Scripture Reading: Jonah 1:11-18

“Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know that it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” (Jonah 1:12)

It is hard to understand Jonah’s motives at this point in the story. Why would he be willing to sacrifice himself for these pagan sailors? This doesn’t seem like an act of true repentance toward God. He does confess his sin of fleeing from the presence of God; but there does not seem to be real repentance toward God. However, we see hope for Jonah because he begins to take responsibility for the storm — “It is because of me that this great tempest has com upon you.” Jonah wasn’t looking at God, but he was looking at the men whose lives he had put in danger. They had done nothing wrong at all. He must have had pity upon them.

There comes a point in our lives when we have to accept responsibility for our sinful actions and attitudes. We must stop making excuses and blaming others for the sinful things we have done and for the consequences that we have brought upon ourselves and others. We must be honest and go to God in genuine repentance. It is then we can turn to Christ and believe the good news of the gospel. Then we find forgiveness and a new power to move forward.

Jonah was not fully repentant yet. He was at the first place of coming to his senses when he accepted the responsibility for bringing the storm upon these sailors. However, God is not through with Jonah yet. Jonah still has a lot to learn.

Lord God, bring me to conviction over my sins. I take responsibility for my sinful actions and attitudes. I admit that it is so easy to make excuses and to blame others for the troubles I have brought upon myself. Be gracious and forgive me for I do trust fully in the blood of my Savior to save me.


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