KING’S CHURCH BLOG


29th September 2012

God is greater than the fish!

The story of Jonah is usually associated with the 'whale' or "great fish" (1:17), even though the fish is mentioned in only three verses and is just a bit-player in the drama! As Campbell Morgan said: "Men have looked so hard at the great fish that they have failed to see the GREAT GOD!"

In fact, the book of Jonah gives us a fascinating insight into one of the 'mega-themes' of the Bible: God's sovereignty. Is God in total control or are our responses decisive in events? Are God's sovereignty and human responsibility incompatible? I believe both are true.

Jonah's statement in 1:9 reveals something of God's sovereignty to us: He is the God of heaven, who created all things and is sovereign over the universe. We see his sovereignty in action in several places: God sent the storm (1:4); he commanded the fish (2:10); he provided a vine (4:6). Even events that seem to occur by human decision or action, or seem providential, have the hand of God behind them (see 1:7 and 1:15, for example).

God acts both naturally and supernaturally. Can God cause a fish to swallow a man? Of course he can! He created nature in the first place, so he can work both in nature and above nature. Jonah experienced both.

The sovereign God – ruler over all – is also gracious and compassionate. As we read the story of Jonah, we see God's salvation at work towards Jonah himself, the sailors and the Ninevites. God's compassion extents far beyond Jonah's, and is for all he has created. When the Ninevites turned to God, he relented (3:10), which in the original Hebrew means 'to breathe heavily' – the sense is that God sighs with relief that they have sought his mercy!

Our great God, the sovereign God, is a missionary God, far more committed to reaching 'outsiders' than his people are! Let's allow the love of God into our hearts to reorientate our attitudes to the thousands of people in Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill and beyond!

Reading: Jonah 1:9 and 4:2
Question: Do you have God's heart for the people in our town?
Next prayer meetings: Tomorrow, 7am at THC and 7pm at Centre Stage, Bexhill


John Groves

Posted by John Groves
08:03

    

BLOG ARCHIVE

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

Adrian Pursglove
Aled Cousins
Andrea Harwood
Andrew Bunt
Andrew Wilson
Anita Rose
Anna Wilson
Barbara Veness in Montpellier
Bekky Andrews
Caner Mutu
Chris Bunt
Clare Burford
Dan Harwood
David Holden
David Simpkins
Emma Hamberis
Hannah Beaney
Heather Benn
Ian & Claire Lockwood
Jeremy Simpkins
Joanna Mutu
John Groves
Kate Thurston
Kevin Rose
Liz Pursglove
Matt Beaney
Natalie Williams
Paul Edworthy
Paul Mann
Paul Mann and Emma Hamberis
Paul Mann and Natalie Williams
Santino Hamberis
Santino & Emma Hamberis
Sian Francis-Cox
Steve Young
Tamara Brunton
Terry Virgo
Tom Head
Tracy Masters

@kingshastings on twitter