Jonah: Engulfed By Grace, Jonah 1:7-17
Jonah 1:9-10 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
Jonah is a curious fellow.
In one sentence he says — I fear the Lord, the God of heaven; in another sentence he says — I’m fleeing from His presence.
Is this a case of fleeing from something he is afraid of, like Moses fleeing from the staff that turned into a serpent? Or is this a case of saying one thing and doing another?
Jonah is a curious fellow, but certainly not one that we can’t identify with!
Perhaps we can recall our own spider-mice-snake scenes of jolting in the opposite direction. And as for not living into the words that we share with Jesus, we too have spoken out of both sides of our heart.
I’m reminded of two statements of Jesus:
- Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? This statement comes with the insight that Jesus knows that an incongruence exists within our hearts and actions, and He wants us to lean into obedience. Fearing the Lord, the God of heaven, is to exist parallel with, and in the same trajectory of, following through on God’s instructions.
- Matt 21:38 Which of the two did the will of his father?” Jesus asks this question at the conclusion of a parable about two sons and their response to a request made by their father. One son never had the intention of fulfilling his father’s request yet shrouded himself with a verbose claim that he would follow through (he never did follow through). The other son straight up said, ‘No’; yet later had a change of heart. Which of the two did the will of his father? Incongruence exists — it’s the next step that matters most!
Jesus, help us to call you Lord and follow through on all that that means.