Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.- Psalm 119:67
Jonah was God’s child. He was a believer — a wayward, disobedient one, but a believer nonetheless. The Bible says this about God’s children: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens...” (Hebrews 12:6). Because God loves us, He will seek to get our attention when we are going the wrong way.
We all know what that is like. When we are about to do something we know you shouldn’t do, there is that check inside, a sense of conviction from the Holy Spirit saying, “Don’t do this. This is the wrong direction.”
Sometimes God will even put blockades in our path. We are about to do something we shouldn’t when something happens to stop us. We say, “Lord, you are making this hard.”
He says, “That’s because I love you. You’re making a mistake, and I don’t want you to go the wrong direction.”
David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psalm 119:67). In other words, “Before I tasted the sting of discipline, I was doing whatever I wanted. But now, Lord, you have caught my attention. Now I have kept your word.”
Sometimes when we disobey the Lord, we will not experience the results of it immediately. But at other times, the consequences will come quickly. That’s how it was with Jonah.
The devil will always use your sin in a condemning way to drive you from the cross. But the Holy Spirit will convict you of your sin in a loving way to draw you to the cross. Satan will say, “God will never hear you.” But God will say, “Come to me, turn from that sin, and I will forgive you.”