Lent Devotional: Jonah 2

by Jonathan Haefs

Jonah 2 (click here)
For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me.

…yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. (Jonah 2:3 and 6b)

The pagan sailors cast Jonah into the sea…but they don’t get credit for it! Jonah acknowledges God’s sovereignty in his situation…the Lord is the one who cast him into the sea…even the wind and waves belong to the Lord.

God is sovereign.

Even over our difficulties, dangers, and near death experiences. This truth makes us struggle. If God is sovereign, then why do we experience suffering at all? Why does he sometimes hurl us into the sea?

There are no easy answers to questions such as these, but there is good news, namely, that because God is sovereign over the wind and waves, we know that those forces never win! Because God is sovereign over death itself, we know that death doesn’t win!

We cannot always see his purposes, but we can trust that his purposes are good. Because the Lord was sovereign over casting Jonah into the sea, he could also sovereignly save him from the sea! God brought Jonah’s life up from the pit!

God saved Jonah from the sea and, even more importantly, from his sinful self! Jonah learned that salvation belongs to the Lord, but such a lesson can only be learned when one is in need of saving.

Jesus’ disciples learned this same thing upon a stormy sea. Jesus, like Jonah, was sleeping through the storm, but for a completely different reason. Jesus wasn’t sleeping because he was running from God, but because he was God. He had nothing to fear for he was in complete control… the disciples could only learn this truth amidst the storm.

To know Jesus as the sovereign Lord over the wind and waves, we must first be cast into the storm… only then and there can we experience his sovereign salvation.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.