November 21, 2020

God’s Provision | Jonah

God's Provision

By Rev. Jeremiah Cheung

From Jonah 1:17

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

In the book of Jonah, the word “provided” appears four times. 

  • Jonah 1:17 “the Lord provided a huge fish”
  • Jonah 4:6 “Then the Lord provided a leafy plant” 
  • Jonah 4:7 “But at dawn the next day God provided a worm.” 
  • Jonah 4:8 “When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind.” 

In the original text, the word “provide” means to appoint or assign, just like leaders do with their subordinates, giving them charge to do something. In addition to these four incidences of God’s provision, there is one more incident (though the Bible does not use the word `provide’) — the emergence of the storm on the sea. Jonah 1:4 “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.” The great wind and violent waves on the sea were no coincidences. Why? Because we see in Jonah 1:15: “Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.” 

It’s no coincidence that the storm was calmed for the Lord is indeed the God who made the sea and the dry land! The storm had been appointed by God to teach this disobedient prophet a lesson. Once the prophet was thrown overboard, the storm immediately stopped, because it had completed its mission. The leafy plant was appointed by God to grow up overnight, shielding the prophet from the sun; but then it was eaten up by the worm, because its mission had been accomplished. The worm was appointed by God to eradicate the leafy plant, and the worm did its best to eat and chew. I think it would have been crushed to death too. What is most important is that the worm had also fulfilled its mission. The scorching east wind was appointed by God to shine upon Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. The east wind also fulfilled its mission. 

Each of these elements — the storm, the big fish, the leafy plant, the worm, the east wind — fulfilled the mission assigned by God. Only the prophet appointed by God disobeyed and left without fulfilling his mission. What irony this is for us humans who had been made in the image of God. May the Lord have mercy on us. Let us not consider our own ego more important than the mission assigned by God. May God forgive us for our disobedience!

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神的安排 | 約拿書 


約拿書 1:17

17 耶和華安排一條大魚吞了約拿, 他在魚腹中三日三夜。

在約拿書中, 「安排」這個字先後出現了四次。

  • 1:17安排一條大魚; 
  • 4:6 耶和華神安排一棵蓖麻;
  • 4:7 次日黎明, 神卻安排一條蟲
  • 4:8 日頭出來的時候, 神安排炎熱的東風。

安排這個字原文意思是委派, 委派是上級給下屬的使命。除了這四次的安排, 還有一樣, 雖然聖經沒有用安排這個字, 但照聖經的記載, 這也實在是神的安排, 那就是海中的風浪。1:4 然而耶和華使海中起大風, 海就狂風大作, 甚至船幾乎破壞。這海中所起的大風大浪不是偶然的, 為什麼? 因為當約拿被掉在大海後, 1:15 他們遂將約拿抬起, 拋在海中,海的狂浪就平息了。這絕對不是偶然的, 因為神是創造滄海天地的主啊!

大風被神委派要教訓這位不聽話的先知, 當先知下海後, 大風就停止了, 因為大風的使命完成了。蓖麻被神委派一夜之間長大起來, 可以為先知遮蔽太陽, 但當被蟲咬下就一了, 它的使命也完成了, 可以回去了。蟲被神委派要咬死蓖麻機, 蟲就盡力去吃去咬, 我想牠也要被撐死了, 但最重要是使命完成了。東風被神委派要曬約拿的頭, 約拿頭都發昏了。東風的使命也完成了。

神所委派的, 大風大浪, 大魚, 蓖麻樹, 蟲, 東風, 他們都順服神的委派, 完全神給他們的使命, 只有被神委派的先知不聽話, 使命沒有完成就走了。這對我們這些被稱為照神形像所造的人是何等的諷刺, 求主憐憫我們, 我們的自我比神委派的使命更重要, 求神赦免我們的不順服啊!