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)”

    Jesus descended and ascended by His joyful obedience to His heavenly Father. Jonah was swallowed by the fish (was taken below) so that the Lord might have his “full attention.” Then, God released Jonah for joyful obedience. But, Jonah does not experience any joy, it seems to me, in the whole story — while Jesus delights to do His Father’s will at all times.

    35F with light rain this morning.

    Joy all day,

  22. joycemb says:

    Psalm 139:21 speaks of an anger toward unrighteousness. Must have been how Jonah was feeling. I feel that way too sometimes. Yet the best thing to do is to give them to God and pray He has His way with them; as He has with me.

  23. poohpity says:

    The bible says what God’s plans are for mankind that all will be saved. All will live one day in a place prepared for us where there will no longer be suffering, pain or sorrow with Him for eternity. Who would not want to be part of that plan? Well for that to happen we are given the privileged to serve and be used by God to achieve that. But do we think that should only be for those WE feel are worthy like Jonah did or like the mind, heart and soul of God for ALL. It is not we have to serve God more like we get to serve God with joy and excitement.

    Yes some of the things we are asked to do go against our very human nature but if one really thinks about it we were ALL once enemies of God. Was Jonah any different than the Ninevehites really? They did not follow God but obviously Jonah was not either yet God in His great compassion and mercy showed both His amazing grace.

  24. joycemb says:

    Jesus prayer: Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

  25. cbrown says:

    Pooh, Jonah had a “deep” hatred and anger for gentiles not just Ninevites.When the boat was in peril because he was fleeing from God,he was “sleeping”below not concerned about himself or the crew.The ultimate escape for him was to be thrown into the sea, BUT GOD. jeff1 says:
    January 8, 2016 at 10:15 am Viv, when I first read the above post I just glanced at the hymn included. This morning as I was reviewing the posts for this thread I went over the hymn several times and acknowledge “There is Power in the Blood”.

  26. joycemb says:

    I too was encouraged by the song Viv, thank you. Jonah was not asked to shed his blood for the Ninevites, only God shed His own blood for all.

  27. poohpity says:

    Chris, if Jonah was not concerned for the sailors why did he take responsibility for the storm and tell them to throw him overboard? That sounds a lot like concern to me. Jonah 1:12 ” “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.”

  28. poohpity says:

    It has been my experience that we are given more than enough information in the bible when we read backwards and forwards. The coolest part is that the more you read it is like what people say it is alive and active, God opens our eyes and ears to see and hear more and more no matter how many times one searches the pages there is always something new to glean.

  29. poohpity says:

    Chris you will have to show me where it says “Jonah had a “deep” hatred and anger for gentiles not just Ninevites.” I have not read that before but am open to learning.

  30. street says:

    dear poo you will know a tree by the fruit it produces. do not be deceived. a good tree can not produce bad fruit. God in His grace cleaned up the lose ends of jonah’s life just like he does with us. there is a warning in Romans about not letting us sin more that grace may abound even more. i am beginning to understand the supreme importance of repentance/faith, prayer, and obedience. i am also beginning to see the humility and gentleness of God. the greatest picture of this humility is washing the disciples feet. His love knows no boundaries. oh to be like Him. my hope and prayer.

  31. joycemb says:

    Even the enemy of our souls knows scripture and can use it for his own purposes; but as you said street: repentence, faith, prayer and obedience are supremely important. The enemy comes to steal our peace, kill our self-hood (created by God) and destroy our confidence. I’ve warned many times about cheap grace and it’s dangers. Even Jonah found out you don’t mess with God when he gives a command. The New Testsment is full of warnings of disobedience yet some ignore them. How can only parts of God be obeyed and the uncomfortable parts be ignored? The Enemy is clever. Very clever. Buyer beware.

  32. street says:

    thinking about the the difference in studying His word and seeing Him and the effect it will have.
    i think it is the same as good better best.

    thinking best friends?

    the incarnation and crucifixion stop me in may tracks.

    where to go from here?

  33. jeff1 says:

    It is easy to judge Jonah and his shortcomings but I like his honesty before God in admitting them. I believe when I admit my weaknesses before God then I am agreeing with God that it is his presence in me that strengthens me.

    My father (God rest him) often tried to get me to see the error of my ways, as I try so hard to do with my children, except since I did not listen to my dad at the time I now have the insight to see the folly of youth.

    God has taught me many things since, the most important being, that is is more important to examine my own heart and motives then others.

    God will teach me things about myself that I will not always like and I resist what I do not like. I have discovered this about myself, since my son loves to point out my shortcomings to even up the score

  34. jeff1 says:

    The above post I had not finished but pressed the enter before I should have.

    This life can be very much a learning experience if we let it be, but I find too many live in the past rather then learn from it, and has someone who lives in a Country where the people cannot get past their history I find it very unhealthy.

    I believe God wants us to learn from our mistakes, but too often, we just keep making the same ones, as history keeps repeating itself.

    The next generation may break this cycle, as science and technology take us into a new and challenging world.

    It is God’s love that sustains us to keep on trying for we all hope for a better world to come not just for ourselves but our children and our children’s children.

  35. SFDBWV says:

    1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

    After three days and three nights of being in the belly of the fish (Jonah 1:17) Jonah finally prays (Jonah 2:1).

    Personally I would have been calling out to God as soon as I hit the water.

    However this part of the story went as it did because it was a precursor to Jesus’ time spent “in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).

    It wasn’t the power of Jonah’s prayer that convinced God to have the fish vomit up Jonah (Jonah 2:10), it was when God’s purpose had been fulfilled.

    At another time Jesus prays to the Father and asks if it He were willing to let this cup pass from Him (Luke 22:42), but Jesus explains that He can do nothing except the will of the Father (John 5:30).

    God’s will was accomplished in Nineveh and His will accomplished at the cross.

    God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    40 degrees with snow on the way this afternoon.


  36. poohpity says:

    I guess one could read John 5:30 as you put it Steve(Jesus explains that He can do nothing except the will of the Father) but Jesus did have a choice but sought or desired to do the will of the Father as John 5:30 actually reads “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I ‘seek’ not to please myself but him who sent me.” He left heaven to come to earth to do the will of the Father even unto death. God’s will was not forced on Him Jesus wanted to do it for all of us. Contrasted with Jonah. Doing the will of God is what anyone who follows God wants to do and we have the choice of doing something else which most often those who follow actually end up doing their own will not God’s.

    Paul wanted to follow and do the will of Jesus and the things that followed were ship wrecks, beatings, hunger, floggings, etc.

    I do not think it was God’s will that Jonah ended up in a fish that was the consequences of the choice Jonah made not to do what had asked of him to do. Assyria was northwest by land from Judah and Jonah went east to the sea. I do not God think intended that to happen just so 700+ years later Jesus could use that to reference that to His time spent in the heart of the earth or hell. Jesus just seemed to use that as an example, if Jonah had done the task he was given Jesus would have used something as an example. Yes God’s Will will be done whether we desire to be part of it or not and knowing what His Will is who would not want to be part of it but I do not believe in anyway it is forced on us that has to come from our heart’s desire to be part of it.

  37. poohpity says:

    If God was an oppressive god that would mean He could force us to love Him but would that really be love? No, we have to freely make a choice to love Him and to follow Him and it is a privilege to be allowed to do the good He has given us to do. He allowed Jonah to do good to Nineveh to be part of God’s plan.

  38. poohpity says:

    What it seems to all come down to is our view of God. Whether He is a dictator type person who uses the people He created as game pieces, pawns or contrast that as He is a good God only truly wanting, knowing and doing what is best for all people who have value and worth to Him.

  39. joycemb says:

    Good morning from the wintry north. Minus 24 degrees F here this sunny morning (the sun always shines when it’s the coldest here) Thankful for heat, shelter, food and my bible this morning.

    As Aslan says “God is good, but He’s not safe.”

  40. phpatato says:

    I agree with Steve

    God’s desires, plans and charted course (His will) WILL get done. I think about what God had to do to get Pharaoh to release His people from slavery. Pharaoh, like Jonah, refused to listen and God “forced” the issue until His will was done. When we refuse to listen and become stubborn by saying No! to what God wants, He will maneuver things in our lives to have things fall into place according to His will for our lives. Simple as that. He also takes our disobedience to “fashion” “make to happen” “create” something good out of that. Sometimes it becomes evident right away, and sometimes it takes a lifetime to see that His hands did guide, is guiding and will guide and cause to happen everything that is good. He does know best and He will never forsake us to leave us on our own.

    If we as fathers and mothers guide our disobedient children into doing what we know is best for them, are they considered pawns or game pieces in our diabolical dictatorship plans? Or are we simply being loving fathers and mothers doing things, manipulating things, causing things to happen that we know is best for them….example…a young child refuses to go to bed at night because he wants to watch tv. The mother takes the remote the next day and removes the batteries so it is rendered useless. The child sits down to watch tv when he should be going to bed and finds the remote doesn’t work. Does the child sit there with no remote or will he end up going to bed because there is nothing to watch on tv. Yes that may be a poor example but…..

    God’s Will will get done. You can colour it anyway you want with whatever brand of sunglasses you are wearing …..

  41. jeff1 says:

    God’s will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven, not man’s nor mine, thank the Lord.

    I spent my life with violence and hatred all around me, but unlike my father, who was so much wiser, I let it blind me to my own shortcomings.

    I was judging others most of my life, my earthly father knew it, but could not get me to see it for my heart was not right with God.

    My father knew I was playing God, not listening to God, and being the loving father he was, he tried so many times, in so many ways to get me to see it.

    Just like God had to bring Jonah to his senses, he brought me to mine. I was so busy looking at the sins of others I was oblivious of my own and even my own father whom I was so close to could not get me to see it.

    I believe that to some extent I made myself ill but God has cared and provided for me since, and I know from my personal experience that he is merciful for I am a recipient of that mercy.

    God is faithful even when I was nought and that is not exclusive to me, for while I have not read the bible, I was brought up to believe that it is the fulfillment of the Gospel, and that those who have studied it can understand past and present world events leading to that fulfillment.

    It was in the storms of life that God sustained me for I did not look for Him until then, I had wandered and have a tendency to wander and it is in the storms that I go running back to him but the God of the good times is still God in the bad times I have found.

  42. joycemb says:

    Pooh I remember struggling with that also, my view of God vs the Biblical/experiential view of God. The conclusion I came to is that whatever pain He allows for whatever reason in my life it’s for His good purposes. His “good”and my idea of “good” are as different as I am from Him.

    Being sick, beaten, crucified, tortured or abused in myriad ways are not my idea of good, yet it’s in the painful experiences of life Gods’ good is promoted. Why? Because He is so much better than we can begin to imagine. No matter what God thinks of me I still have to struggle with me because redemption did not magically transform me from a toad to a princess. A princess I will never be, but oh how He’s loves this toad, he died for me to become his daughter! Daughter of the Most High God! Now that is good.

  43. joycemb says:

    A child needs to know they have value and worth to thrive; that was what I first learned from God that thrilled me so. But as I grew and matured I learned it’s not about me (a child’s view) but about Him, the mature view. We come as children but we don’t stay children, hopefully. A child at kick and scream growing up but the growing pains are all part of maturing, in our faith or in our bodies.

  44. poohpity says:

    Pat, are you comparing the Pharaoh of Egypt to God’s prophet Jonah? So you also agree with Steve that God uses us likes pawns in a big game as he has said in the past? Really? This is a matter of knowing the character of the God and misrepresenting, maligning, denigrating God’s character and to diminish confidence in God by thinking we have no choices.

    Of course God’s Will will be done and wanting that more than anything else but does one understand that that Will is for good not harm. Anyone who loves God desires and seeks to do that Will not go against it but we are not manipulated into doing it, it is by choice and a heartfelt desire as His followers not because we have to but because we want to.

    Jonah did not want God to show compassion to his enemies although Jonah wanted compassion from God regarding a plant giving him shade and comfort so it was only to benefit himself.

  45. poohpity says:

    Joyce, if you believe in Jesus, you have turned from a toad into a princess, not only a princess but a co-heir with Christ, His sister, dearly loved, a treasure and highly valued.

  46. joycemb says:

    Thank you Pooh, where in scripture does it say I’m a princess? It says I’m a sister of Christ and a daughter of the King. Beware of humanistic psychology mixed in with scripture.

  47. cbrown says:

    Jonah 4 But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord and said, “Please Lord, was not this [a]what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore [b]in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my [c]life from me, for death is better to me than life.” 4 The Lord said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?”

  48. joycemb says:

    A princess does not have to bend to rules of society but society bends to them. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me. Maybe Jonah thought of himself as a prince because of his status as an Israelite but God showed him differently as Chris just pointed out.

  49. poohpity says:

    Joyce what is a daughter of the King called? A princess, right? That is a first for me being accused of “humanistic psychology mixed in with scripture”. lol

  50. poohpity says:

    Can’t stop at verse 4 and get the point. Here is the rest to keep it in context which is always so important.

    Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.

    7 But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away. 8 And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. “Death is certainly better than living like this!” he exclaimed.

    9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”

    “Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”

    10 Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness,[a] not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

  51. poohpity says:

    So wasn’t all chapter 4 saying that Jonah was angry with God not the gentiles which is what you were saying Chris.(“Jonah had a “deep” hatred and anger for gentiles not just Ninevites.”) Did God ever use Jonah again after all this curfuffel?

  52. joycemb says:

    Well, I disagree with you Pooh but I’ve heard some Christian counselors use that term as it’s how they were taught in the 80’s and 90’s; Defining relationship with God in human terms to make one feel good about themselves to me is short changing the deeper work of the Holy Spirit. Yes Jesus said He no longer called them friend but said He was a brother to all. It’s about Him, not me or you. To me it cheapens the Holiness of God by attaching “prince or princess” to describe His Kingdom. He’s so much more than King. The description King was only used as the people at that time could only relate to a “kingly” type ruler. God reveals Himself in many ways however people can understand. I see Him and myself as much more than part of a monarchy now.
    Sorry it’s one of my touchy points. That’s all. Have a good evening.

  53. poohpity says:

    Joyce, so then it is you who is basing our relationship with God on humanistic psychology mixed with scripture. I was just sharing what the bible says about who you are in Christ. The beauty of all that you are as a new creation in Christ. Sorry it brothers you like Jonah’s misplaced anger then it would probably be better to take that up with God rather than biting and devouring me. Go into God’s word and see all the descriptors that describe your new identity and inheritance in Christ Jesus. Now-a-days you can even google it. :-) I thought what I shared would have brought joy to your heart about who you are in Christ. :-(

    It cheapens nothing about who we are covered in the blood of the lamb it is something to cling to with confidence for encouragement and joy. The reaction to it edges on blasphemy.

  54. joycemb says:

    Pooh you’re overreacting. Have a good night.

  55. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning all, it was a good thing to meditatie on Jonah, and that subject of free will and God’s will. Whatever you think about it, God’s will was doen for Nineveh.
    Jonah became a sign for Nineveh, as Jesus was for the world.
    So I get it to mean that it was visible that Jonah had been inside the fish for 3 days, and that it made impact to the people of Nineveh.
    I have to think about Corrie ten Boom, who in a sort of way was also inside deathcamp, in the nazicamp, and that fact makes an impact on het message.
    Corrie was there not because of het disobedience, but because God was with her.
    When we follow Christ who suffered for the saving of the world, who can say we will nor suffer for the world, as the apostles did, as Corrie did, as Jonah did?
    Because Jonah had suffered in that fish, as Corrie had suffered in the camp, their message made so much more impact, and people repented!
    That is the Joy of the Kingdom of God!

  56. poohpity says:

    There is quite a distance between the sea where the great fish spit Jonah out and the travel to Nineveh. So I do not know if the people in Nineveh were aware of Jonah’s time in the the fish. I think the way it looks that only Jonah and God knew of that. I was also thinking that Tarshish is a long way off too but it seems that maybe the fish dropped Jonah off a little closer to his destination since the ship was going in the opposite direction.

    Yes as children we get part of the story but we see as adults that there are far more implications to dig into.

  57. poohpity says:

    I also found it totally awesome that although God cared about all the people and animals of Nineveh He also took time with just one rebellious, angry person Jonah and cared about his spiritual development. Because of Jonah’s disobedience even the sailors came to believe compared/contrasted to Jesus’ obedience which many were saved.

  58. SFDBWV says:

    The story of Jonah occurred just as it did so that when Jesus came into his purpose he could explain to those listening that though they had heard of and read of the miracle of Jonah and the temporary withholding of judgement upon Nineveh, that there was a “greater than Jonah” among them.
    With a greater purpose, though akin to the story of Jonah as a living prophesy, much more far reaching as the word “greater” implies.

    It hit a low of 11 this morning and has risen to 14, lots of wind, but only a little over an inch of snow; which I believe didn’t actually fall from the sky as much as blow in from somewhere out in Ohio.


  59. poohpity says:

    Praising God for His love which was way bigger than any evil Nineveh ever did and the rebellion of Jonah so gives me hope that God never gives up His pursuit of any of us.

  60. poohpity says:

    Steve, that is a good one. The people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of a man but yet when Jesus(greater than Jonah) spoke, did miracles, signs and wonders many still did not believe.

  61. jeff1 says:

    If I have a tendency to wander and God chooses to intervene and show me the error of my ways then that is progress and I am thankful for His guidance.

    I have learned that what God wants is for me to keep my own heart right with Him and by doing so I will then know righteousness and not wander from His path.

    I know now that is why my father never had to question his reasoning because he was never influenced by those in power, but by his own conscience, for he was a man who looked more at his own weaknesses and not other peoples.

    My fathers righteousness was God given and as such he was not judgemental for He knew God’s way was so much better.

    When I start to see my own imperfections then I develop a kinder spirit and others see a much nicer side to me but I must endeavour to nurture that side of my nature.

    I am a sinner by nature, but if I allow Jesus access to my heart, He can use me but I will not necessarily know how, but by faith I can trust God that it will benefit His Kingdom and in the end that is what matters that God can use me to advance His Kingdom on earth.

    Does it matter if I am a pawn, I want to be of use to God regardless of how little use that may be!
    When you have messed up you just want to get it right at some stage in your life!

    When I’m confused Lord, show me the way,
    Baffled and bruised Lord, show me the way.
    Still my heart and clear my mind
    Prepare my soul to hear
    Your still small voice, your word of truth,
    Peace be still your Lord is near.
    Always so close to show you the way.

    When I’m afraid Lord, show me the way.
    Weak and dismayed Lord, show me the way.
    Lift my spirit with your love,
    Bring courage, calm and peace,
    You who bore all for my sake,
    So I could walk from fear released,
    With you beside showing the way
    Showing, showing the way.

  62. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Jeff, beautifull song.
    That God helps us in our darkest hours, ‘perfect storm’
    The title of this topic: in our storm God saves us.
    God saved Jonah in his storm, and that must have been part of his message. Yes Pooh, Jesus Himself said that these 3 days (and nights) were a witness to Nineveh. It was just with Mart posting this series on Jonah that I got the message Jesus gave: -the sign to Nineveh-
    which means that this was made known to them, not just something that stayed between God and Jonah alone, as I have thought too for more then 40 years.
    How is it possible that I didn’t see that?

    But -the perfect Storm- where Jonah went through, and God saved him, which inspired this beautifull prayer of Jonah 2.
    And it gave a deeper meaning to his message to Nineveh.
    As I have written this morning too, just as the deep storm of Corrie ten Boom in the Nazicamp gave a deeper impact to her message:
    Jesus saves, no matter how deep life goes, Jesus goes deeper.

    So God made Corrie go through a storm, not as a punishment, but for being a witness for Jesus.
    Just as Job went through a storm, not as a punishment, but so that he should show to the spirit world that God was with him, no matter how deep life would be, and that Job would show that he would love God unconditionally. That Job did not love God only because of His blessings.

    Or am I getting too complicated?
    Just saying, our storm are precious, they are used to bring others to Christ, the fruits…

  63. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed, wonderful post especially about the “survivors” of Nineveh.

  64. cbrown says:

    So God was using Jonah as a sign to the Ninevites but He was was using the circumstances of Jonah’s condition to be a sign to the “religious” people He was talking to about their condition.

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