God Uses His Creation To Accomplish His Will
"Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." (Jonah 1:17)
Have you ever eaten fish? Some people really like fish, and some people really don't! Some people eat fish all the time. But how often do you hear of a fish eating a person?
God told a man named Jonah to go preach to some people called the Ninevites. The Ninevites were very wicked people. They tortured and killed people for no reason. They worshipped many false gods. They hated the Israelites – and an Israelite is just what Jonah was. God told Jonah to tell these wicked people that God loved them and that if they turned from their sin, God would forgive them and would not punish them for their wicked deeds.
Jonah did not want to go tell these people that good news. In fact, he went down to the boat docks and bought a ticket for a ship headed in the opposite direction! On the way, a very bad storm came up. The wind blew and the waves rolled high. The boat rocked back and forth, and the crew was soaked head-to-toe by the rain. Each man on board cried out to his idol-god to save him.
Only Jonah knew of the one true God. Jonah knew God was using the storm to get his attention because he had disobeyed Him. Instead of telling the sailors to turn around and go back to port, Jonah told them to throw him overboard into the raging sea. At first, they did not want to throw him off, but when the storm got even worse, they finally picked him up and threw him over the side of the ship.
When they did, the seas were quiet. The wind stopped blowing. But what happened to Jonah? Well, God had prepared something special for him – a miracle, in fact! God made a fish swallow up Jonah! From inside the fish, Jonah prayed, getting his heart right with God. After three days and three nights, the fish threw up Jonah...onto a beach. He probably looked bad after all that time in a fish's stomach– in his prayer, he had even said he seaweed wrapped around his head!
When Jonah finally went to the city on Nineveh and preached to them of God's love, they repented of their sins. They gave up their wicked ways and began to serve God. Even the king repented of his sin and turned to God.
Throughout all these events, you can see that God was in complete control: He directed the weather and sea, directed a fish, and used these things to direct Jonah.
God uses creation to do what He wants done – even to get the attention of His people.
» What is God trying to teach me through His creation?
» How am I responding?
Truth In Real Life
Emily Chubbuck Judson
“Time and eternity are here.”
Emily Chubbuck was born in New York on August 22. Being part of a very poor family, Emily was forced to work in the mills by the time she was twelve years old. She wanted to learn as much as she could, however, so she went to school during the winter and she worked during the summer – leaving no extra time to be a “normal kid.” She became a teacher when she was just fifteen years old.
When she wasn’t working her other jobs, Emily found that writing was one of her favorite things to do. She enjoyed writing and publishing books for children. She was especially good at writing poetry and wrote under the pen name – or “pretend name” – of “Fanny Forrester.” Her Sunday School books were a big help to Christians around the world.
Everything she did was for God and for her family.
The missionary Adoniram Judson – whose wife Sarah had recently died – heard about Emily and asked her to write Sarah’s biography. Emily wrote the book, and the authoress and the missionary developed a special friendship. Judson ended up marrying her later that year. They returned to the mission field of Burma where Emily served Jesus Christ alongside her husband. She might have become famous for her writing and made a lifelong name for herself, had she not chosen to go to the mission field instead.
Later in his life, Adoniram Judson got very sick and he left on a boat to get medical help. He died on the boat and it took four months for Emily to get the news that her husband was not coming home. She continued to work and pray, trusting that God would take care of her all the time.
Emily often spoke about the importance of using her talents for Jesus Christ. She genuinely desired for God to use her talents to spread the Gospel.
What talents and gifts has God given you that could be used in God’s work?
Colossians 3:23 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.