When Trouble Is Your Fault
So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. – Jonah 1:15
Previous to Jonah being hurled into the raging, stormy sea by pagan sailors, there were a few things of note that occurred filled with instruction…
And few want to hear this, even me, but one of those noted teachings is that we (I) am to blame for the trouble that surrounds us.
We have trials and temptations daily, don’t we? We, all of us, at some point, run from God and His commands, regardless of whether it is for our good and the good of others, we still run. Jonah, chapter 1, is very instructive in this regard.
The first chapter of the book of Jonah shows us that the practice of Christianity itself is built on Christian doctrine. God’s sovereignty of grace is essential to God’s display of grace. “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” ( Romans 9:15).
God’s Word is the only rule for life and godliness. Yet, Jonah defied God’s command to go to Nineveh and headed in the opposite direction, towards Tarshish. That’s not insignificant. Jonah was successful in his running from God. There just happened to be a boat in Tarshish where Jonah just happened to get the ticket for boarding, where said boat just happened to be headed where Jonah wanted to go. Take note my reader, just because you are successful does not necessarily mean that God is behind you in support or blessing!
Is it not true that God gave Jonah some freedom to go his own way in order to show Jonah what was in his own heart? Jonah, in his success in running from God, thought he had made it, and yet, God eventually showed him that there was no place to hide.
The storm raged. Jonah’s fellow passengers, the pagan sailors, were very afraid. Jonah’s disobedience had affected others. There’s nothing more dangerous under the sun than a saint in rebellion to God’s Word. God has all eternity to deal with sinners who hate Him, but in this life, He must deal with us now, and His chastisement and our sin always affects those around us.
Rebellious Christians are, in large part, the cause of trouble in our society. Our sin is never isolated to us alone, or even our own family. It spreads and spreads outward.
It’s good that we look in the mirror; to do some self-examination; to see if we have been the cause of trouble because, like Jonah, we have been disobedient to God’s Word.