And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And 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.” Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. Therefore they called out to the LORD, “O LORD, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.” So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows. And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1:7–17
Jonah tries to put God’s command as far from him as possible. He even sleeps in the lower decks while the storm is raging. However, even in his fleeing and hiding, he still confesses the Lord God. When the sailors ask him who he is, he confesses that he is a Hebrew and that he worships the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Even in our life of faith, we still sin. There is a battle raging between the old Adam and the new One. Luther once said that we were at the same time saint and sinner. Like Jonah we are both saint and sinner. We sin much and deserve nothing but punishment, but the faith planted and nourished in our heart calls upon the Lord, who died and rose again that we would have life. Jonah knows what to do and tells the sailors that he needs to be tossed into the sea. He knows that he is their trouble. He didn’t know that the Lord had appointed a fish to swallow him up. He didn’t know that the Lord would use this sign to teach the Scribes and Pharisees that Jesus would be in the belly of the earth for three days. But this God preserves his servant and preserves his Word—foreshadowing how he would preserve all his people by dying on the cross and rising again.
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