by: Timothy Vazquez
Jonah 1:7 (NLT) 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.
Jonah had gotten himself into a jam by trying to run away from God. He did not like where the Lord was sending him and what the Lord was telling him to do. God wanted him to warn the people of Nineveh of the impending judgement that was coming because of their sinful ways. Jonah wanted them to be punished and destroyed, so instead of doing what the Lord commanded him to do, he ran away...or at least he tried to run away. The Lord was not having any of it so He sent a storm to toss the ship that he was on like a toy on the raging seas. The other men on the boat began crying out to their gods, which were not gods at all. Then they cast lots to see who was responsible for the mess that they were in. First of all, how did these ungodly men figure out that it was someone's fault and not just a random storm that came upon them? And how did these ungodly men, by casting lots, figure out that it was Jonah's fault? The answer is simple: you cannot run from God. Even though these men did not know the Lord, God revealed to them what was happening and who was responsible without them even knowing it.
In a sense, God snitched on Jonah. He outed Jonah and let the crew know that it was Jonah's fault that they were in the predicament that they were in. Why did the Lord do this? He did it because of His great mercy and grace. Instead of destroying Jonah for disobeying Him and trying to run away, the Lord backed Jonah into a corner. He was actually saving Jonah from himself. Even though the remedy was for the men on that boat to have to throw Jonah overboard, it was all a part of God's plan to get Jonah back on track with His will. God's will is perfect, and any deviation from it in our lives leads to wasted time at best and disaster in the end. Jonah did not want to deliver a message of warning so that perhaps the people of Nineveh would not have to die in their sins. That indicates a heart that is calloused and not in the right place. To not care if one hundred and twenty thousand people die (that was the population of Nineveh at the time) is cruel and evil and left unchecked, a cruel heart leads to our own demise. God was saving Jonah from a wretched heart and from losing the anointing on his ministry and the only way to do that was by singling him out.
God's ways are definitely not our ways. We can be vengeful, hateful, callous and uncaring and these ungodly attitudes will always lead us to destruction. God cares about others and He cares about us, so He won't allow us to run and He won't allow us to keep any destructive attitudes and behaviors that will lead to sorrow, pain and even death. Better to be called out by God and receive correction from Him than to be left to our own devices. But better still is to not run from God and follow His lead without question for a blessed life here on earth that will not only be good for us, but that will be a blessing for many around us.
Pastor Joey Vazquez