When I read the book of Jonah one phrase always catches my attention. Four times we read the words ‘God prepared’ or the ‘Lord had prepared.” This tells me that God always plans ahead or better yet, because he already sees tomorrow he knows what we need before we do. Nothing ever catches him off guard or by surprise. He never says, “Didn’t see that one coming.” He never worries or frets about a situation. He always has all things under his control. The things that happen in our lives are not random or by chance. God has a plan and he will work all things out for our good and for his glory.
Four lessons from the life of Jonah.
God prepared protection.
Jonah 1:17- Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Psalm 4:8- I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
God prepared provision
Jonah 4:6- And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made [it] to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
Philippians 4:19- But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
God prepared a plan
Jonah 4:7- But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
God prepared punishment
Jonah 4:8- And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, [It is] better for me to die than to live.
Hebrews 12:6- For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.