Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

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"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 15th March 1998

From the Pastor: Proverbial Texts VII

X is a "Jonah"

"So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging." Jonah 1:15

We all have heard of a "jinx" figure. No matter what he does, things go wrong both for him and for those around him. Despite all the rationalisms about superstition being so much mumbo-jumbo, there are many who will run a mile from anyone who is believed to bring bad luck, whether in the form of financial loss, or family disasters. In the search for a scapegoat (another proverbial expression from the Bible!) some will try to blame a "jinx" figure and then call him a "Jonah".

The latter expression of course comes from the Book of Jonah, whose central character tried to run away from God's command to preach to Nineveh, capital of Israel's arch-enemy Assyria. On the high seas, in the midst of a storm, he realized that the LORD had sent the storm against him and his companions in the ship. When the sailors heeded his request and threw him overboard the storm suddenly stopped.

What this story tells us is not that Jonah was a jinx, but that God made things hard for Jonah when he tried to disobey His instruction and to subvert His purpose. The sailors were indeed superstitious, but God did not accede to that. The Bible tells us that "the way of the trangressor is hard" (Proverbs 13:15), and that way will always be tough for those who kick against God's commands. True, some seem to go through life without God and without a care in the world, but that does not alter the fact that they will have their reward but then lose it all at some stage.

The real "Jonahs" of this world are those who shut their ears against preaching, set aside God's commands, and live entirely for themselves. "Jonahs" on their way to sense and sensibility are those who wake up to what they have been doing and are prepared to be thrown into the proverbial sea, whatever may happen. This is called repentance. Make sure you are a repentant Jonah.

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Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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