Monday, January 5, 2009


If you're unfamiliar with Jonah, or even a bit rusty, reading the book's four short chapters would yield maximum results at minimum effort. From the original Jaws of chapter one, to the twist ending of chapter four, this story is thought-provoking on several levels.

Actually, the ending doesn't technically qualify as a fully certified M. Night Shyamalan plot twist! I mean, Jonah's will seems Unbreakable, as he tries to ignore all the Signs, that he is supposed to go to The Village of Ninevah, to warn them of The Happening which will occur in 40 days. And that was no Lady in the Water, but rather Jonah, after being thrown overboard... (O.K. Stop it, John!)

“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.” ...Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. -Jonah 1:12 and 15

Do you have any "storms" in your life? There can be many reasons for the turbulence in which we find ourselves. Some people start off as victims of chance. Where we were born, to whom we were born, our environment or peers can precipitate whatever inclemency we've had to weather.

As in Jonah's case, we often find that our own choices have led us to the heart of the storm. We tend to wonder why we have what we have, even though we're the one's who have made the choices we've made - which led us to have what we have!

The good news is, whether Jonah snuck on board, or was knowingly invited, we still have opportunity in the eye of the storm. We still have a choice. There's one decision that could alter the climate of our lives forever: Throw Jonah Overboard! Let me take it a step further. If Jonah is the cause of the storm, throw Jonah overboard and the storm will stop!

Fear and Jonah
All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. -Jonah 1:5a
Continuing to read this passage, you will notice that the sailors seemed to have two competing fears. They were afraid to throw Jonah overboard, but they were also afraid to keep Jonah. Maybe they were afraid to dump Jonah, because they had enough respect for his life and the fact that he was a servant (although an unfaithful one) of God. And they were probably afraid to keep Jonah because of the storm that was threatening their lives!

If you are in a Jonah-induced storm, you have a choice to make. Maybe you're afraid that you can't make it without Jonah in your life. Jonah may be a business partner. Jonah may be a romantic relationship. Jonah may be a drug and you're terrified to face life without it! Don't let fear of loosing Jonah stop you from throwing him overboard. Throw Jonah Overboard!

Or maybe you have the other kind of fear: Fear for Jonah. It sounds like this: "Isn’t it unchristian to throw Jonah overboard - because it’s my job to feed and clothe Jonah, and help Jonah get saved. If I don’t help Jonah, who will. If I throw Jonah to the sharks (almost literally in this story), then Jonah will not get the help he needs!" But what does the Bible say: God prepared a huge fish for Jonah.

I’m not saying that you need to push people off buildings, or into rip currents. Throwing Jonah overboard for you may be as simple as loosing some "friends" phone numbers, or as life-altering as checking yourself into drug rehab! Matthew 18 and 1Corinthians 5 give unfortunate circumstances under which a member of the church is to be "thrown overboard." When you finally do throw Jonah overboard, God has a way of working out the related difficulties!

  • Throw Jonah overboard and the storm will stop!
  • Throw unhealthy relationships overboard and those storms will stop!
  • Throw unequally yoked partnerships overboard and those storms will stop!
  • Throw bad past choices overboard and those storms will stop!
  • Throw poor business decisions overboard and the the storm will stop!
  • Throw personal sin and bad character overboard and the storm will stop!
  • Throw insecurities overboard and the storm will stop!
  • Throw destructive habits and addictions overboard and the storm will stop!
  • Throw defeat and depression overboard and the storm will stop!

What about the permanency of wind and salt water damage? What about still having to pick up the pieces of destruction that were caused by the storm? That's for another day, another post. For now...

Throw Jonah overboard, and the storm will stop!

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