The Jonah Effect

Posted: September 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »
Copyright Eric Morris 2006

Copyright Eric Morris 2006

There are a lot of things going on in the United States today, politically speaking (bear with me a minute, this is not a political rant).  It isn’t hard at all to see that our country is at a fork in the road and the vehicle is stalled until we decide on a direction.

In times like these, the opinions on what the problems and solutions are vary, and some who carry them speak louder of it than others.  I have heard that the Obama administration is taking the country to a socialist, Marxist, communist direction, and I have heard many solutions varying from impeachment, to voting out all incumbents in 2010, to outright revolution.

Now, others feel this is a great direction.  There are millions of individuals who need the health care programs being proposed, the programs afforded by the stimulus to help with heating bills and home renovations, and the incentive at a corporate level to be more environmentally responsible.

Regardless of which camp you are in, I offer the following:

There was a man named Jonah, you’ve probably heard of him.  God speaks to the prophet that he is to go to Nineveh, and we know his reaction.   He gets on a boat and heads the opposite direction.  In response, God sends a violent storm and everyone on the ship is afraid that the storm will sink the ship.

Here is the how the rest goes down (Jonah 1).

All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.   But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”

Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.   So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”

This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so.)”

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Let’s bring it into today’s world.

The ship (country) is in troubled water, and people (especially conservatives) are running around screaming, “The sky is falling!”  They are crying out to their gods (representatives, radio talk shows, and the like) “What do we do? Why is this happening?”  all to no avail.  They think they are being punished for some wrong doing of theirs, or those around them, but this is not the case at all.

See, the story is not about them, and it is not about the storm: It is about the saving of a people.

The entire time this storm is going on, where is the prophet?  He is in the bottom of the ship, hiding.

And there it is.  Jonah finally faces the truth that all of this is happening solely because he is not doing what God commissioned him to do.  See, the answer for the men of that ship (and our country) was not to throw the captain (president), crew (congress), or cargo (legislation) overboard.  None of these would stop the storm, and did not cause it.  The only thing that can stop it is the obedience of God’s people. Our problem is, we’re running and hiding in the bottom of the ship still and not recognizing our wrong.

Jonah had to realize his disobedience was the problem, own up to it, and then obey.  Once he decided that he was responsible for the calamity around him, he jumped overboard (died to himself and his own ideals).  Instantly, the storm was gone, and I love this part, “God provided…”  We need to get to that place as believers where we say, “It is our fault that this storm is on you.”

So what is the believer to do in the current political climate?  Obey God’s commissions.  If we simply lived (and I am including myself in all this) as Christ taught, none of these actions the administration is purposing would even be necessary.  God told us to take care of the fatherless and the widows.  He calls the believer to give all to those in need and not to worry about himself.  He calls us to be good stewards of the earth.

As for the health care bit?  Where is the believer in this?  See Matthew 4:23-24 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.”

If we as Christians would stand up and pray for our leaders first, without prejudice, malice, or selfish motivation, that in itself would be a milestone.  Let’s take care of what Jesus called us to do FIRST, and he will calm the storm around us.  The revolution that needs to happen needs to be in the hearts and actions of God’s people.

- mooney


  • Christian Fahey

    Very good post Moon. Spot-on analysis.

    • http://tsdi.wordpress.com/ baddogmooney

      Thanks Christian!

  • Kirk

    This was really really good Chris……well put!

  • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

    Man…tremendous insight. I never connected that, and I’m stealing “The Jonah Effect.” ch:

  • deborah mooney

    wow chris all i can say is AMEN,you are right on,the Holy Spirit has given you a great word,many more needs to hear this love mom

  • reenie

    Chris ~ well put , If MY people will ….. it is on us truly as Christians we need to humble ourselves and pray ~ Pray for God to change us ,to make us See things how he sees them ,break our hearts for what breaks His , Be willing to die for another ~ be Jesus with skin on ~ Bet we would see a lot of things change just because We did ~ Truth is you change on piece in the puzzle you change the puzzle ~ Great article ~ too bad Jonah couldn’t find it in his heart to rejoice when Nineveh was converted ~ hopefully . prayerfully ~ we will !