Let’s continue thinking about Jonah’s first orthodox statement: “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Like the rest of us, what Jonah says he believes is very orthodox. But his professed beliefs are contradicted by his behavior!
“I am a Hebrew” — Jonah does not hesitate to identify himself as one of God’s covenant people. He is proud, it seems, instead of being ashamed that he is betraying his heritage and refusing to do his part in fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant of being a blessing to all people (Gen. 12).
“and I worship the Lord . . .” — What is worship? Is it merely ceremony, rituals performed to placate a sometimes angry deity? How could he say “I worship the Lord”? How can we say we worship the Lord when we don’t do what He tells us to do?
“the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” — This is the Creator God! This is the One who is responsible for this lethal storm. This is the One who fashioned the dry land (which these sailors were longing for about right now). We Evangelicals make a lot out of God as Redeemer, and rightly so. But, I wonder, have we ignored much of the Bible’s witness to God as Creator?
This is no deistic-designed universe. God is personally involved in sustaining His world. And He sustains His servant long enough for him to identify himself theologically. But even pagans can see through such hypocrisy (to be continued).