Jonah said salvation belongs to the LORD (Jonah 2:9). There is no doubt about his statement. Salvation is God’s and He can choose to do with it what He wants. Salvation does not belong to us. It is God’s.
Though Jonah messed up in several ways, he was not totally off his rocker when it came to how he thought about God and His salvation. Jonah was a prophet, so we can’t totally dismiss his life because he made a mistake and his mistake made it into the canon of Scripture.
Praise God for His grace. What if God or others dismissed you because you made a mistake? How awful. What if you dismissed others because they made a mistake? Even more awful. The mature Christian will pick out the good in a person’s life and learn from it. What can we learn from our brother, Jonah?
He tells us salvation belongs to Yahweh–the covenant keeping LORD God. Salvation is His and if we receive it, there is no question we have received a gift. In this case, we know it is an unearned (unmerited) gift.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
Taking care of God’s business
Salvation belongs to the LORD, but it is a gift to us. Because God’s salvation is a gift, it becomes a stewardship responsibility for any follower of God. We are to manage God’s salvation. This is not unlike any other thing we have in our lives, since all things belong to God.
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. – Psalm 24:1-2 (ESV)
- How do you think about your salvation?
- Do you see it as a gift from the LORD?
- How do you steward (manage) God’s gift to you?
This stewardship idea is something we have been trying to parent into our children. For example, we have told them for years “their room” is not their room. “Their toys” are not their toys. And, even more importantly, “their lives” do not belong to them. Everything belongs to God, even salvation.
Salvation was not given to you to use in a self-centered, self-serving way, with no appreciation for, acknowledgment of, or responsibility toward the One who gave you the gift.