When reading the story, I have always considered Jonah's thoughts, feelings, and consequences, but not those around him. His disobedience carried significant ramifications for everyone on the boat. People suffered because of Jonah's disobedience, and he was initially oblivious to the wind. The other passengers weren't doing wrong, they weren't going in the wrong direction, nor were they on the wrong boat, yet still, they were adversely affected by his sin. Dharious Daniels said, "Sometimes people make us responsible for their irresponsibility." Look at Jonah's story. They were panicking, throwing valuables overboard, and worrying about the problem, all while Jonah slept. These people had taken on responsibility for his irresponsibility.
Sometimes we may not have a choice but to have the person in our life, we may not even realize they are on the wrong boat, but sometimes we harbor people on purpose that cause havoc. Those we harbor, we make excuses for, enable, and disregard their reckless behavior. Occasionally, we need to jump out of the boat they are in or push them out of ours. Nothing is worse than taking responsibility for someone else's mess. As soon as they threw Jonah off, their world calmed. Don't get me wrong; they still took on damage because sin always leaves its mark, BUT GOD....... he provided safety for the crew, and even a Whale which represents grace to Jonah.
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.”13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
We all need to think about how our sin affects those around us. Five years ago, two children were suffering greatly. One lady talked about giving one of the children a bath in the sink at daycare, while the other was three and could not speak. These children were 18 months and three years and had not made any decisions that led them to where they were; however, plenty of adults had made poor choices for them. These kids were metaphorically on the wrong boat reaping the horrific consequences of sin. The Lord provides, not through a whale in this case, but a different home. Here is the thing about the rescue the people had no idea they were even being sent on a mission. They minded their own business doing children’s ministry and policing, with NO plans to increase their family, BUT GOD...... The Lord asked for a slight favor of three weeks in the form of a DHR worker, even though they have never been to foster care classes. He knew where they were in life and asking for the whole thing at once would have maybe sent them into disobedience with a no or at the very least overwhelmed them completely. This week the little boy who could not speak accepted Christ as his Savior. This was the Lord’s plan of Grace and Mercy for him. I know this because this is our story. I contribute so much of his salvation to a small country church were so many people have poured into his little life. They have taught him the bible, but are always mixing in plenty of love with it. It doesn’t matter what you have planned because God’s ways are not always our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts.
There are two things you can be in this story, either the Whale who is used by God for grace and mercy, or the one who needs to be thrown overboard because they are causing havoc for all those around them. God certainly wants us to be the first!
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.