Archive for March 28th, 2013

Jonah 1

Jonah 1 is the story of a very disobedient and stubborn prophet.  “The word of the Lord came to Jonah”.  They were connected.  Jonah was selected by God to do a job, he was to “go to Ninevah” and confront them about their sin.  Jonah doesn’t like the people of Ninevah.  He has no intention of going there to save them as God had commanded.  So “Jonah rose to flee” and took a boat to Tarshish which is going the other way as far as he could.  He didn’t just try to avoid the place, he ran the other way as fast as he could.

Jonah “paid the fare….went on board….away from the presence of the Lord”.  Jonah made a choice.  He chose to disobey God.  That never ends well.  God didn’t just look the other way.  Jonah got on the boat and they headed toward Tarshish unaware that they were carrying a prophet trying to run from God.  “The Lord hurled a great wind” at the sea and the boat on it.  God didn’t grab Jonah himself, He caused circumstances that impacted those in Jonah’s patch.  The impact of sin isn’t isolated only to the person who sins.  It spills out on those around the sinner.  It has broad consequences.

Jonah is oblivious to the situation as he is asleep below deck.  The crew as calling out to their God’s and it isn’t working, so they go down and tell Jonah to “arise, call out to your God”.  Of course Jonah doesn’t want anything to do with that.  He’s running.  The captain decides to find out the source of the problem by casting lots.  “The lot fell on Jonah”.  The crew asks him to tell them why this was happening and Jonah fesses up that he is running from God.  “What is this that you have done”?

Jonah knows the storm is a result of his choice to run. So he tells the crew to “pick me up and hurl me into the sea”.  Of course, that seemed like a cruel thing to do so “the men rowed hard” and tried to overcome the storm on their own.  But it wasn’t working – and they were in trouble.  So they did as Jonah had instructed them and threw him overboard.  They called out to God, so they did figure out that the true God was in control of things.  But Jonah is overboard and into the stormy sea.  “The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights”.  That is quite a different outcome than Jonah had planned when he ran from God.  You can run, but you can’t hide, and God will deal with that bad choice!

%d bloggers like this: