Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jonah - Forgiveness

Jonah 1:11-16 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?" "Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied, "and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you." Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the LORD, "O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man's life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased." Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.

Jonah admits his full guilt and is willing to accept full punishment. Wages of sin is death, right? How hard do you think it was for Jonah to offer up his own life for these men? He offers up his life so that the men might be saved from the storm. These men, who did not know Jonah before this trip, do not want to kill Jonah. They desperately struggle to try and get him back to shore - but God is in control. It was then that a miracle inside this miracle took place - these men cried out to God for forgiveness and then tossed Jonah overboard.

I wonder if Jonah had not admitted his sin - tried to cover it up - if these men would've responded differently. Would they have tried so hard to get Jonah back to safety - would they have ever known how mighty God is?

There is something to be said about openly confessing our sins. Yes, it's embarrassing to have our dirty laundry aired, but God can use our humility for His glory. There's nothing more convicting than someone that's broken who's crying out to God for forgiveness. And let's face it - we all need to cry out to God. . .

2 wonderful insights:

Kay Martin said...

There is so much of me that can identify with Jonah. When I know that I know I have sinned, missed the mark ... I 'fess up. I usually don't need to shift the blame...it's me and I own it. Jonah was a powerful repentant evangelist...when he preached they all got it. He must have been very earnest in confessing his sin; otherwise he would not have been such a clean effective vessel.

You are telling this well. It's like I'm there with them.

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Hey girl! Just wanted to check in now I am back and kind of getting adjusted. I saw this study you are doing and man it was a surprise! God is wanting me to do an in-depth study on Jonah right now so I am going to be looking at your stuff! It will be a great aid to me I am sure. Part of my post A Change of Heart stemmed from God reminding me of Jonah and his heart. Anyway, it will be good whatever way and I just love God's timing! You are a blessing!
Much love,
Angela