“But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.”
Now we come to the cost of Jonah’s defiance (1:4-2:10). First, God sends a “great wind” (1:4-16) to retrieve Jonah from his rebellion.
But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea,
In verse three, we had the phrase “But Jonah.” Now we have “But the Lord.” The first has to do with Jonah’s reaction to the will of God and the second has to do with God’s reaction to a believer out of fellowship. Jonah took his measures and now Jehovah takes His. God always lets man have his way to a certain point. Man proposes but God ultimately disposes.
Jehovah tried to send Jonah but now he sends out a “great wind on the sea.” Literally, the idea of “sent out” is caused to be hurled. He hurled this great wind after Jonah. The wind and the fish obeyed Jehovah, but Jonah did not. God graciously did not allow His servant to go about his way without dealing with him. He would not allow Jonah to remain in his rebellion.
God tried to send Jonah, but now He sends something after Jonah: He sends a wind, a storm, and a fish. Elements of nature obey God, but His people do not obey Him.
Ps 135:7, “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”
Ps 148:8, “Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word…”
and there was a mighty tempest on the sea,
God has begun to act. God does not relinquish His sovereignty over nature or His creatures. He is in the business of moving nature itself (Mt 8:23-27; Ac 27:14-20).
so that the ship was about to be broken up
The “mighty tempest” was so violent that it almost caused the ship to break up. God, not the prophet Jonah, is the principal person in the book of Jonah. God always accomplishes His purposes in His timing. God interrupted Jonah’s itinerary in deference to His own.
God loves His children too much, not to discipline them and restore them to fellowship.
God’s discipline is an act of His grace. God never loses sight of those He loves. He kept His eye on Jonah the whole time.
There may be a “but” in our lives, but God has a “but” as well. God’s “but” overruled Jonah’s “but.” Man proposes, but God will ultimately dispose.
God has two ways of dealing with us: 1) by blessing our compliance or 2) by regulating our rebellion. It is a lot easier on our hide to do God’s will willingly. God has His way of getting our attention. Some of us learn only by the hard way. God will cause some storm to come into our lives if we step out of His will for very long. God always deals with a person’s hard heart. God loves us too much not to discipline us and restore us to fellowship.
He 12:3-11, 3 “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.’
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
We can trust God even when we cannot trace Him.