Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jonah and the sailors, part 2

So, our boy Jonah is asleep in the belly of the ship, so-to-speak. And there is a great, God generated storm tearing apart the ship, and the prophet is snoozing. Now the captain comes down, probably finds the original Napster behind some cargo getting ready to be tossed, and says, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.” And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
This is amazing! The sailors have to ask Jonah about his religious preference. They don’t even know he is a Believer! I wonder…do the people where you work know that you are a Christian? You know I looooove college football. And nobody who is around me for more than a minute or two has to wonder who my team is. How ‘bout them Dawgs! Go you silver britches? Woof! Woof. So let me throw my first football analogy at you. Those wonderful boys in red and black do not receive a free education, great coaching from Brother Richt, and national exposure for no reason. Suppose that they came on the field on a sunny, Saturday, September afternoon in Athens, ran out to the middle of the field, and huddled up. Now imagine that they never broke the huddle. The 90,000 plus in the stands wouldn’t cheer for long. Eventually, they would expect them to get out of the huddle and run a few plays. And hopefully score a few TD’s! People, God did not save us so that we could gather up in our Holy Huddles on Sunday mornings! He saved us so that we could get out there and make a few plays. It is great, in fact needful, to get in the huddle. Sunday mornings are not supposed to be our Christian existence though. We huddle up so that we can learn the plays, then go out on Mondays, and execute.
Jonah told them he was a Believer. And the men freaked. They started to pray to their one gods. Eventually Jonah tells them he has to go for a swim. They don’t like it, but they do throw him in the drink. Instantly. I mean the second his big toe gets damp, the wind stops. What do the sailors do? The believe. And as close as you can make the analogy to an Old Testament event, they get saved! They make vows unto the Lord. Isn’t that what we do when we get saved? Make a vow to God? Absolutely. Jonah wasn’t happy. He was running from Nineveh to keep from having Gentiles saved, and he inadvertently leads to a mass Gentile conversion. One day I want to talk to those sailors in heaven. They are some of the heroes of the Old Testament to me. They were throwing a party, as Jonah was drowning. And why not, the angels were undoubtedly singing.

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