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All the Sailors Were Afraid, Meanwhile the Whale Heard From God!

‭‭"All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep." Jonah 1:5 NIV.

Thoughts came to mind yesterday as I began my read through Jonah, noticing current parallels among those threatened by these tumultuous times, yet reluctant to break out of their long practiced religious biases.

I had just finished a post motivated by my reading of Hugh Roth's, Designed To The Core. A believer himself, his work challenges much of the conventional thought around a literal seven day creation cycle, given robust data new by way of expanded technology.

His approach to the sisters of science and religion, when aligned appropriately, certainly compliment each other. This strengthens my belief that Creation holds many answers that were once unknown to the ancient men of scripture. Their words and thoughts limited by their base of knowledge, though thankfully their hearts open to the Creator's voice.

Our limitations have required centuries for this inexhaustible Being, only thousands of years this side of Adam, fully manifest in the Christ. Yet constantly speaking, dropping new revelation by way of ideation. Yes, I believe ideation is from God, and without respect of persons.

So many and for multiple millennia have added to an ever expanding base of knowledge, even some of whom acting upon their ideas, and to our advantage, may have remained in denial of their source. Think Einstein, "It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously."

The good news is that about ever 500 years we humans experience small breakthroughs in our belief systems, though infinitesimal relative to all that is to be known about Creation and our Creator. These rare and transformational moments always thrust humanity into a new era of freedom, one that affords an even greater awe of God.

In case you think I am going too far with all this, scripture is only partial in its revelation, as John says: "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." Jn 21:25 NIV.

Back to my Jonah, now reading further into chapter two, I believe an amazing panoramic analogy is provided so that we might identify with Jonah's struggle, providing a path forward for those in distress.

Jonah, a committed follower of YHWH has allowed his own religious bias to block his heart to an assignment that he believes too difficult or beyond his capacity for impact. Actually, he dislikes being around the very people to whom he was called. I have been there!

He chose rather to flee from his calling, even changing his profession, choosing the role of sailor over that of prophet.

The seas then grew suddenly rough due to his decision, potentially harmful to those around him. Your response to your calling always affects others either positively or negatively!

Meanwhile the prophet, long hardened by his own reluctance is sleeping soundly in the bottom of the boat. Hear the amazing resemblance to the story of Jesus (the Second Adam/Jonah) in the storm with his disciples, though his remedy was quite different because of his obedience.

Once awakened, personal guilt took Jonah to a different place than Jesus.

Weakened by his reluctance to unpack his "piece" of God as instructed, rather than speaking to the situation as likely he had heard of prophets before him, think Elijah for instance, he recommends that the sailors simply through him over board.

I find it interesting, that when we are disobedient, providence still holds faithful, for Jonah had jumped on a boat with folk quite religious, each with their own god. Lets just say they were quite the interdenominational bunch!

Skill sets all exhausted, prayers still unanswered, similar again to Elijah when engaged with the prophets of Baal, the sailors upon awakening their sleeping stranger, ask: "What is your occupation and where are you from?" They sensed something different about Jonah.

True calling always stands out!

Jonah realizes what he has caused and throws in the towel (later I'm sure he wished he had one)!

My guess is having known the faithfulness of God in his life up until that point, he like the three Hebrew children facing the fiery furnace, knew that God would be with him even in his disobedience, thus trusting that God would save him, be that through life or death!

Meanwhile a large fish waits below! I'm telling you, God can get creative when we are on the run!

Again, the beauty of chapter two is that it takes us through all that was likely going on in Jonah's mind, both before being cast overboard, as well as "inside the fish."

The beauty of scripture is just how relevant it can become even centuries forward. I could tell you stories of my own "whale belly" cries. A journey where "seaweed" is choking my finances, remedied only by my return to the inner courts of my soul. Yes, even when deep in the bottom of valleys once celebrated as mountain tops, my prayers faint, but then, God!

In a life that has taken me through five different professional sectors, I get the Jonah Journey. Though now with provision abundant, much of it has come from my many whale and donkey-like moments!

As did Jonah, "with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord."

Jonah 2:9.

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Jonah Found out you can run but you can’t hide

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