“What I do in my personal life doesn’t hurt anyone. So, what’s the big deal?”
I’m thinking that Jonah never gave it a second thought when he boarded the ship to Tarshish. Nobody knew why he was travelling and even if they did, why would they care? It was something just between him and God. But his decision affected those aboard this boat filled with cargo. In fact, it cost the sailors their profits because they had to throw the cargo overboard in an attempt to survive. These seasoned seamen feared for their lives. They knew the danger they were in. They had come to the end of themselves. These hardened men were ready to try anything – except throw a man overboard. They tried desperately to save everyone, but to no avail. They came to the point that they were ready to throw Jonah overboard – since he didn’t care about them enough to do so himself. So they prayed to Jonah’s God.
Jonah’s sin was a big deal. It did affect those around him. My sin has also affected all those around me. Plus, it affected Jesus. It quenches and grieves the Holy Spirit. God hates it. Jesus died on the cross for it.
A friend said to me once, “Well, I haven’t been struck by lightning yet.” I must say, I don’t want to be too close when it does. I can justify my sin and the devil can convince me it is no big deal. But is it really no big deal?
“Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.” Jonah 1:13-14.
© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff