For the last few weeks, we have really dissected the entire book of Jonah. Chapter by chapter–verse by verse.
A man in the bible disobeyed God, got swallowed up by a whale in the great big sea and was later spit out onto dry land. Lucky guy that Jonah was.
Before digging deeper, this was pretty much what I remembered from children’s church about the story of Jonah and the whale.
But there is so much more to glean from Jonah’s story. In these four short chapters, we see God’s grace and mercy. We see relationship, separation and ultimately reconciliation.
Jonah, this man of God, has a relationship with god. Notice I spelled God with a little “g.” I really don’t think Jonah understood the magnitude of who this God he served was. Jonah felt he served a God he could manipulate. He didn’t have a right perspective of God.
We really don’t know the God who speaks things into existence.
The God Jonah thought he served was a God he thought he could manipulate. A God he thought he had all figured out, tucked off in a little box in his mind. What Jonah failed to realize is God defined Jonah; Jonah did not define God.
Jonah quickly found out he couldn’t serve a correct God in an incorrect way. He found out God would not tolerate his inadequate worship. He wants all of us, or none of us.
The devastating result of not fully grasping who The God of the bible is, is inadequate worship, or giving God less, than what He is due. When we do not recognize our position with the true and living God, we begin to put things in His place.
When we attach ourselves to things other than God, we are in essence saying these things bring us greater security than God. They bring us more power than God can give us. They bring us more peace than God can bring us.
Then these things begin to affirm us, and we ultimately find contentment in these fleeting and unstable things.
Paul admonishes, it is only when we declutter our lives from inferior things, that we can truly get to know Him–God with a capital “G.”
Until then, we will fumble through the vicissitudes of life, trying to grab onto false anchors of security, only to find ourselves in the belly of a whale.