Jonah 1:14

Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.

Every golfer has the fear of being put with another twosome or threesome when he or she arrives at the course as a single. You never know what you are going to get. I have met some wonderful and interesting people who were strangers before a round of golf, but quickly became great friends. In contrast, I have been put with some others who I wished I’d just stayed in the hotel room or even at work. Whether it be not knowing golf etiquette, a bad attitude, or a terrible mouth, there are many attributes which can ruin an anticipated perfect day of golf. The men on the ship to Tarsus ran into this dreaded grouping when Jonah paid the fare to join them. Jonah was instructed by God to go to Nineveh because it’s people had grown increasingly wicked. Instead of obeying God, Jonah made the decision to go in the other direction. The ship to Tarsus was confronted with a mighty storm and certain destruction. The mariners knew someone on the ship had angered God and caused this frightening situation to beset them. Jonah admitted it was he who had fled the Lord and his direction. The ship’s occupants realized Jonah must be ejected or all of them and their goods would face certain demise. After a failed attempt to reach land, Jonah was cast into the raging sea. The Christian’s obedience to Christ or lack thereof has a profound effect on those around them. The faithful can provide others with a witness of the comfort and guidance of Christ, while a backslidden or disobedient Christian can be a stumbling block or hinder others from a relationship with Christ. If Jonah had been faithful to God, the hardship of the storm would not had befallen the other occupants of the ship or Jonah himself. Many times, like Jonah, we overtly disobey God’s clear instructions because we are in fear of rejection by the world. We must not be fearful when we know we are acting under God’s guidance. He has a plan for his will to be fulfilled and many times we are the means. We may face rejection, torment, or humiliation by serving as God’s instrument, but we must realize these hardship are temporary. We serve a greater and higher purpose when we are furthering His will. We will be back at the clubhouse in four or five hours!

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