A crooked stick to draw a straight line (12 May 2019)

We thank God for the salvation messages preached at our recent Good Friday and Easter Sunday services. May God’s Word reach out to the hearers’ hearts and His Spirit convicts them in His good time.

The conversion of the sailors in OT’s Book of Jonah portrayed God’s divine plan in the people He desired to save. When the storm first broke, the sailors were described as being “afraid”; but on hearing what Jonah said, we are told  that they were “terrified”. The sailors had encountered the Word of God, which told them about His nature and character, and they were rightfully terrified.

From being afraid to be terrified, the sailors then proceeded to fearing God. Unlike Jonah, the men’s fear of God did not lead them to run away from Him,  but to turn to Him in worship.

God had used Jonah to save the sailors. While the prophet Jonah was fighting for his life, the sailors were now worshipping the true and living God who had revealed himself to them. Indeed God can “use a crooked stick to draw a straight line”.

The sailors’ fear of God led to their salvation, whereas Jonah failed to fear the God that he professed. Is there an application for us today? Perhaps the following might be relevant questions for us:

Firstly, do we fear God? To fear God is the beginning of true wisdom for life (Prov 9:10). It keeps us from sinning. It brings us closer to God as we see His plans and purposes. We can truly serve Him. Sadly, there is so little fear of God today, even though we may profess to fear the Lord and claim to know Him.

Secondly, do we care for those who do not know God? Do we pray for them and tell them about God? When was the last time we prayed or prayed with someone for someone else?

Thirdly, are we ready to be used by God? Many things we do can be used by God to change someone’s life. God is constantly working through our acts of obedience and sometimes disobedience, to accomplish  His sovereign will. The account of Jonah 1 motivates us to stay on the road of loving obedience, son that we can work in concert with God’s will for us.

God is pleased when we turn to Him in faith. It pleases the Father’s heart when the prodigal return to Him


Elder Andrew Lim


  1. R T Kendall : Jonah
  2. God in Pursuit : R. Solomon