14 : ‘So they (the sailors) prayed to the Lord, ‘Please don’t let us drown for taking this man’s life. Don’t hold us guilty for killing an innocent man. All of this happened because You wanted it to.’
15 : Then they threw Jonah overboard, and the sea calmed down.
16 : The sailors were so terrified that they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made all kinds of promises.
17 : The Lord sent a big fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.’
There is no record of Jonah praying at this point – he is still in ‘flight from God’ mode. It is the gentile / non-Hebrew sailors who engage in prayer, asking that they may not be blamed for Jonah’s imminent death.
When they see the effect of throwing him overboard, and the immediate calming of the storm, they are completely in awe of Jonah’s God, and make sacrifices / offerings / promises – they begin to worship God.
As far as they are concerned, Jonah is dead, and he is the sacrifice which has bought their salvation, their freedom from the life-threatening storm. One person sacrificed to enable the others to live free.
Immediately, Jonah must have anticipated drowning, and his inevitable death – his life flashed before his eyes.
BUT God has a rescue plan…and for Jonah, it involves three days and nights at the bottom of the sea, in the belly of a large fish.
Plenty of thinking time
Plenty of time to pray
Plenty of time to connect with God (see chapter two, coming up)
Sinking as far as we can, and being in a situation we can’t get ourselves our of, may have provided our greatest opportunities to connect with the One : Creator, Saviour, Sustainer.
No words in prayer today, just pictures
each one making different connections, leading your prayerful thoughts in different directions.
Share a comment on the one(s) that connect(s) with you, if you’d like.