We can never hide from God.
It’s like that song where we won’t hide it under a bushel, we can’t hide it in the darkness, nothing can separate us, nope, it’s shining. Not just the light, but the sin and darkened hearts that we try to shove in the corners or the junk drawers is out there.
Jonah tried to flee. Running, sailing, and being swallowed by wildlife wasn’t enough. He called on the name of Lord, declared His name, and even took the blame for destructive weather, but he still tried to worm his way out of the Lord’s calling.
Even in the darkened storm, God used Jonah.
Jonah 1:16 NIV
At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
Maybe God knew of the disobedient heart that Jonah would put on display. He drew him to sail across the sea in order to save the men upon that ship. As we get frustrated the further into Jonah’s story that we go, we can use the Lord’s saving mercies upon others as a testimony to His goodness despite our reluctant hearts.
As Jonah learns, disobeys, and learns again, he admits that God is the one who saves, and not his own judgment.
2:9 Salvation belongs to the Lord.
A lot of people have looked to our forefathers over time. We look at the Patriarchs for deep faith, and to the prophets for truth. While doing so, we often miss the loving God who is standing there. We see these people of old, but not the one that they are pointing to.
We are in awe of a man who survived imprisonment inside of a big fish. We stick him on a pedestal of Godly repentance and living, while looking past the entire story or the big picture. He was only a flawed man, one for us not to model after nor to look for advice on how to heal our lives.
Matthew 12:40-41 NIV
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.
Something greater than one man who survived an unimaginable encounter has come. We think of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah and Jonah as childish stories, or as amazing miracles to teach us lessons while we shove away the truths that they hold. They all point to healing, faithfulness, and fulfillment. They point to the good and gracious Father who has offered His life for us on a tree, a criminal’s defeat.
Jesus, not Jonah, Moses or the lot, not only teaches truth and walked a righteous path, he did so while living life with us, relating to our hurts, and setting people free. He sees our hearts an heals us with His mercy.
He is the merciful savior. He has saved us from death and despair. He pulls us up out of the darkness and gives us the ability to stand in the light. He loves us so much that He died a death for each and every one of us. May we do well to glorify Him with our lives.
This post comes from the 20 Days of Devotionals series.