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September 5 – A storm warning

“for their evil has come up before me.” – Jonah 1:2

Scripture reading: Jonah 1:1-3

The sense here: “Their evil has come up against me” implies that their wickedness has become so extreme that God could not take it anymore. The temperature of His wrath has hit a melting point. So, God decides to do something about it. The Lord tells Jonah to go and preach against it, to warn her of impending judgment. Jonah is to be a “storm warning” to Nineveh.

Warnings are a blessing. The right warning at the right time can be a lifesaver. If you are driving your car and fail to see the car backing up in front of you, the “LOOK OUT” from your spouse or child can prevent an accident. We are thankful when we are warned of a serious “storm warning” when a storm approaches so we can get prepared and find safety. If we act on the warning, lives can be saved.

Jonah is called to be a warning system to the Ninevites. A great storm of God’s wrath is about to come upon them. God’s judgment is warranted – the Ninevites are wicked people. God’s judgment is terrible – He threatens to destroy them. But God’s judgment is also escapable — they may escape judgment if they repent.

The fact that the Lord gives Nineveh a “storm warning” in the command to Jonah is a demonstration of the Lord’s patience and kindness. But Jonah’s sin in this story is that he doesn’t want to be this storm warning and fails to understand the extent of God’s mercy.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for the opportunity to be “a storm warning” to someone who does not know the Lord.

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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