WHY DOES GOD CHASTISE AND THREATEN?
"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring out and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; (11) so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do", Is.55:10-11 MKJV
God always speaks – but very few people are able to hear from Him fully well. Very few people attain to hearing from God for the word of God is scarce indeed. It is as had been in the time of Samuel: “And the Word of Jehovah was rare in those days. There was no open vision”, 1Sam.3:1. If we, then, hear from God at all, we should hearken unto it carefully, for the word of God is as rare as gold, refined gold. We dare not mishear it, spill it out, or overturn the cup of blessing ever - not even by mistake.
Now, if God ever speaks, something always happens. His words are creative, are life bearing. He said once – only once – “let there be light, and there was light”! So it happened with many other things. None is ever to change the word of God to be something different from whatever He spoke it to be or to do. Day is day up until today, even if we do not see sunlight because of dark clouds. Earth will eventually change, alone if God Himself changes it again. Rivers will always flow downwards, and heat will flow upwards – none but God is ever able to change that. Winter will always be a season in its proper place, so will summer and spring ever be. God dries up and none will ever wet it up. Day is day and so will night be night forever. Only because God so spoke out. “You divide the fountain and the flood. You dry up mighty rivers. (16) The day is Yours, the night also is Yours; You have prepared the light and the sun. (17) You have set all the borders of the earth; You have made summer and winter”, Ps.74:15-17 MKJV.
“We ought, therefore, give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard”, Heb 2:1. But, if God is ever to say something towards us, even indirectly through others, such words may mean to achieve something else and not what they are saying, and will easily seem to be lies unto us because of its truthfulness. If He speaks, something will surely happen. All the things God speaks out have the aim to achieve something else in many cases. Every word is meant to achieve something, even something different from what it states, apparently. We should not always pay attention to what God has spoken out only, but what it was meant to come out for and achieve from us. For that purpose does it go out as well. There are occasions when God said something and achieved something else. He said “you are cursed”, yet it meant to bring down to repentance and a blessing was given instead – sometimes not. We read from the book of Revelation that God makes it clear that all curses come, but not all at once, seeing cursed people are given up to a unique chance to repent still, to be driven to repentance through calamities that befell them.
We have been dead in sinning – now we are alive, being cursed no more. So it had been with Jonah. He said Jonah should say only that which God said, that those cities would be fully destroyed. Those people surely must have heard things from the times of Sodom and Gomorra. They trembled and repented. The word achieved something different from a sure curse, for it achieved repentance. Jonah knew it would and could happen. But he flew away because he did not comply with that unfulfilment of his words. He could not bear to have his own word outspoken, unfulfilled or fulfilled some other way. For Jonah God's word should never go out to come back full and with something else in His basket. The honor of any prophet was that “Jehovah was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground”, 1Sam.3:19 - whatever word that would be. Jonah did not accept that God’s own word must achieve and not destroy after destruction has been pronounced. So, he could never add unto it, so he would find honor among men. Therefore, he flew away from speaking that kind of a word. He could not accept that God’s word was there to bring up something else, that a curse prophesied was to bring a blessing about, for people could say, among other things, “Come and let us return to Jehovah. For He has torn, and He will heal us; He has stricken, and He will bind us up”, Hos.6:1. Would you speak such a word? Amen.