Posted on

Throw Jonah overboard


Sammy Nose-gay was one ah dem preachers who always had his stories mixed up, dat nevertheless brought laughter to his audience.

He was on de street corner one night telling de story of Jonah. “And Jonah swallowed de whale!” he said. His listeners watch one another and smiled as if to say “here goes Sammy Nose-gay again.” It took de town’s drunk lying on de pavement to confront Nose-gay wid :”Sammy Nose-gay, yuh lie again, was de whale dat swallow Jonah!” Not to be outdone, Sammy Nose-gay replied: “Thank yuh my brother, yuh are de only one listening to me, I was not there to see who swallowed who, but some swallowing went on!” Up to dis day I want to believe dat de real miracle in dis Jonah and de Great fish story, was dat Jonah swallow it.{{more}}

However in de Book of Jonah we read dat Jonah was a messenger of God, but de way he responded to God’s instructions, showed Jonah was downright disobedient or pull-it-to-kill-he bias. He would ah done well today as ah clergyman. God told Jonah to leave whatever he was doing, go to Nineveh, tell dem dat all de wickedness dey doing, was brought to His/God’s attention, and dat he giving dem 40 days (to repent). Nineveh was de Assyrian Capital dat was enclosed by ah ‘Donald Trump’ wall 50 feet high. De Assyrian Empire known foh its cruelty, had began a quest foh world domination. Wickedness was dey first name, history tells dat “…De kings of Assyria tormented de miserable world, and no power more useless, more savage, more terrible ever cast its gigantic shadow on de page of history as it passed on de way to ruin. Dey filled populous lands wid death and devastation; dey made pyramids wid human heads; dey burned cities and reddened broad deserts wid carnage (blood) of warriors, dey impaled heaps of men on stakes, strewed de mountains and choked de rivers wid dead bones.” Only Adolph Tyranus Hitler might have outdone de Assyrians in wickedness.

So wid all dat wickedness, God sent Jonah to warn de Assyrians, but de young man, faithlessly intimated, disobeyed and did his own thing, he headed by boat to Tarshish. As ah result de Lord tun His back, and de storms took control ah de boat. It was no ordinary storm, and de sailors realized dey was ah traitor on board, death was inevitable, dey needed Divine intervention. So dey prayed to their gods to no avail. Was only when dey jumped on Jonah’s jugular dat he admitted dat he was de culprit, dat he had served de Hebrew God, but had disobeyed God’s command to confront Nineveh. He confessed dat de raging storm was as ah result of his disobedience. In de cross talk, peacefully and submissively, Jonah told dem: ” Pick me up and throw me into de sea and it will be calm!” De sailors asked God to forgive dem for throwing de aint-no-saint Jonah overboard. And it was “Man over board” foh Jonah. Immediately de seas went calm. Dat is the essence of the story of Jonah. His mission to Nineveh was ah tremendous success, de whole city of one hundred and twenty thousand including de King went into sackcloth and ashes, fasted and repented and was saved.

I believe dat every bit ah dat story is real today as it was 700 BC in de days of Jonah. Jonah is alive and well today, Nineveh and de storms and floods and earthquakes are as real today as dey were yesterday. We are all guilty of being either Jonahs or Ninevites. All manner of destruction and disaster confronting us and we still won’t change.

Last year around dis time Elect-shuns hot in de air, it was rampant corrupt-shun wid free galvanize, lumber and cement. Truck loads ah building materials blocked de roads at PWD Arnos Vale. What was not shared out to de Ninevite supporters, went up in flames at Arnos Vale. And what did de Jonahs among us, men widout shame on pulpits and on Religious Radio programs have to say/ NADA! Last week, de rains and floods came, Ah watch with sadness as de Lord rained on de just and de unjust; houses washing away in de floods; and ah bet we will have to buy materials again. Is all kind ah problems in dis country and all seem related to ah people out ah touch wid de Creator. We are at de mercies of de Ninevites while de Jonahs remain silent and tight lipped stifling in disobedience, failing to do what God has empowered dem to do. In de region we are number one in almost everything negative: Rape, murders, AIDS, Ailing Econ-nah-me, workers turned into ‘billy buttons’ and so much more. There is one solution, Ninevites must go down in Sackcloth and ashes and repent. But must we throw Jonah overboard! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.