11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Imagine the scene. God had revealed, through his prophet, a way for the entire crew to be delivered from the storm of judgment. Safety would come through the sacrifice of one man who was willing to lay down his life (v.12). But these men wanted to survive the storm without the sacrifice. They turned again to their own means to save themselves (v. 13). There’s great courage in that, but there’s also extraordinary resistance to God’s revealed will. This impulse to depend on our own resourses and refuse God’s means of deliverance is deeply embedded within the human heart.
“But they could not…..” (v. 13). These four words are the turning point in the story. When the crew realized they could not beat the storm, they turned in desperation and staked their lives on the sacrifice of Jonah. The storm of God’s judgment is stronger than we are. We do not have the ability to escape such a storm, no matter how hard we try. The storm of God’s judgment will wreck us, unless we depend upon his means of escape.
The means that God provides to deliver us from our sin and a fallen world is the sacrifice of his Son. On the cross, Jesus gave his life to deliver his people from God’s righteous judgment against our sin. Cast out by men and forsaken by the Father.
Matt. 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus offered himself as the sacrifice that would placate the wrath of God on our behalf.
1 Thess. 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
God’s storms that teach us our true dependence and Christ’s sacrifice that provides for our eternal deliverance lie at the heart of the gospel. Christ was thrown into the storm of God’s judgement so that, through faith in his sacrifice, we would be saved.
In our lifetime we go through some very rough storms and God is right there with us. He will never leave us and if we want to get through these storms we need to put all our trust in Him. We get impatient and tend to want to do things our way, instead of waiting for God to help us through it. We cannot do it without God’s help. He is the only way and when we face a very tramatic or scary situation, we don’t always remember that.
Please share any thoughts, songs and verses that may be on your mind today.
As we leave Chapter 1, the Lord has had a ‘great’ fish swallow Jonah. Next week we will check on Jonah inside the fish.
I wish everyone a very blessed Monday.