Today’s Scripture: Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God. Ecclesiastes 8:11-13

A man stated: “It may be that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—but that’s the way to bet!” The focal point of the story of Jonah is not the morality of the game of dice the shipmen played on that dark, stormy night, but the gamble taken by the prophet of God which preceded it. Having fled the presence of God, Jonah carefully plotted his escape route. He would go so far away that not even God could change his plans. He forgot to weigh the fact that he was evading the God of the universe, Who had created his very means of escape.

Jonah slowly came to this realization, however, when he was awakened in the middle of an intense storm. He watched his shipmates pray to their gods for the storm to subside—to no avail. He looked on as they threw their possessions into the angry waves, hoping their efforts would keep the ship afloat. He even took part in their game of lots, probably thinking it was foolishness. But when the lot fell upon Jonah, he knew his flight had come full circle.

How often we cover our sins, hoping no one will find out! Secret sins, unconfessed, are just as damaging—if not worse—as those done openly. The best redress to avoid a mess is to simply confess!

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder