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shipmates...

He had a book named after him, God spoke to Him, he was alive for 3 days in a huge fish for goodness sake - this dude has some serious clout in heaven no doubt. But what if we all, while paying attention to the Sunday School versions of Jonah, have missed one of the most important parts - his shipmates?


The first time we meet them, they have it all wrong....they cry out each to his own god because they are so afraid. They don't know the one true God, they don't know what to do, they are lost and they are searching for an answer. Our world is much the same. I am much the same even still...


But here the shipmates are, in their raw form, trying to find out why the sea is raging and...the lot falls to Jonah. Instead of blaming him, shunning him, turning their heads away from him, they inquire of him, of his story. They are seeking...there is a longing in them to find answers that they cannot deny. Our world is much the same. I am much the same still...

And Jonah, just like that, doesn't skip a beat. I'd like to think that having missed the opportunity once to preach (and now facing the wrath of God), he wasn't going to do it again, "I'm a Hebrew. I worship Yahweh, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land." In two sentences, he offered his shipmates hope....a hope that would rock their world. A hope that wouldn't be able to be ignored. Christians....this hope is what the world needs. This hope is what I need...


Their response was indicative to the light and the hope that they had just tasted...."What should we do to you to calm the sea..." They had listened to Jonah and wanted to believe that God made the sea...their belief was small but significant. Jonah told them to throw him over. But these men had such a deep compassion in their hearts, that they rowed ever so hard to get to dry land, but what they still had yet to realize was that they were rowing against God's great power. They were relying on their own strength to get them to dry land, until they had had enough and could go no further. This is the world. This is me...

Submission and pleading to Jonah's God was their heart....they acknowledged Him and that He had done just as He pleased. As soon as Jonah was overboard, the raging of the sea stopped - His power was no longer something talked of...it was seen. "The men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows." 1:16. This was the final act of their belief. Their salvation story ended...we would never hear from them again...but their story is not worth missing. Simply because...this is the story of us...

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