If you’re avoiding sin and living morally so that God will have to bless you and save you, then you may be looking to Jesus as a teacher, model and helper, but ironically you are avoiding him as Savior. You are trusting your own goodness rather than in Jesus for your standing with God.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God
as quoted by Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 56
God’s intervention comes to two different kinds of people, because as Jonah’s story shows, there are two ways of running from God. All of us fall into one of the two categories.
One way of running is probably more obvious to you than the other. It’s represented by the pagan sailors, especially as Jonah would perceive them. These mariners obviously were worshippers of false gods and therefore unrighteous.
But there is also a not-so-obvious way of running from God, and the fact that it’s less clear is perhaps a big part of why we’re so surprised by Jonah’s behavior. Jonah was one of the good guys. He cared about God’s law and God’s chosen people. He was moral and religious – like the older brother in Jesus’ story of the prodigal son….But despite his pedigree and profile, Jonah’s still running from God. He’s no better off than the sailors.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 54