Scripture – vs 8 Then they grilled him: “Confess. Why this disaster? What is your work? Where do you come from? What country? What family?”
Vs 9 He told them, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship God, the God of heaven who made sea and land.”
Vs 10 At that, the men were frightened, really frightened, and said, “What on earth have you done!” As Jonah talked, the sailors realized that he was running away from God. – MSG
Observation – Jonah is read each year during Yom Kippur, ‘the Day of Atonement’ in the Jewish calendar. Why?
· No-one is beyond God’s reach.
· Mercy: Despite the sentence of destruction for sinful Nineva, God extends mercy because they repented.
In verses 8-10, the crew is asking Jonah about his profession, his purpose in life, who he is. I could be asked similar questions, “What is my profession, my purpose and my calling?”
The answer for Jonah, he identifies his people and his God. The sailors realize that Jonah is running from both… he has lost his purpose, his mission, his reason for living.
Application – If no-one is beyond God’s reach, if repentance reverses the curse,… what is my role as a Christian today? Could it be to reach out, to encourage repentance (transformation, change of direction, a turning from) and to extend mercy?
Prayer – God on mission, remind me of my spiritual family, my purpose and my calling today. Wake me up from my hiding, shake me from complacency, and extend your mercy. Today is the day of at-one-ment… no one is beyond your reach and repentance is a gift for all so that we can be one with you. I desire to return to my purpose of extending an invitation to others to reach out their hand to yours.
Lloyd is married to Carol and the two of them are Regional Mission Mobilizers – Prairie Region for Mennonite Bretheren Mission.