Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jonah 1:7-17

Jonah 1:7-17
English Standard Version (ESV)

  How's this for evangelism?  Jonah runs away from God, who then sends a storm that threatens an entire ship's life.  When Jonah reveals the truth, the men are desperate to avoid casting him into the sea, willing to risk their lives to save his.  Eventually, they pray to God for forgiveness for what they have to do, and they toss Jonah into the sea.  When the storm ceases, the men then worship the Lord out of awe for all that has happened.
  We'll get around to Jonah in the rest of the book, but it's amazing what happens here.  In most versions of the story, these men get no attention, but I think that what happens on the boat is important.
  First of all, they're willing to risk their own necks to save Jonah's.  Also, when they see what God is doing in Jonah's life, they worship the Lord.  They recognize the power of God, even though Jonah is resisting that power.  Jonah is willing to be open and honest about his struggle with God, and God does wonders in the world around them to help the sailors see that God is real and active.
  Our lives don't have to be perfect to be used by God.  We only need to be willing to be open about our relationship with God, even though it isn't perfect.  God does all the heavy lifting--but we need to let God work through us.

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