God: Lord of the Heavens and Earth, Worthy of Our Respect and Love

Douglas VanBronkhorst

Read: Jonah 1:4-17; John 14:15-24

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

God, Jonah told those sailors he worships you. Does he not know his “worship” is meaningless if he will not obey you? Those pagan, superstitious sailors know almost nothing about you and yet have more respect than Jonah! Lord, the sea itself and all its creatures obey you, but that puny Jonah keeps thinking he can defy you. Will you now drown him as he deserves?

I want Jonah in the sea, yes, but not for punishment. Have you seen his courage? His willingness to die for his principles? His honesty with the sailors?

The sailors show promise. They are also courageous, and turning toward you. But Jonah!? He knows so much more about you, and yet his “principles” are totally against your will. He says he’d rather die than obey, so give him what he wants—and answer the seaman’s prayers to be saved and not be blamed for the death of this wicked, harmful man.

Yes, I’ll answer those prayers, after they throw Jonah in the sea. But then I’m going to put Jonah in a difficult, dark place, and give him a chance to think again about his decisions, and his “worship” of me. —Doug Van Bronkhorst

Prayer: God of grace and mercy, forgive my foolish ways. Thank you for second chances and more to align my will with yours, to better appreciate just who it is I worship—thank you for your attributes, work in the world, and goals for my life. Amen.