But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up
(Jonah 1:4 NKJV)
The story of Jonah is a synonym of those who, keeping their eyes on themselves, run away from being in front of God, and therefore at His service. It represents who, giving himself to the escape, places himself in a condition of distance from God. Multiple, and of various nature, the reasons could be; some sharable and justifiable, others incomprehensible and intolerable. On a psychological level or, if you prefer, relational, you can hypothesize that at the base of this transformation there is against a hostile and invading people a resentment or, more precisely an understandable resentment. There are those who described it as "an underground version of hatred and anger ready to explode when solicited. Certainly it is a reaction to a suffered action, a folding on oneself that amplifies one's pain by silencing all the rest". But there is not always a triggering pain. In fact, one can often be a victim of one's paranoia, putting the consequences on others. In this specific case, Jonah appears, in his being stubborn, tormented and persecuted by God, Who almost takes him by the hair to lead him to do what he wants, like a parent who grabs his capricious baby by the arm and takes him away from the toys .
We could hypothesize that Jonah is prey to a persecution complex, which keeps him away from the truth, constantly covered by his conviction of being on the side of reason. In this tug of war with the Lord the events take on an ironic tone in some ways, for others they are imbued with divine mercy. Going back over each one, he will be able to understand in them aspects that can be actualized in his current vicissitudes. Initially Jonah is sent to Nineveh, the great and bloody city, to denounce the evil of which Israel was also a victim. Apparently he runs away for no reason. The Assyrian capital is the great monster, and going to the monster's mouth scares anyone. We all know the silent company of fear when we flee by refusing to be who we are. The prophet is also upset, he feels the burden of a mission that he does not share and tries to escape from responsibility, but he will soon have to discover that one cannot escape from God, especially when he does not accept that he remains indifferent to the need that surrounds us.
The first weapon prepared against Jonah is a strong wind. The verb (in the italian translation) "unleash" contains the idea of force deployed by the Lord, which results in "a great storm". The wind should have been enough to bring back the prophet in his footsteps. The story of Elijah fleeing from Jezebel was to suggest to him what that strong wind was (1 Kings 19:11). Not only the passage, but the presence of the Eternal does not grant respite to those who recalcitrate or try to put their conscience to sleep. The context of the stormy ship is proof of this, even offering us the paradox of sailors trying to save the life of apathetic Jiona. How many times life has shown us subjects, deemed too hastily insensitive or without faith, to become masters of so-called believers. The prophet had run away from fear, thus silencing his faith. The "frightened" sailors, on the other hand, pray, reacting in faith. And you?
(You can learn more by reading my writing "Giona, l’inaccettabile misericordia di Dio").
Weekly Bible reading plan
September 30, Isaiah 9-10; Ephesians 3
October 01, Isaiah 11-13; Ephesians 4
October 02, Isaiah 14-16; Ephesians 5: 1-16
October 03, Isaiah 17-19; Ephesians 5: 17-33
October 04 , Isaiah 20-22; Ephesians 6
October 05 , Isaiah 23-25; Philippians 1
October 06 , Isaiah 26-27; Philippians 2
On September 30, 1452 Johan Gutenberg prints the Bible, the first book to be reproduced with movable type. Without this work, I wonder if we had the Reformation.