How much do you think God is actively aware of, or intentionally working, in your life and in the physical world around you?
I’ve talked to people who believe in God, and even recognize that He is the Creator of our world, but they don’t acknowledge that He is personally involved in His creation. This belief is called “Deism,” defined as “a religious belief holding that God created the universe and established rationally comprehensible moral and natural laws but does not intervene in human affairs through miracles or supernatural revelation.” A deist takes the position that God is distinct and separated from the world He created.
One website states, “Deism pictures God as the great ‘clockmaker’ who created the clock, wound it up, and let it go. A deist believes that God exists and created the world but does not interfere with His creation.”
I beg to differ.
Just read the story of Jonah!
Consider these four verses, taking note of the repeated use of the word “appointed.”
Jonah 1:17 – And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 4:6 – So the Lord God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.
Jonah 4:7 – But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered.
Jonah 4:8 – When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”
The word “appointed” is translated as “prepared” in the King James Version. Other Bible translations are caused, arranged, assigned, provided, sent, made ready, chose. You get the idea! The original Hebrew word is the verb mānâ, and Strong’s defines it as “a primitive root; properly, to weigh out; by implication, to allot or constitute officially; also, to enumerate or enroll: appoint, count, number, prepare, set, tell.”
God knew the condition of Jonah’s heart. He wasn’t surprised or shocked when Jonah got on a boat that would take him in the complete opposite direction from where God told him to go. He didn’t wring His hands or think, “Now what?”
God desired for the city of Nineveh to repent, and He was going to use Jonah as His messenger, but He was fully aware that Jonah’s own heart had some issues to be addressed in the process.
He prepared a storm.
He prepared a great fish.
He prepared a plant.
He prepared a worm.
He prepared an east wind.
Before Jonah put one foot in front of another in his rush to get out of town, God was intimately, intentionally, and personally arranging events to accomplish His work in Jonah’s heart, including but not limited to a personal hand in what we perceive as “nature.”
God is sovereign over this physical world, and all created things exist by Him and for Him. Without Him, all things would fall apart.
Colossians 1:16-17 – For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
God went to great and unusual lengths to show Jonah the self-centered, prideful, uncompassionate state of his heart. He first showed Jonah the seriousness of disobedience. Revealing in no uncertain terms who was in charge of all life, God put Jonah in a dangerous life-threatening situation (sending the great wind that caused him to be thrown overboard). Then, He showed His power over nature by sending the fish to save his life – a lesson that did result in Jonah’s cry for help and subsequent (reluctant) obedience as he got up off the sand and headed to Nineveh.
God wasn’t finished, though. He prepared the plant, the worm, and the wind to reveal what was still in Jonah’s heart – self-concern for comfort and reputation over concern for eternal souls. What we know from other scriptures also, is that it was God who prepared the hearts of the wicked in Nineveh to respond to Jonah’s begrudging message of doom, regardless of the apathy of the one preaching!
We don’t know if Jonah repented, but we do know he was God’s chosen messenger. The lesson that speaks the loudest to me is that God can interfere in my life anytime He chooses, and in fact, nothing happens by chance as He orchestrates, plans, and prepares the steps that will best mold me into His image, as His child.
Have some strange things happened to you that you completely misunderstood, not realizing it was God’s hand? More likely, there are things that you never see because God is working behind the scenes in your life – all for one purpose. He will expose the things in your heart that need His attention, and He will get you where He intended for you to go all along.
I am not a Deist.
I am a Devoted Disciple, learning to walk with eyes open to see God’s hand in my life.
How about you?
5 thoughts on “God Did That”
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well done. Sovereignty and providence bring comfort and assure significance.
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Yes they surely do! Thanks for reading and responding!
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Thank you! ❤️