Word at Work January 9, 2017

Scripture: Jonah 2

Jonah 2 is a remarkable chapter about the transformation of Jonah as God dealt with him from the fish’s belly. God has a way of getting what He wants out of whomever He wants it. Chapter 2 is likely the best advertisement for the fourth layer of God’s love that we will ever find. The fourth layer of God’s love is the process of Him loving us by affliction. He judicially uses affliction, from a foundation of love, in order to remove a barrier to salvation to gain a harvest. Jonah 2:2 says, “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me. ‘Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.’” God provided the transportation. He knew Jonah was in the fish and the affliction was so great that Jonah turned. God answered and prepared Jonah to finish his call. The affliction of living in whale bile, likely in total darkness with weeds and debris wrapped around him was enough. In verses 7-9 Jonah said, “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.” He gave in to God’s call and agreed to tell the people what God said. When Jonah said he would pay what he had vowed, the whale vomited him out and immediately the Word of the Lord said to go to Nineveh. So Jonah rose and went to Nineveh. Sometimes ministry is born in adversity and affliction when the vessel is not initially willing. Isn’t it wise for us to be willing up front? It is much better than the possible agonizing alternative.

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