“But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.” Jonah 1:4
In this verse, Jonah has run from God’s presence that dwelled in the Temple in Jerusalem—and he is running as far and as fast as he can from God.
What do you think God does when his children run from him? I’ll can tell you one thing: he doesn’t fold his arms, shrug his shoulders, and say “You’ll get what you have coming to you.”
God, Abba, the perfect Father was going to pursue his child at all costs. This verse tells us that the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea. A wind didn’t just happen stir up. As he is sovereign over creation, God hurled this wind on the sea. The ship was about to come apart! Jonah and the rest of the men aboard were about to die!
Some of us might confuse this with God’s judging wrath upon Jonah for his disobedience. Our temptation is to turn God into the enemy, for we ourselves once were his enemies. However, God’s judgment of sin does not appear to be restorative; it is destructive. In this case, we see what God intends: he desires to see Jonah repent, to restore Jonah to himself, and to deploy him for his mission to Nineveh. The reality is that as God disciplines us, we ought repent before him, thank him, worship him for loving us enough to turn our worlds upside down to get to us.
This is what God’s passion for his glory, his love for his people, and his love for his enemies actually does. He will break up our escape plan and bring us home.
So what does this have to do with Jesus?
Today we see that Jonah would rather die than run to his enemies. Jesus would rather die than see his enemies die in their sins. Jonah ran from the presence and the people of God. Jesus is the presence of God and dwelled among God’s people.