I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you. (Jonah 1:12)
The classic story of Jonah bears witness to God’s sovereignty, dominion, and control over his divine plan. Jonah, who is clearly running away from the call of God to go preach to the people of Nineveh, sinfully turns, and with great urgency tries to dodge God’s call. His disobedience not only affects himself, but also those in his company.
It is exactly at this point in the story that we witness how sin brings destruction and a disturbance to truth and purity, for it does not care who or what is in its path. However, isn’t it usually in these moments of desperation and deep conviction of sin that we cry out to our God? In verses 9–12, we find Jonah exactly in this state: confessing his sin, the first step toward the true repentance which follows.
In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis stated, “[Repentance] means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into. . . . It means killing part of yourself, under-going a kind of death.” This is exactly what Jonah did in verses 11–16 when he demanded to be “thrown into the sea.” Here we see that true repentance is not only a matter of acknowledging sin, but also turning from it and choosing to obey God.
Stop, and return to his divine embrace!
Jeremy Summers serves as multiplication pastor at Alive Wesleyan Church and adjunct professor at Southern Wesleyan University.
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.