Daily Devotional

Jonah: 'Throw me into the Sea'

by Simon Whitton

4 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.
5 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 1:4-5 (NIV)

God's wrath surrounded the sailors, their lives were in jeopardy.  In vain they threw the cargo into the sea, prepared to give all they had in order to save their lives.  But Jonah, like Jesus, fell asleep in the boat in the midst of the storm.

11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher.  So they asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?"
12 "Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied, "and it will become calm.  I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you."

Jonah 1:11-12 (NIV)

'The sea was getting rougher and rougher' with a growing sense of judgment and fear.  The gods of the sailors had not helped them and giving all they had wasn't enough to save them.  In desperation they turned to Jonah, who like Jesus, took all the blame upon himself and offered himself as a sacrifice.

13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land.  But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.
Jonah 1:13 (NIV)

Despite Jonah's offer, 'the men did their best to row back to land.'  They tried to save themselves by their own strength, the works of their hands.  But the sea only grew wilder as God's wrath increased, because He opposes men who try to save themselves.

14 Then they cried to the LORD, "O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man's life.  Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased."
Jonah 1:14 (NIV)

With no other recourse, the sailors cry out to the Lord, the God of Jonah.  They ask that their lives be spared, acknowledging that they are killing an innocent man, for this is the will of the Lord.

15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.
Jonah 1:15 (NIV)

Do you find yourself out to sea, with no land in sight?  Are you struggling with sin?  Perhaps you are in a desperate situation and the sea is raging.  You possibly sense the judgment of God.  It may seem like Jesus is sleeping during all this, as though He doesn't care if you drown?

You're aware of Christ's sacrifice, but you think there's something you must do, that God expects something of you, that your own strength and willpower is needed.  Whatever you try will fail, all your efforts are futile, only an innocent sacrifice will appease God.  Jesus is willing to be thrown overboard in order to save you.

Later Jonah prays:

"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD."

Jonah 2:8-9 (NIV)

Don't forfeit the grace that could be yours.  Forsake all other hope except the Lord's sacrifice, for salvation comes only from Him.  Throw Christ, the innocent one, overboard in order to save yourself, and the wrath of God will be satisfied, the sea will grow calm.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:18-19 (NIV)

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