Jonah 1:1-2 "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me."
In the previous post I mentioned how that Jonah did not want to obey God and went his own way. He rebelled against God and His will for Jonah. In this post I'll go into what happens when a person rebels against God.
In verse 4 we see that God sent the storm to reclaim the heart of God. "But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken." God starts out sweetly trying to bring the backslider back to Him. But the longer the person goes on rejecting the stronger the storm will become. If they continue to rebel it can mean death is coming.
Verse 5 "Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep." A person who runs from God will always find that their rebellion will affect other people. Jonah had no concern for others that were around him. I have found that to be the case....those that are rebellious are only concerned with themselves and what THEY want. They take no regard for who else their rebellion affects. Others will be hurt by our rebellion.
Verse 6 "So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not." Jonah rested in his sin. Some get comfortable in their sin. There is pleasure in sin for a season. But all things come to an end. Either they will get right or God will take them out. God is able to deliver that one who is rebellious like He delivered Jonah.
Verse 17 "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." God put Jonah where he could no longer run. Jonah had no control over anything anymore. He was contained but not consumed. The great fish was capable of consuming Jonah in the belly but God protected him.
Jonah 2:1 "Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly," Jonah prayed! He couldn't do anything to run anymore. The backslider will find himself in a fix where there is nothing else that he can do but pray. I believe that when God puts a person in that place and they don't pray that they cross that line and they are on very dangerous ground and that they are nearing that time of God taking them out. God is a merciful God and will give us every opportunity to get things right. But when we reject that opportunity then God would much rather take us home than to let us shame Him and His name any longer. In verse 2 we find that God heard his cry. "And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice."
Verse 4 "Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple." We've all messed up at one time or another. But God is merciful and forgiving. Jonah eventually got right and did God's will. It was God's mercy that allowed him to do this.
The things or situations that God uses to get our attention will not last. God doesn't design those things to last. They will last as long as it takes. The timing or length of time is determined by us and how we respond to it. If you are not right with God today and you know you aren't....don't wait to get right and take a chance on crossing that line that God has drawn. Don't continue to hurt those that love you and are going through this difficult time with you. God is having mercy on you for a reason. Don't run anymore....God is on your trail and if you continue to run...you will find that you just may end up in a place where you can't run anymore and you will be faced with that final opportunity to get things right. You have a choice...what are you going to do?