April 11th


“I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me” (Psa. 119:75).
                        The experience of being in the fish’s belly brought about true repentance in the heart of Jonah (ch.2). Jonah did not hide his sin from the people in the ship, then how could he hide it from God? When the work of repentance in Jonah was deep and complete, God commanded the whale to throw him right on the spot where He wanted Jonah to be. In the same way God allows the storms in our lives to bring us to true repentance and real confession. Likewise He lovingly brings us to the place where He wants us to be, and where only He can use us.
                        We see an instance of God’s provision for His servants in the way He commanded the fish to throw Jonah on dry land. When Jonah ran away he had to pay his fare (Jonah 1:3). But when he repented the whale took him to the shore free of charge! God became responsible for all his expenses. How many of God’s servants weep and complain when they have no money! They do not realize that they are suffering because they have disobeyed God in some matter, and have need to repent. All our needs will be met by God when there is true repentance and whole-hearted obedience.
                        The God of love knew that Jonah needed better protection from the sun than what the booth provided him. In a matter of minute, God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. Jonah did not thank the Lord for His loving and wonderful provision of the gourd nor did his anger against God abate in the least degree. Very patiently God took steps to bring Jonah to his senses. He prepared a worm and it smote the gourd so that it withered. When the sun arose God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, and he fainted. Jonah had not yet learnt the lesson provided by the gourd, and was still angry, implying that God was wrong and he himself was right. We see the marvelous patience of our loving God who tenderly rebuked him (4:10,11).
                        The Lord never makes a mistake. He uses many means, as He did with Jonah, to bring us back to Himself. When we run away from Him, He allows storms to overthrow us, but provides safety in “a whale”. He shows marvelous loving kindness to us even when we create our own problems, and “go on strike” against Him. He suddenly provides “a gourd to protect our head.” And as suddenly removes it to show us our utter dependence upon Him. When we obey God, He supplies all our needs and meets all our expenses. But when we do not obey Him, He uses both simple as well as extraordinary means to bring us to our senses, so that we may learn to live in the presence of God and be His co-workers.