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The Heart of God in the Heart of the Sea

Devotion Two

April 2, 2024

Divine Interuption

Daniel Barta

God's merciful act toward Nineveh began with "the word of the LORD [coming] to Jonah " (1:1). God took action by speaking.

By sending His word God interrupted the status quo. If God had not spoken Jonah would have stayed in Israel carrying on his everyday life. Life as he knew it would have remained steady and familiar. But, God did speak. The word of the Lord did come to him and his life no longer remained the same.

This Word of the LORD not only broke into Jonah's life but also into the lives of those dwelling in Nineveh. If God did not speak, the Ninevites too would have continued along their current path progressing from one degree of evil to the next. They sought not the LORD. If God did not first act and come with a word, all would have remained the same in Nineveh. But, God did speak.

God Breaks into Our Lives by Speaking

How does the eternal, non-physical, and transcendent Creator of the universe act in time, space, and relationship with human beings carrying out their lives in a very physical world, at a very specific time, and in a very specific location? He does so by speaking. He communicates. He gives a message. He draws near and talks. His word comes with weight and force which alter present circumstances.

In the beginning, God's Word pierced the silence creating light and darkness, land and water, plants and animals. God's curse on man and woman for their sin took effect when God sentenced Adam and Eve with the spoken Word. He elected the nation of Israel as His treasured possession when He approached Abraham with a message of promise and a call to faith and obedience. He stopped the king of Egypt from having sex with Abraham’s wife by speaking to him. He established the Law to be obeyed by the nation of Israel by descending on Mt. Sinai with a loud voice and words inscribed on tablets of stone. He appointed kings by speaking to men like Samuel. He brought about repentance by reminding with words His written Law and by verbal warnings of the consequences awaiting those who persist in their rebellion. He revealed the identity of His Son by uttering the words, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”(Mt 3:17) This Son abruptly stopped Saul, the murderer of Christians, by speaking to him as he traveled the Damascus Road. 

God acts in the world by speaking. He breaks into our little corner of time and space by coming to us with His word. Throughout history God has chosen to speak in various ways. Once he spoke through a donkey. At other times through angelic beings and at other times with his own audible and thunderous voice. Now, God speaks through His son. This Son is the Word given to us, and He is found in the 66 books of the Bible which constitute the Old and New Testament. God breathed out all of these Words. They come to us as His message. When we pick up His word and read it, meditate on it, and listen to it, we hear from God. This is the means by which God has chosen to break into your life. He has spoken by Jesus through the Holy Scriptures prepared and preserved for you for this day.

Thank God for His Speaking

Have you heard the word of the LORD? Has God's Word come to your ears and heart? If so, respond with joyful gratitude, for if God did not break into our lives with His word, we would remain in darkness, carried about by nothing more than ever changing cravings and desires. We would remain in our sin under God's wrath, ignorant of the truth, enslaved to sin, stumbling about as blind men trying our best to find our way in this world. Do you possess any knowledge of God, any truth about yourself, any wisdom to discern what is good and right? If so, you obtained such understanding through God's speaking to you. Give thanks to Him who deserves it.

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