Today’s Verse, Jonah 1:9
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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.”
Reflections on Today’s Verse
After getting “grilled” on several levels by the sailors, we learn that Jonah told these men two things in this verse:
1) He told them he was a Hebrew (1:9a). Non-Israelites knew the Israelites by the term “Hebrew” (Gen. 40:15; Ex. 1:19; I Sam. 4:6, 9; 14:11). When Jonah used this term, these sailors would have realized this is one who is from Palestine who worships a God who has done many powerful and miraculous things.
2) He told them he feared the LORD God (1:9b). It is interesting that Jonah identifies the LORD God as the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land. It is very clear that Jonah did not really believe he could flee from the presence of God. Apparently, this storm had brought him back to a true theological reality. He knew that he could not run from the presence of the Lord, because this was the LORD God of heaven who made all the sea and all the dry land.
As I have pondered how to apply this, it has been a great reminder, first off, that no one by virtue of their skin color, ethnic heritage, language or nationality is untouchable to God. That makes them touchable to us too. There may have been some repulsiveness from Jonah to these sailors—if not only because they were not Jews.
Second, corporate worship every Lord’s Day is designed to remind you that your hope isn’t found in your heritage or performance, but in the grace of your Savior. “Heritage” must not be allowed to segregate the Body of Christ. Paul considered this worthy of confrontation (Gal 2:11-21). And, third, Christians are defined not by our heritage, but by our mission; not by our blood, but by His. The apostle Paul lost his heritage, his ethnic superiority, his very self-image, and he didn’t care, because he gained Christ (Phil 3).
Have you allowed your “status” as a Christian to prevent you from opening your mouth to speak the Word of God in the Gospel to others?
Watch our Daily Verse Video:
Father, thank you that our faith is founded not on our heritage, but all by grace in your Son. Help us to be faithful in evangelism to all those around us. Lord, let people not have to die without knowing who you are – and may we be the faithful witnesses of such. Lord, give us truth to answer the hard questions about our faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.