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September 14 – The wages of sin is death

“So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.” – Jonah 1:15 

Scripture reading: Jonah 1:14-16

With no other option, the mariners throw Jonah into the sea. And Jonah is going down, down, down, gurgle, gurgle, gurgle into the dark, pitch-black icy cold sea.

Jonah is under punishment. In a sense, the Lord is saying: You want to flee, Jonah? Okay, I’ll let you flee. Do you want to run? I’ll let you run. But your running will be your downfall — and you will run yourself into the morbid, murky, and muddy sea.

Jonah expects to die. Once he hit the ice-cold water, he expected to drown and never be heard from again. He doesn’t know about the fish yet. Jonah’s “death” corresponds with the nature of his sin. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Jonah is punished for his sin. But he does not die. The Lord isn’t done with him yet. The Lord appoints a fish to swallow Jonah, and he will live.

In the future, another prophet will be thrown into a storm. Not a storm at sea of water, but the storm of God’s wrath. He would not be punished for His own sin — He was sinless. He wasn’t running away from the Father but was perfectly living, “Not my will, but yours.” And in that storm, the full fury of God’s anger would be upon Him. This is Jesus. What brought Jesus to the cross was our sin, our fleeing from God’s presence. But Jesus died so that we don’t have to.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord Jesus for diving into the storm of God’s wrath in your place.

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 NTGDevotional.com.


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