So Shall the Sea Be Calm Unto You

Jonah 1:12  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 10
A strange fact, the outcome of a necessity, for one to be thrown into the then raging sea, in order to bring a calm, and thereby deliverance to the otherwise shipwrecked mariners, who finally would have perished. But so had a faithful unfailing God ordered, not only for a disobedient servant and the imperiled sufferers, but above all, to shadow forth the Antitype: the perfect contrast, as shown in the marvelous ways of Him, Who ever had His Son before Him.
Jonah had knowingly departed from doing the will of Jehovah, and was thus the moral cause of the storm; moreover he was fast asleep when roused to face the reality of the position. It was when the helpless captain and crew felt the danger they were in, and called upon the only gods they knew, which were no gods, yea nullities, that Jonah disclosed the facts of the case—how God had sent the storm on his account, and declared the only remedy. “Take me up and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you.”
It is often remarked, that a calm precedes a storm. This will truly be the case in a coming hour: when men are saying, Peace and safety, then comes upon them sudden destruction. In this case, the storm precedes the calm, in character both with type and Antitype, where the raging waters must be gone into, to bring the calm of peaceful deliverance. Such are the ways of wisdom, love, and holiness, combined with grace in righteousness, as set forth in Jonah, made good fully and perfectly in the Lord Jesus, and (blessed be God) now made known to and enjoyed by faith in Him by Whom alone the answer can be found and the lesson seen and learned. Jonah's case solemnly illustrates, that the poor perishing mariners could not be saved except by throwing the disobedient servant into the sea, that thereby the innocent should not suffer for the guilty. This the runaway prophet insisted upon, accepting Jehovah's dealing, and his ultimate purposes of blessing assured to him.
How far otherwise was it with Jesus, the Anti-type, Who as the Eternal Son came from the holy calm of the divine glory into a world of sin and woe; becoming a bondman to do the will of God by obedience unto death, even death of the cross. In living obedience through every circumstance, He found it His meat and drink; yet only consummated it at the cross, which He knew must be, not only because of the hatred and wickedness of man, whom He came to save, but there to meet God alone, and settle the question of sin, exhausting the judgment due to it, and thereby bringing about peace with God for all that believe, an eternal calm for guilty ruined man.
Jonah the disobedient servant said, “Take me up and cast me into the sea;” Jesus said “I have a baptism to be baptized with” “The Son of man must be lifted up,” crowned with the mysterious solemn words, uttered in holy communion with His Father, “Now is my soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour.”
All this eternity will never fully unfold, and much more of the depths of all the suffering, when the innocent stood for the guilty, the Holy for the sinful.
The wrath and waves of a sin-hating God passed over Him, when He Who knew no sin was for us made sin, uttering the unfathomable cry,
“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me”?
Disciples, even chosen witnesses, could sleep in the hour of His anticipated sorrow, where wrath and judgment were pending, but devotion to God's glory, and His people's need led Him onward to the cross, until He could say,
“It is finished.”
Then He went down into the sea of death, not only paying the full wages of sin, but by dying to sin He closed its state forever, and no less made everlasting peace by the blood of His cross.
As always, so here, the Antitype more than covers the type. The storm greater than every other in its every element is now past forever. The abiding proof is, that the once suffering Jesus has exchanged the cross, with all its agony, divine judgment, and death, for a perpetual seat at the right hand of God. Not this only; He is the exalted Head of the church over all things, Chief of the new creation, where all is of God.
Accordingly the Holy Spirit has been sent to testify to Him, that everlasting peace is made, that eternal redemption is secured. By Him the gospel is preached, whoever may proclaim it—the calm which succeeds that storm in perfect peace with God through Him Who died and rose again; as every simple believer is privileged to have henceforth unruffled at all times. Fault may disturb communion, but never undo the soul's peace with God.
The grace of Jehovah used the appointed means of Jonah's sin and remedy to bear witness of the true God to the sailors ready to perish. How vast the company of perishing sinners, who have been brought to God, and saved from the wrath to come by believing in Jesus, whom He raised from the dead, Jonah's Antitype!—Jesus Who suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust!
What will not God do for the Holy One, Who alone glorified Him in being made sin? Surely the believer as to his sins and failures, whether in Jonah's form or otherwise, can say that all his blessing is based on Christ's wondrous death, where sin in all extent was judged as it could be nowhere else. As this is the truth, what must their portion be who are content to live and die, without the true confession of their sins, without faith in the One Whose death alone met God's judgment there? May the person and death of Christ be growingly real and precious, begetting devotion of heart, in holy consistency and obedience to His word, till He come. G.G.