Skip to main content

God provides

Then the LORD God provided a shrub, and it grew up over Jonah, providing shade for his head and saving him from his misery. Jonah was very happy about the shrub. But God provided a worm the next day at dawn, and it attacked the shrub so that it died. Then as the sun rose God provided a dry east wind. Jonah 4:6-8a

Jonah's story tells us that God provides. At moments in the story, we are told that God provided. Here, it is a good thing: a shrub for shade. Then, God provided something that was not good or rather what it did was not good: a worm that killed the shrub and took away Jonah's shade. Then another thing was provided by God that did not feel good: a dry east wind.

Does the Lord provide good and bad weather? Does the Lord provide a good parking spot, on the one hand and a rude person on the other hand, who cuts in front of you? In these instances, Jonah believed that God provided these good and bad happenstance things and here it is written for us.

Does this mean that God provides everything good and bad for us? When Jonah says, "God provided", he is drawing our attention to the fact that God wants to take credit for putting this particular thing in Jonah's path for a purpose. What is the purpose of that thing in regards to the person (Jonah) and God? That is the question.

Earlier in this story, it said that God provided a storm to thwart Jonah. Then God provided a whale to swallow Jonah and save him. In the same way, God also provided the shrub that gave Jonah shade, but then provided a worm that killed the shrub and then God provided a dry wind that was not comforting.

God is active in Jonah's story. At certain points, He provides or prepares things.

God provided comfort and then took away comfort from Jonah. What was God doing?

God's goodness in our lives is to lead us to serve Him and repent, to be thankful and worshipful. Wisdom says to not take good things for granted, but to thank God for them and to come into alignment with God, by repenting of sin and seeking cleansing through God's atoning work in Christ. To those who Christ has not been revealed, just being thankful for the good things is a start.

God provided things that took Jonah's comfort away to get his attention. Maybe he wanted Jonah to ask, "what's happening?" God might have said, "I want you to look to me and listen to me and get you eyes and ears off yourself." In the shade and comfort, in the luxuriating, Jonah might have just been satisfied with himself. God might have preferred a "thank-you", or a "now what". But, perhaps, there was just a carnal pleasure in the simple cool shade and a smug self-satisfaction, as he curiously hoped against hope for Nineveh's destruction. When the comforts were taken away, what will Jonah say and will he pray?

God provides good for his children, but maybe God wants more; as in listening and seeking His face? Perhaps God has to take away our "shade" and "cool place" to get our attention?

*painting by Tenet Worlds


Popular posts from this blog

The Two Disciples and The Two Donkeys

When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task.  He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it.” He sent them off right away.  Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said,  Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.”  The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
-Matthew 21:1-7

On what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. But, he had two disciples get two donkeys: a mother donkey and her colt. Jesus rode the young male who had never been ridden before. In his carefulness and perhaps kindness towards these two donkeys, he had th…

Teaching vs. Indoctrination

As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
-Acts 17:2

There is a difference between teaching and indoctrination.  Education is not indoctrination.  But some secular and christian education is indoctrination masquerading as education.

If you are a teacher, whether you homeschool your children, teach at the pro level or you teach in your church; it is good to know this difference between indoctrination and true teaching.  Many people are indoctrinated today, rather than taught.

What you might notice, is that when you preach, whether you preach to a crowd or a few, it is easy to be an indoctrinator rather than a true teacher.  True teachers ask people questions and expect them to challenge and debate them.


Sharing ideas and conceptsTeaching is absorbed and integrated into one's own lifeConcepts or ideas are questioned and debatedMaterial is reflected uponStudents summarize back what's being learnedStudents thin…

God's Secret, Hidden People

(The children) of Elam 1,254.  -Ezra 2:7

Do you feel hidden?

The name Elam means secret or hidden.  Do you feel like you are on the shelf, not being used by God?  Maybe you are part of God's secret agents.

God has people who are in secret.

I have this idea that God has His attention on secret people.   I believe that God has rewards for secret people coming.  You may feel on the shelf, but you are actually hidden for a special purpose.  God has you in reserve.

The number one thousand, two-hundred, and fifty-four; tells us God's plan for his hidden, secret, and in reserve children

One thousand speaks of recompense.

Recompense means that you will be compensated or made amends to, due to harm or loss you suffered. In Genesis 20:16 is the story of Abimelech recompensing Abraham and Sarah.

Two speaks of fellowship, partnership, and co-laboring (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

There are hidden people who have felt like they are "going it alone", who are about to be joined by someone.  …