Jonah had some pretty rough surfing lessons when he told the crew of a ship to throw him overboard. He believed it was his fault the sea had become so stormy and life threatening and indeed, when they did so all became calm and safe The sailors crew overboard believe then greatly praised the Lord. Jonah was hurled under the sea, swallowed by a large fish and, in his distress, called to the Lord who answered him. Verse 2, ‘From the depths of the grave I called for help and he listened to my cry’.
As the breakers had swirled around him he remembered his Lord and believed his life was ebbing away. He prayed, ‘But I, with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.’ The Lord commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land. Jonah was safe and saved. Jonah had previously expressed anger at God and gone the opposite way from him.
How often have we done that? Thinking and believing God’s way is not for us? Sometimes, when we are hurled into the deep and waves seem to engulf us, the breakers and the currents of despair swirl around us, we turn from our faith and sink to the bottom. Yet, like Jonah, when we send a distress call to God, he sends a lifeboat of answers.
As Jonah says in Chapter Four’, ‘I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity’. He still opposed God’s will and was shoved from the boat having turned from his Lord.
Jonah’s spiritual surfing lessons nearly cost Jonah wearing lifelong coils of seaweed in a watery grave. God needs our ALL or NOTHING faith, not a watered down one’.