Out of the depths - Hope 103.2

Out of the depths

By David ReayWednesday 3 Aug 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Jonah 2:1-3

1       From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:
         “In my distress I called to the Lord,
             and he answered me.
         From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
             and you listened to my cry.
3       You hurled me into the depths,
             into the very heart of the seas,
             and the currents swirled about me;
          all your waves and breakers
              swept over me. (NIV)

Many years ago, a poem was written titled “The Hound of Heaven”. It was about God pursuing individuals who were trying to get away from him. It can sound a bit menacing until we recognise that the God who pursues us is the God who loves us with a passion and wants the best for us.

Jonah was a pursued man. He was invited by God to preach to Nineveh and so promptly boarded a ship going in precisely the opposite direction. He figured that might be the end of the story, but it wasn’t. A storm threatened the ship he was on, and amidst the various superstitious fears of the sailors, Jonah volunteered to be thrown overboard to appease whatever gods were behind the storm.

The story tells us he was swallowed by a large fish, a very real description of being utterly lost and without hope. Yet even in these forsaken depths Jonah calls on God. When we are running away from God, when we are fed up with God, when we doubt the reality of God, it seems we still call out to him.

And our God is one who is in the depths with us. He does not stay at a safe distance. He does not give up on us. Jonah had tried to run away from God, but God is not some geographically confined deity from whom we can escape. He is present when we obey him or when we disobey him.

No depth is beyond him and no matter how far we run from him, he will always welcome us back.

David Reay

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