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The Heart of God in the Heart of the Sea

Devotion Ten

April 12, 2024

When the Storm Stops

Daniel Barta

When the sailors heard Jonah’s recommendation, they complied. They threw him overboard. Immediately, the storm ceased, and the winds stopped and the sea became tranquil again.

The experience of God’s great power and salvation produced three great effects in the sailors which we see in their response.

First, they feared the LORD exceedingly (Jon 1:16a). God the LORD revealed himself to them and their hearts knew awe, wonder, and reverence.

Second, they offered sacrifice to the LORD (Jon 1:16b). They stepped onto that boat as worshippers of false gods, but even before they arrived at their destination, they became worshippers of Jehovah.

Third, they made vows (Jon 1:16c). Vows signify gratitude when done rightly. A proper vow expresses the gratitude in the heart with the action of the hand. “God, you did this. I acknowledge this is from You, and I am pleased; therefore, I will fulfil this vow.”

Fear, worship, and thankful service flowed out of the sailors as a result of their encounter with the LORD who saved.

‌God’s Mercy Turns Awful Dread into Awe-filled Joy‌

No one encounters the power and might of the holy LORD without trembling in fear. When the eyes of man’s heart see the purity and perfection of God as He sits enthroned in authority and power, his mind knows and understands his guilt. His heart feels his condemnation. The result is awful dread.

Thankfully, the hopeless dread known in the presence of God gives way to awe-filled joy when those who know their lostness experience mercy.

3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. - Psalm 130:3-4

If the LORD dealt with us according to our sins, there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but the mercy of God offers hope. Forgiveness of sin can be known and men by faith can draw near to the awesome presence of God where awe-filled joy rather than dread is experienced.

‌Check Yourself

‌The sailors experienced God and the evidence included awe, repentance, joyful gratitude, and willful service. The sailors are not unique in their experience. Those who see God and experience God experience these same effects. God’s mercy produces them.‌

Are these present in your life? Have you repented of your idolatry and turn to the one true LORD? Is your life marked by willful obedience and service to the God who has overwhelmed your heart with great mercy? Can you say that God fills your heart with a sense of awe and reverence? Are you marked by a joy filled gratitude or disgruntled discontent?

You cannot live in the presence of God and go unaffected. Has God turned you into an awe-filled, joyful worshipper?

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