Everything Is Not The Devil’s Fault

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Everything Is Not The Devil’s Fault!

Scripture: Jonah 1:1-4

©2015 Frieda P. Smith

In our text that serves as the foundation of this inspirational message, we find the account of a man named Jonah who was sent by God to go to a certain city and prophesy or preach against it. It seemed to be a simple assignment, but Jonah tried his best to get out of it and consequently found himself in the midst of a storm.

Jonah 1:1-2 reads, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me’.”

If I may set the scene, Jonah was one of God’s covenant people. The people of Nineveh were pagans, and therefore, according to Jonah’s personal views, they were not entitled to God’s salvation. Furthermore, not only were the people of Nineveh non-Jews, but the Bible says in verse 2 that they were wicked.

From all appearances, Jonah felt that the people of Nineveh were unworthy of God’s grace and mercy. They were wicked and they were “outsiders.” They did not “look like” Jonah’s people. They did not behave like Jonah’s people. Therefore, Jonah made a decision. He decided he was not going over there to preach to “those people.”

The Bible records in Jonah 1:3, “But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”

Picture this with me…Jonah was from Galilee, which was located north. Nineveh was located northeast from Jonah’s hometown. Joppa (where Jonah caught the boat) was on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, southwest from Jonah’s hometown.

To get to Tarshish, Jonah had to travel southwest—in the opposite direction—and then cross the Mediterranean Sea and still head southwest once he got over there!

In other words, it would be like the Lord sending me from New York to Massachusetts to preach, but instead I got on a plane bound for Hawaii!

Tarshish was nowhere near Nineveh. Jonah could not even lie and say he got on the wrong boat because he did not need a boat to get to Nineveh, for the entire trip was on dry land!

However, the Lord was not pleased with Jonah’s disobedience. Jonah 1:7 reads, “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.”

Of note here is that the text reads, “Then the Lord sent a great wind…” not the devil, the Lord.

People of God, so often we find ourselves in the storms of life and things around us begin to break up, and the first person we blame is the devil. We rebuke satan for more things, but like many prisoners on death row, he is actually innocent. In this one instance, it was the Lord who sent the storm, not the devil.

Yes, we know satan is the author of confusion. Yes, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Yes, we know satan prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; however, did it ever occur to you that whatever is going on in your life right now may not be the devil’s doing?

Perhaps the Lord sent a storm into your life because you are out of order or disobedient or outside of His Will?

As the Lord’s disciples, do we really believe God is going to “bless our going out and our coming in,” even though we have not done what He told us to do or went where He told us to go?

My friend, every storm in our life is not the work of the devil. Some storms were sent by the Lord because we refused to do something He told us to do, go somewhere He told us to go, love someone He told us to love, forgive someone He told us to forgive, embrace someone He told us to embrace…need I go on?.

Everything is not the devil’s fault!

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