a fierce and awesome pursuit

from the a fierce and awesome pursuit reading plan

Jonah 1:4-10

BY Guest Writer

Text: Jonah 1:4-10

So Jonah fled from the presence of the Lord.

And God pursued him like only the Creator and Lord of the sea could: with a furious ocean tempest! This narrative of this story just begs for the big screen. I mean, picture Jonah sleeping in a tiny boat, the sky grey and heavy with the strength of the Lord Almighty. And God is fierce and awesome in His pursuit.

God is also loving in his pursuit. He could’ve crushed Jonah under a tremendous sea surge and found another man. Jonah was such a stinker, right? God gave him a clear instruction, something we all (kind of) long for, and he ran like a little girl in the other direction.

But God fiercely and lovingly pursues Jonah; consider what happens in this passage.
He rouses up the wind and the sea to get Jonah’s attention. He moves the sailors to call out to their gods for help, and then incites the sailors to ferret out Jonah’s secret. And finally, God shows His will in the casting of lots.

God wanted Jonah. Goodness, isn’t that amazing? I sometimes feel like I’m a sub-standard version of the person who should actually be living my life. And the truth is, I do fall short. Probably there is someone who would be a better mother to my kids, wife to my husband, friend to my friends. But despite my imperfections and failings, I am the best mother for my children, wife to my husband, and I am the best friend to my friends! Because God gives specific callings to specific people. That means God wants me for my particular calling and life.

And we can’t escape God and His storm gale of purpose.

“Where could I run away from your presence…?
If I… lived far across the sea,
even there your hand would… take hold of me.”
Psalm 139:7-10

Guest writer Rebecca Faires teaches German and theatre, raises four sweet children, and kisses her husband. Hallelujah.

Post Comments (66)

66 thoughts on "a fierce and awesome pursuit"

  1. Kim says:

    Runs like a girl?

    1. Hannah C. says:

      Thanks for posting this, Kim. That line jumped out at me too, in a negative way.

      Being a woman, or a young woman, or a girl, should not be used as an insult. And I found it jarring to find that oh-so-common, oh-too-common phrase "runs like a girl" here.

  2. Dori McCormick says:

    This reminds me of the beggar who tried to get into the waters to be healed when they stirred. God moves in the tempest …we should look for him in the storms. And be healed.

  3. Steph_Lilac says:

    I loved how Jonah was sleeping while the rest of the crew was screaming. He probably thought that he was free and clear on his way to Tarshish never to hear about going to Nineveh again! How delusional we are to think there is something that we can actually do to make God forget about us. Like our actions will stop His hot pursuit. Stalkers, police detectives, and private investigators can learn a thing or two from our God. lol

    Can you imagine what the sailors thought when they found out that Jonah was running from The God? I'm almost positive that they heard stories and tales of how God's people defeated those who opposed them in battle or even the miracles God performed in Egypt. Those stories travel and increased the sailors fear of God's wrath. They recognized the Awesomeness of God but good 'ol Jonah was sleeping on Him. There were probably tons of other people who would have went where God told them to immediately but God wanted Jonah. If we feel inadequate, He makes us have enough. Insecure, He reaffirms our ability. Sub-standard (as I've been feeling lately also), He justifies us and lets us know that we were tailor-made for the position. There is no emotion too great for God, and no mind trick from the enemy to complicated for Him too work out. This post swept right at my front door this morning.

  4. C Smith says:

    Thank you. You put words to what I could not express myself. That "sub-standard version" that I feel I am living as in my life, that is exactly how I feel sometimes. It was refreshing and encouraging to be reminded that essentially, God doesn't make mistakes. He has placed me where I am, given me the life I have for a purpose…for such a time as this.
    I agree, I can see this scene play out like it was in a movie. But let's go back to the statement made in the reading, "God gave him a clear instruction, something we all (kind of) long for, and he ran like a little girl in the other direction." That was funny at first glance. At a closer look, it was so true though. We always feel as though we would be up for a task like that. At the very least just to be given clear instructions as Jonah was given. But I cannot say without a doubt that my reaction would have been different from Jonah's. Oh I how I pray it would've. And I pray that I stand ready to say, "Here am I" when that next call to duty is given.

  5. LauraBernice says:

    What a timely and perfect post this morning.

    The other night I was feeling down on myself, and I did in fact feel like a "sub-standard version of the person who should actually be living my life." This devotion today showed me how big of a lie that truly is though! Praise God for opening my eyes to the importance he places on each one of us. He wants us to be exactly where he put us, even if we give him trouble and don't want to listen to him.

    God also showed me this morning that since he felt this way about Jonah, and I understand he feels this way about me, then he also feels this way about every person in my life!! Wow. Even though I have been told this time and time again, today it really struck me. Each person is placed in my life for a reason, and each person has their own unique purpose on this earth. Today I am praying for God help me show each person I see today love. Live out love!

    1. Kat says:

      What a great perspective – to expand this mindset that God has purposely placed not only ME … but EVERYONE ELSE in my life as well! Talk about a hard-hitting message! Yesterday during our repentance part of the devotional where we asked ourselves questions, I realized that I have a really difficult time showing God's grace, mercy, loving-kindness to others around me who make ME feel uncomfortable. So your thought on expanding our perspective of God's perfect timing and placement of ALL PEOPLE really hits me today. Thank you so much for your insight!

  6. Valanne says:

    Oh these are mighty comforting words, and just take a moment to insert your own name — reread it.

    "But God fiercely and lovingly pursues Valarie."

    Did you get the WOW factor? God is so good

  7. Julia says:

    Loved this post! These are some of the same thoughts I struggle with so this post really spoke to me. Thank you!

  8. shelly says:

    Just as I want to run and am trying to run and am feeling sub-par and in the wrong place….. This happens. This post.

    Where could I run from Your Presence…..
    There are days I think I can. Days I think I have.
    Even though I am running, think I can run from Him

    I can't escape God and His storm gale of purpose.

    I seriously needed to hear that today…. Thank you Rebecca.

    1. AnnaLee says:

      Amen Shelly. Amen. It's so comforting to know that so many of us feel inadequate and misplaced. God is here, and He has purposed us to be here. All together. Praise God.

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