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September 12 – Jonah’s testimony

“I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” – Jonah 1:9 

Scripture reading: Jonah 1:7-11

The sailors believe that the storm represents divine punishment. Someone on the ship has done something to offend a god. Casting lots will let them know who this person is. “And the lot fell on Jonah.” As soon as he is singled out as the culprit, the crew wanted to know the whys and wherefores of this mysterious and troublesome passenger.

Jonah gets peppered with questions, rapid-fire. “Tell us now! On whose account has this evil come upon us? What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” Jonah answers the last question first. He states that his nationality is Hebrew. But then he elaborates. Literally, verse 9 reads: “and the Lord, the God of the heavens, I fear, who made the sea and dry land.”

Jonah uses the covenantal name for God: Yahweh. He defines and describes his God. His God is the sovereign Lord of everything, the one who created the sea and dry land. Jonah’s God is in control of the storm of the sea. He assures the sailors of that. That only makes the sailors more terrified. They ask: “What is this that you have done!” Are you crazy? You ran away from a God who can do this?

Jonah’s God is the supreme and sovereign Lord, the Creator of land and sea. This God is pursuing Jonah in His power and love.

Suggestions for prayer

Praise the Lord for His sovereign power and control and that He uses this power for the good of his children.

Pastor Jeremy Veldman is the co-pastor at Rehoboth United Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, serving as Minister of Congregational Life. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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