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September 10 – The finger of God

“But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea so that the ship threatened to break up.” – Jonah 1:4 

Scripture reading: Jonah 1:4-6

The Lord responds to Jonah’s defiance. Although Jonah had sought to run away from the omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (all-present) and omnipotent (all-powerful) God, the Lord will conduct all the elements of the cosmos against this prophet. Jonah can run, but he can’t hide.

The use of the word “hurled” here in verse 4 in the original Hebrew is striking. The image is of God hurling a great wind on the sea like a man hurling a javelin with great force. Like a javelin thrower, the Lord hurls the storm on the sea.

The storm is so severe that it threatens to break the ship, or as the Hebrew imagery implies, the boat “herself threatened to break apart.” The ship itself became a “nervous wreck.” These waves are so high, the wind is so mighty, and the storm’s scream is so loud that the boat itself becomes a nervous wreck and is about to fall apart.

No one – the sea, the ship, the sailors, or the runaway prophet can escape the presence of God. There are times when you flee from the presence of God. Can you look back on your life and recall what “storms” God has “hurled” your way so that you would repent and turn back to Him?

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for how He pursues His people in His covenantal love.

Pastor Jeremy Veldman is the co-pastor at Rehoboth United Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, serving as Minister of Congregational Life. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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