So, I am going to attempt to share with you all something I have learned but unfortunately I can’t give all the context. Sorry 🙂
Bryan has been teaching a Biblestudy on Friday nights on the book of Jonah and it is amazing! There is sooooo much in that book besides a big fish! The (dark) humor, the twists and turns, the irony, the literary creativity is amazing! But one thought hit me hard.
I always assumed when Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard that he was being a semi decent human being. I’ve gotten you all in to this mess, now let me get you out, just kill me. I’ll sacrifice myself for you all…. But when you begin to see the context and Jonah’s attitude throughout a very different picture emerges.
Jonah is being disobedient and running from God in the totally opposite direction, potentially never to return. There’s a thought that he sold his house and everything to pay for his fare on the boat. Jonah was not going to do what God told him to do. And even in the midst of the storm with the wind and the rain roaring around them still Jonah’s attitude is one of disobedience. Clearly God had followed Jonah onto the sea and clearly Jonah was not going to be able to escape that way. Jonah has two recourses – disobedience or ask forgiveness and obey. Interestingly Jonah doesn’t drop to his knees and beg God to forgive him – and then I’ll be obedient (unlike the pagan sailors who had been asking there gods to help).
Instead, Jonah pushes his disobedience even further. Fine, God, I can’t escape You on the sea well, I’d rather DIE than OBEY. So I’m just going to have myself killed and then I won’t have to obey You! In offering to have himself thrown over board Jonah is essentially thumbing his nose at God and saying “so there! I’m still not going to obey I’d rather die!” and what does God do??
How does God respond – I love this, God is sooooo amazing!!!!! He says “oh no you’re not dying today Jonah!!” and send a big fish to swallow him and keep him alive! How creative and absurd is that?!?!? Jonah tries to stack the deck but God still has the trump card. I love it!
I love that God’s plan cannot be thwarted even by an man desperate to disobey who is doing everything in his power to disobey. Even trying to kill yourself so you don’t have to obey isn’t going to stop God’s plan. If He has chosen you – it will be you so stop running, you’ll just keep running in to Him. God is so amazing and I am so thankful 🙂