ODJ: why?

October 13, 2014 

READ: Jonah 1:1-17 

The sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the LORD’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice (vv.15-16).

Lord, he was so young . . . married less than a year. My heart broke for the wife and extended family of the young man—grieving his loss as fellow mourners met with them. A familiar question came to mind: God, why him and not me? I had the same disease, and went through the same bone marrow transplant treatment. Why did he die and why is my cancer in remission? In that moment, God reminded me once again that He alone is sovereign.

Jonah and the crew of the ship heading to Tarshish learned that truth in a dramatic way. The reluctant prophet had reacted to God’s call by setting sail in the opposite direction of where He had told him to go (Jonah 1:2-3). But the sovereign God “hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart” (v.4).

At this point, Jonah recognised that some divine discipline and redirection was taking place. So he told the crew to toss him into the fierce and frothing waves, saying, “I know that this terrible storm is all my fault” (v.12). The sailors called out to God for the first time in their lives, asking Him to save them from death and not to hold them responsible for Jonah’s demise.

Then they threw the wayward prophet into the troubled sea, and the waters became calm (v.15). God, in His sovereignty, had chosen to save the sailors’ lives. He also chose to deliver Jonah from death for His good purposes (v.17).

There are times when we ask God, Why? He understands and sympathises with us (Hebrews 4:15). Sometimes the waves will crash, sometimes loved ones will be taken from us. But we can confidently know that our sovereign God is still good and loving . . . and He knows why. —Tom Felten

365-day plan› Acts 5:1-16

What does Isaiah reveal about God’s thoughts in 55:8-9? What does David tell us to do with our burdens in Psalm 55:22? 
What has caused you to come to God with questions? How does His sovereignty provide hope and comfort for you in the storms of life?