Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 30, 2018

“You, O Lord, have done as You have pleased.”

Today’s devotion comes from Jonah chapter 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.”  Jonah chapter 1.

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“You, O Lord, have done as You have pleased.”  Verse 14.

Let us consider some of the amazing things that the LORD did in this chapter which support this declaration of the LORD’s sovereignty that the LORD does as He pleases.

The LORD found Jonah even though Jonah fled from the presence of the LORD and was hidden in a ship with many people in the middle of the sea.  Verses 3-4.

“7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”  Psalm 139:7-10.

The LORD created a great wind on the sea such that it became a great storm but also controlled the storm perfectly that it would be strong enough to cause great fear in the sailors but would not be strong enough to destroy the ship and kill them.  Verses 4-15.

The LORD caused the sea to stop raging as soon as the sailors threw Jonah into the sea.  Verse 15.

The LORD caused these sailors, a rough lot who worshiped various gods, to fear the LORD greatly and to offer a sacrifice and make vows to Him.  Verse 16.

The LORD “appointed” a great fish to swallow Jonah but also controlled the fish perfectly that the fish did not kill Jonah.  Verse 17.

Nevertheless, other doctrine futilely tries to restrain this Almighty Sovereign LORD by their puny, wispy, but really non-existent free-will.

“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”  Psalm 2:3.

Reformed Doctrine rejoices in the LORD’s response.

“He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.” Psalm 2:4.

Reformed Doctrine worships, praises, and exults in the absolute sovereignty of God.

“But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.”  Psalm 115:3.


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