Jonah | Day Four
By: Taylor Flatt
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“There’s no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
- Corrie ten Boom
I need to warn you that today’s reading feels really heavy.
This part of Jonah’s story is very serious and we have to look at this moment with the gravity that it deserves. While we know that he has a giant fish waiting for him in the sea, Jonah has no idea. As far as he’s concerned, he’s about to die.
In these verses, Jonah’s still running from God and he runs all the way to the bottom of the ocean. At this point in the story, Jonah chooses death over repentance and punishment over grace. That’s pretty serious.
Open it up and let’s check it out together.
Read Jonah 1:9-16.
Finally Jonah speaks. What does he say?
How do the sailors react to Jonah’s explanation of himself? What is Jonah’s solution?
Jonah identifies himself as a worshiper of God and he immediately acknowledges that his God is in control of the sea. Jonah knows that God is in control of the storm and he knows God is trying to get his attention. But, Jonah has forgotten that God is a gracious God.
Why do you think Jonah has forgotten about God’s grace at this point?
At this part of the story, I want to shake Jonah back into reality--just get on your knees and repent! Jonah didn’t have to wait until he was in the belly of a giant fish to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness. He could have gotten down on his knees in the boat and prayed that God would have mercy on him right then.
However, instead of repenting, Jonah takes control and punishes himself--telling the sailors to throw him overboard. At this point in the story, Jonah chooses death over life. He’s willing to die before asking for God’s grace.
Do you see how crucial this moment is?
Jonah chooses shame and punishment that should ultimately lead to his death rather than reaching out for grace and forgiveness. And honestly I don’t know why. Maybe his heart was hardened and he was mad at God. But much more likely, I think Jonah was afraid God wouldn’t forgive him.
I think he believed it was too late.
I believe that some of you are literally standing in Jonah’s boat.
Have you ever chosen to punish yourself by living in shame rather than accepting grace?
Have you ever avoided repentance because you were afraid of God’s response?
Girls, there are a lot of ways that we punish ourselves when we feel like we’ve failed and some of them are very serious. But it breaks God’s heart when we choose pain over grace, death over life, and bondage over freedom.
Read Ephesians 1:7-8. Rewrite these verses in your own words. How do we receive redemption?
The ESV puts it this way, “according to the riches of His grace, which he lavished upon us...” What does it mean to be given lavish grace?
At the very beginning of this study, we talked about recognizing God’s graciousness throughout this story. Jonah trusted that God was in control of the seas but he forgot God’s graciousness--asking to be thrown into the sea before asking to be forgiven.
Don’t forget God’s graciousness towards you today. Accept His grace today and walk forward in freedom and confidence.