Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke
This is the third in a series of studies on the Book of Jonah. This focuses on the Principles of Grace.
Grace allows us complete freedom to disobey.
Grace permits us to obey or disobey. God didn’t stop ships from coming and going at Joppa. Jonah was even allowed to sleep after he boarded the ship.
Because things seem to be going along ok doesn’t mean you are not headed for trouble. God didn’t strike him dead when he disobeyed, didn’t even keep him awake with conviction. He let him sleep.
Grace does not cancel the consequences of our disobedience. The storm came, revealing the sin of Jonah. He admitted he was at fault and caused the storm. God doesn’t say, “It’s ok, you’ll learn someday.” No, God sent a storm of gigantic proportions. He terrified the sailors, tested the strength of the ship, and revealed the fault of Jonah. Not until we face and accept reality will Grace bring the calm. Jonah recognized the reality of their situation. What did he do? “And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you” (Jonah 1:12). It happened just as he said. They probably never knew what became of Jonah.
When we choose what is right, how great is the calm. Jonah did not know what was going to become of him, but he knew the sailors would be safe. When we run from God, we affect others.
Our families, our friends and our colleagues are all impacted by what we do.
We must seek the calm of God’s grace in order to enjoy the blessings of God upon ourselves and those we love.