Google+ 09/03/13 Be Quiet and Swim!

 

Jonah 1: 7-16

 

Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods

And caused the terrible storm.

When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit.

“Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded.

“Who are you? What is your line of work?

What country are you from? What is your nationality?”

 Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew,

And I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”

The sailors were terrified when they heard this,

For he had already told them he was running away from the Lord.

“Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned.

And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him,

“What should we do to you to stop this storm?”

“Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again.

I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.”

Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land.

But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it.

Then they cried out to the Lord, Jonah’s God.

“O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin.

And don’t hold us responsible for his death.

O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.”

Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea,

And the storm stopped at once!

The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power,

And they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.

 

In part two of our seven-part devotion series entitled, “Jonah and the Whale,” we discovered what happens to people who disobey God.  Jonah says no to God and believes he can run from Him.  The storm comes and lots are drawn to determine who is responsible for this incredibly bad storm by offending “the gods.”   The lots identify Jonah.  Notice that even the ungodly people are able to identify the people “pretending” to be Godly!  Jonah is questioned intently.  The final verdict has Jonah explaining that if the sailors simply toss him in the sea, the storm will cease.  Jonah finally does the first step in being forgiven.  He admits that the problem is his fault.  He makes no excuses and blames no one else.  This is key, as God simply is not going to fix the situation if we do not admit we are wrong.  God wants a contrite heart.  The sailors, not wanting to sacrifice Jonah, tried to row harder to get the ship to land.  The storm got worse and they couldn’t make it.  The final conclusion made by the sailors is that Jonah is responsible for their dire predicament and they toss him into the ocean.  Immediately, the storm stopped and the waters became calm.  Jonah, admitting his mistake to the sailors and God, has now become an evangelistic tool, as God converts all the sailors because of His great power.  They stopped what they were doing and gave a sacrifice and vowed to serve God.  Jonah is flawed, just like us.  He makes a very grave, wrong decision.  Virtually the entire ship and its crew is about to be destroyed.  Instead, Jonah sees the error of his ways and tells God that he has chosen poorly.  God hears this testimony, but Jonah must still face the consequences of his actions.  Remember the sailors are dry and safe.  Jonah is now in the sea.  Let’s learn from Jonah.  First, let’s not make grave, wrong decisions.  But if we do, let’s admit it.  Once we have done that, let’s not be deceived that everything is now okay.  When we get tossed in the ocean for our wrong actions, Be Quiet and Swim!