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Stormy waters

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

Read Jonah 1 v 4-6

Have you ever been at sea during a storm? if so, you may have an inkling of the terrifying experience this passage describes. These verses engage our senses. To really grasp what's happening, we must feel the power of those breaking waves and hear the violent creaking of the ship.

Panicking in the Storm

  • - Which details in these verses indicate teh severity of the this storm?
  • - What is the cause of this terrible storm?
  • - How do teh seasoned sailors respond?
  • - Hod do the captain's actions in verse 6 show his desperation?

Spot the irony here! Jonah has come on board this ship in order to prevent the salvation of the pagan Ninevites. But as "each cried out to his god" (v 5), we see that these sailors are pagans too. And it is clear from the request of the captain in verse 6 that Jonah is now being asked to play a part in saving pagan sailors from death at sea!

Searching the storm

  • - What do verses 5 and 6 tell us about the belief system of the sailors?
  • - What does verse 6 suggest the captain thinkgs of Jonah's God?
  • - What has opened the sailors ot the possibility of seeking the help of Jonah's God?

It's clear that these pagan sailors don't know about, or have faith in, the God of Israel. But they've tried everything else, including calling to their own gods, and nothing has worked. The storm sent by God has opened them to the possibility of looking for help in other places. 

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TIME OUT

I've seen this same pattern occure in people I know. My non-Christian friend at university entered a dark season in his life, hit rock-bottom, and began seeking God because he didn't know where else to turn. He came to saving faith and is now growing as a Christian.

  • - Have you experienced this, either in your own life or in a friend's?

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APPLY

  • - Think of the people in your life. Do you konw any who are struggling, and perhaps more open to seeking God than they have been in the past?
  • - How might you be able to start a conversation about God with them?

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PRAY

Thank God that He directs and uses difficult times to bring people to consider who He is. Pray for any friends you thought of in the "Apply" section.

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore60 when you check out to get the next quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

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Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "My Bible" at BibleStudyTools.com

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Originally published October 31, 2012.

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