01 April 2008

A Run into God's Mercy

"But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

"But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load."

Does my disobedience really cost other people, to the tune of their entire cargo?

"But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. So the captain came to him, and said to him, 'What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.' "

Please wake me, my Captain.

"And they said to one another, 'Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.' So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah."

What would it be like to live in a world where society in general expected others to take responsibility for their actions, and own the choice to run away?

"Then they said to him, 'Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?' "

Such dangerous questions. Should I hide?

"So he said to them, 'I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.' "


"Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, 'Why have you done this?' For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them."

Woshiping God carries a responsibility, a steady commitment and courage to do His bidding, at all times and at all places, even when we have run away. My worship is part of my identity, my credentials.

"Then they said to him, 'What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?'--for the sea was growing more tempestuous.

"And he said to them, 'Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me."

"...So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging."

What were those moments like for Jonah, as he flew through the air and hit the water? Was he terrified, or was he comforted, sinking into the water's cradle, at the mercy of the One who created the sea?

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