Storms of Our Own Making

  • September 08, 2019
Sunday 08

Jonah 1, Jonah 2:1-10

We all experience what could be called storms of life. They come in various forms, such as relational, financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Sometimes they are even the result of our own foolish choices. The trouble that comes to us may be the harvest of what we have sown in the past. And that was certainly the case with Jonah.

When Jonah tried to run away from God’s assignment, the Lord brought a corrective storm into his life. And because He loves us, He will similarly disrupt our plans when we insist on going our own way instead of submitting to His will. God’s storms …

Get our attention. Storms disrupt our normal routine in such a way that we stop to consider what God is doing in our lives.

Humble us. The Lord challenges our pride and self-reliance so we realize that we are not in charge and can do nothing apart from Him.

Lead us to repentance. Sometimes the consequences of our sin and rebellion are so painful and troublesome that we come to our senses and turn back to God in humble obedience.

Align our life with His plans. Storms cause us to let go of our stubbornly held plans and yield to His will no matter what it costs us.

Crying out to the Lord is the best response in a storm. Like Jonah, we should humble ourselves in the midst of our circumstances, submit to God’s dealings with us, turn from our rebellion to obedience, and yield to His will. Only then will we become a useful servant in His mighty hand.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 37-39

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1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,

2 Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."

3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

4 The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.

5 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.

6 So the captain approached him and said, How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish."

7 Each man said to his mate, Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us." So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.

8 Then they said to him, Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?"

9 He said to them, I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land."

10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

11 So they said to him, What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"--for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.

12 He said to them, Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you."

13 However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.

14 Then they called on the LORD and said, We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased."

15 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.

16 Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

17 And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.

1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish,

2 and he said, I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.

3 For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me.

4 So I said, `I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.'

5 Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head.

6 I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.

7 While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple.

8 Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness,

9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD."

10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.

1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.

2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry.

3 He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, O Lord GOD, You know."

4 Again He said to me, Prophesy over these bones and say to them, `O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.'

5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, `Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life.

6 I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'"

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.

9 Then He said to me, Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, `Thus says the Lord GOD, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life."'"

10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, `Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.'

12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.

13 Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.

14 I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it," declares the LORD.'"

15 The word of the LORD came again to me saying,

16 And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, `For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions'; then take another stick and write on it, `For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.'

17 Then join them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand.

18 When the sons of your people speak to you saying, `Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?'

19 say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand."'

20 The sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.

21 Say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;

22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms.

23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.

24 My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them.

25 They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons' sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever.

26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.

27 My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.

28 And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever."'"

1 And the word of the LORD came to me saying,

2 Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him

3 and say, `Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.

4 I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords;

5 Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet;

6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops--many peoples with you.

7 Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.

8 After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.

9 You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you."

10 Thus says the Lord GOD, It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,

11 and you will say, `I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates,

12 to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.'

13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, `Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'"'

14 Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, `Thus says the Lord GOD, On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it?

15 You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army;

16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog."

17 Thus says the Lord GOD, Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days through My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them?

18 It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," declares the Lord GOD, that My fury will mount up in My anger.

19 In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.

20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.

21 I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains," declares the Lord GOD. Every man's sword will be against his brother.

22 With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone.

23 I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD."'

1 And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, `Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal;

2 and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.

3 I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand.

4 You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field.

5 You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken," declares the Lord GOD.

6 And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.

7 My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

8 Behold, it is coming and it shall be done," declares the Lord GOD. That is the day of which I have spoken.

9 Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them, both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears, and for seven years they will make fires of them.

10 They will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them," declares the Lord GOD.

11 On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog.

12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land.

13 Even all the people of the land will bury them; and it will be to their renown on the day that I glorify Myself," declares the Lord GOD.

14 They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search.

15 As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man's bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog.

16 And even the name of the city will be Hamonah. So they will cleanse the land."'

17 As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, `Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.

18 You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.

19 So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.

20 You will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war," declares the Lord GOD.

21 And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.

22 And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.

23 The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword.

24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them."'"

25 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name.

26 They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid.

27 When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations.

28 Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.

29 I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

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Publish Date September 21, 2019
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