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Read Introduction to Jonah


“So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”


So the captain came to him,

Imagine what a godless character this captain must have been.  The irony of a man like this captain challenging Jonah to pray is amazing. 

and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper?

The captain characterizes Jonah as a “sleeper.”  The captain has to prod Jonah to prayer by calling him lazy. 

Arise, call on your God;

The captain is desperate.  He wants everyone on board to call on his particular god of the pantheon to save the ship.  Jonah does not want to deal with God.  He wants to flee from the presence of the Lord.  He is not on speaking terms with the Lord. 

perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish

Jonah’s prayer would not have made any difference.  He cannot pray against the will of God. 


God uses unusual agencies to get our attention.


As God used a godless captain to get Jonah’s attention, so God uses non-Christians or secular situations to get our interest.  God has many agencies at His availability.  He can call on a circumstance, a reversal, or an accident to get our attention.  Sometimes He sends divine discipline so that we will come back to fellowship with Him. 

He 12:3-5, 3 “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,

Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;

6     For whom the Lord loves He chastens,

And scourges every son whom He receives.”

7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”