A Merciful Storm

Feb 12, 2012 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Series: Jonah Scripture: Jonah 1:4-7
The tension of the narrative is created in first three verses of the book of Jonah. God has called, and the prophet has run away; God commanded him to “get up,” Jonah “went down;” God called to go northeast to Nineveh, and he drudged 60 miles southwest to the port of Joppa; from receiving the Word of the Lord, Jonah sought to flee the presence of the Lord. At Joppa, Jonah found just what he was looking for – a ship headed for Tarshish. The rapidity of these successive events is striking – here we are, only 3 verses into the text, and so much has already transpired! What next? Though things may have seemed to slow down for Jonah, as he settled into the lower deck of the ship and fell fast asleep, the Lord would not allow him to continue comfortably in his rebellion. So the LORD sent a great wind on the sea; but this storm was not the chaotic retributive act of an angry vengeful deity, but a very specific and deliberate act of a loving God. Rather than a random wind and tempest, this storm had a merciful and salvific intent. The storm that hit Jonah’s get-away ship was a storm of the Lord. Just as was the case when Jesus stilled the storm on the Sea of Galilee, the winds and the waves obeyed Him, as they precisely hit Jonah’s ship. The Lord was working out His purpose to save His prophet and His people. Jonah’s storm is no coincidence, it is no act of an unaffected “mother nature,” much less is it a fable; it is God’s providential action, with the atmospheric elements doing His bidding.