Who Cast Jonah Into The Sea?
By Joe Keim
January 1, 2011
You often hear Christians talk about how Jonah was cast into the sea by the men who ran the ship. And, that of course is backed up with the following Scripture in Jonah 1:15.
Then said they unto him [Jonah], What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? ... And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: ... So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. -Jonah 1:11-15
However, Jonah gives us a SECOND perspective, several verses later in chapter 2.
I [Jonah] cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and He heard me; ... For thou [Lord] hast cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all Thy billows and Thy waves passed over me. -Jonah 2:2-3
The answer, in case you didn't catch it, God cast Jonah into the sea. It's just that He used human beings to do the casting.
Who normally gets the blame for it?
The men on the ship do!
Oftentimes, such as in this situation, we are so earthly minded that we forget the fact that God is Sovereign (King of kings and Lord of Lords). And as is so often the case, when situations like Jonah happen, we jump to immediate conclusions and think we know all the "why's", "how's" and where's" of things. Chances are, if we could see what God sees, we would often be wrong.
Here is a second Bible story that often gets taught with the wrong perspective in mind:
As children (and even adults), we are often taught that it was Joseph's evil brothers that sold him to Egypt. But, was it really the evil brothers that...
...sold Joseph to Egypt?
And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. ... And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth...So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God... -Genesis 45:4-8
Five chapters later, Joseph reminded his brothers again that it was God who sent him to Egypt, not them.
But as for you [brothers], ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. -Gen 50:20
And because Joseph understood the true Sovereignty of God, he was also able to say to his evil brothers,
"Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them" -Gen 50:21
In Proverbs 16:9, God tells us very clearly, "A man's heart deviseth [plans] his way: but the LORD directeth [establishes] his steps."
Are you going through a difficult time in your life? Have you questioned whether God even cares about you? Maybe, just maybe, the reminder of what happened to Jonah and Joseph will help you gain a new perspective of your situation. I pray it does.
Just like Jonah understood who cast him into the sea; just like Joseph understood who sold him into Egypt, so we MUST understand who it is we battle against each day.
For we [you and I] wrestle not against flesh and blood [other human beings], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. -Ephesians 6:12
The next verse tells us:
Wherefore, take onto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. -Ephesians 3:13
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