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Gone fishing

Then they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and it calmed down at once. This made the sailors so afraid of the Lord that they offered a sacrifice and promised to serve him. At the Lord's command a large fish swallowed Jonah, and he was inside the fish for three days and nights.

Jonah 1 : 15 - 17 (GNB)

Our passage this week comes mid-action. Jonah has been travelling on a boat, and gets caught in a horrific storm, a storm so bad that everyone on-board knows that it is the work of a God. The upshot of this, as we see in the passage is that he is thrown overboard by the other crew. He is then subsequently saved by a big fish (which many people commonly refer to as a whale).

To put this passage in a bit of context, Jonah was on the boat because he was trying to run away from God to a distant land. He was running away because he was scared of the task that God had given him. Jonah in his escape plan underestimated Gods power.

When God released the wild wind and ferocious waves which were on the verge of destroying the ship Jonah knew it was down to him. He didn't want his stupidity to be the reason for the whole crew going to a watery grave. He volunteered to be thrown off the ship to calm Gods anger and save the rest of the crew.

What happened next is important, God could have left Jonah to drown. After all he disobeyed God by running away, and no one forced him onto this boat. However this isn't God's style. God rescued Jonah, keeping him safe inside the big fish.

While in there he was given time to reflect on his life and the decisions that he had made. He also had the opportunity to reconnect with God and receive forgiveness for his mistakes. If you read on from this passage you will see that once Jonah had made peace with God he was safely released on a beach, with a second chance to do things right.

Are there things that you are running away from? This week have your Jonah moment, stop running, reconnect with God and get back on the course he has planned for you. Have a great week.

This week's song is Let Go by Worship Central.

Header image by: Alexandru Panoiu via Flickr