Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)
21 You can make many plans, but the Lord�s purpose will prevail.
This proverb tells us that we can make all the plans our heart desires, but if The Lord has a purpose that needs to be fulfilled that purpose will prevail over our plans.
Many of us have grown up hearing the story of Jonah and the whale. The Bible says, �The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: �Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.�
As a prophet it was Jonah�s mission to spread God�s word to other areas. God has chosen Jonah to go to Nineveh to speak against the great wickedness taking place there and to give the people a chance to repent towards God. Yet Jonah wasn�t happy with the mission he was assigned. He knew the wickedness of Nineveh and in his mind believed the city deserved whatever consequences it might receive.
So what does Jonah do? Jonah pays for a fare on a ship heading the opposite direction. Jonah was determined to go as far away from Nineveh as he could. I�m sure he thought if I�m not there, surely I can�t preach to the people of the city. And if I can�t preach to the people then they can�t repent.
God had different plans for Jonah. A violent storm came up tossing the ship Jonah was on all about. While the crew attempted to keep the boat under control Jonah slept. The crew called to their gods, but no help came. They threw the cargo overboard in hopes of making the ship lighter, still the storm persisted. They woke Jonah to pray to his God for help. They were desperate, so desperate they cast lots to see who might be the cause of their problems.
The Bible then says, �When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit. �Why has this awful storm come down on us?� they demanded. �Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?� Jonah answered, �I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.� The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. �Oh, why did you do it?� they groaned. And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, �What should we do to you to stop this storm?� �Throw me into the sea,� Jonah said, �and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.�
Jonah decided he would just surrender to the sea instead of going to Nineveh. So they threw him over and a great fish swallowed Jonah and took him to Nineveh.
After being in the fish for 3 days and nights, time Jonah was ready to preach to the city of Nineveh and when he did The Bible says, �The people of Nineveh believed God�s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes.�
Despite Jonah�s determination to avoid helping the city of Nineveh, The Bible says, �When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.� God�s purpose had prevailed despite the plans of Jonah.