11 Because the storm was growing worse
and worse, they said to him,
“What should we do to you so that
the sea might calm down for us?”
12 He said to them,
“Pick me up and throw me
into the sea to make the sea quiet down,
because I know its;s my fault you
are in this severe storm.” Jonah 1:11-12
While the Captain and Sailors scampered about the ship, alarmed at the growing storm, my mind shifted to our homes and our churches. I thought about the calamity I have witnessed in my own home, and the season in which it happened in.
The Sailors, though not right with God, were right with their false god, and not being punished for their non belief, but are facing death because of the disobedience of the Man of God. They are innocent bystanders, doing their jobs, and carrying out their end of the agreement they made with Jonah. Little did they know, they had come into agreement with someone who was not honoring his present agreement with God.
I wondered how many of us have faced storms because we have come into agreement with someone who is being punished for not honoring their agreement. God is putting the pressure on Jonah to honor His agreement, and each hand he shakes while in disagreement has agreed to walk his path of disagreement.
Who’s hand have you shaken?
The reality is that Captain and Sailor suffered, because collecting the fare was their main priority. What has the “fare” cost you? They were so busy making money. So busy trying to close deals. So busy trying to build their business. So busy trying to build and stock their barns, that they believed they were prospering because they had collected the proceeds from their business dealing. How many of us have made this mistake? They had full fare in their hands, and would see they didn’t get a “fair deal.”
We learn in the text that The Captain and the Sailors will suffer far more than the fare they gained from Jonah. Because they took Jonah on Board, they lost the cargo from other agreements. Prayerfully they had insurance on their cargo! Because of this agreement, they will either owe a debt to those cargo they carry, or will suffer the loss of future gain from merchandise they intended to sale and trade.
What have you lost coming into agreement with disagreement?
Their seaworthy ship is put to the test because of their agreement to transport Jonah. They enable Jonah to be in rebellion, helping him flee from God, and because of that, they suffer. Furthermore, the text lets us know they were in a sea that was growing. The longer you stay in agreement with disagreement, the more stronger the storm will become.
The Captain and Sailor realize that dumping the cargo was a mistake. It lightened the load, possibly extending the life of the ship, but it failed to deliver them from the storm, and the storm progressed. The now realize through the lot, that the thing they needed to separate themselves from was Jonah. They had dumped the wrong cargo!
The question now is, what do we do with Jonah?
Since dumping the cargo didn’t stop the storm, they paused to inquire of Jonah. See, Jonah’s God was foreign to them. They knew how to appease their false gods, and had tried all they knew to appease Jonah’s God.
The storm was about to destroy the ship and they were at wits end,
…”What should we do to you so that
the sea might calm down for us?”…
They were desperate. Their lives were at stake. They were ready and willing to do what was necessary to Jonah to save their life and their ship. Though they valued Jonahs life but in desperation were willing to do what was necessary to save their live and stabilize their ships. I believe we must take a similar stance!
At some point, we must be willing to take the action needed to save the ship. What are you holding onto that could destroy it all? What have you considered so important that you aren’t willing to part with or cast over for future sake? Some of us must begin to ask the question “what should we do…?” This “we” tickles me, because I don’t always have the strength and or power to throw the off bring item out on its tail. Sometimes we need the we to work together to obtain healing and strength.
The last piece of this text was Jonahs response. Jonah arises from his sleep, identifies himself as well he problem, and says, “throw me overboard!” Jonah took responsibility for the storm and safety of the people. He saw the danger his disobedience caused, and gave his life so that the life of the innocent could be spared.
Will you take responsibility?
Jonah didn’t want to die, but he didn’t want others to have to suffer from his disobedience. Brothers and Sisters, we need to do the same! When our disobedience is at play, and others are starting to pay, we should be willing to be pay the consequence.
I wondered why he didn’t jump. Surely he could have climbed over the edge. But Jonah said, I don’t have the strength to jump, so I need your help to face the hand of God! Jonah allowed the men to hold him accountable! Honestly, in this life, we will all face things that we don’t have strength enough to face ourselves!
Who holds you accountable?
Who helps you go before the throne of grace? Who confronts you when you are captured by sin? Who helps you get in line with Gods will?
I thank God that my life has some people who are willing to confront me and cast me! People who, if not just for their own sake, will force me to get in line with the will of God for my life and the lives of others.
I wonder how our families and congregations would be different if we took responsibility for our error, and then took the necessary steps to realign with God? How many families would be saved? What message would be communicated to those watching? Would they be convicted? Would they be encouraged? Would they change? Would they have increased faith? Would our conviction and commitment build their faith?
Great things happen when the Man and Woman of God are in alignment with the will of God. My prayer is the this year will be a year where we take the responsibility to come into alignment with God, and the lives of Gods people will be stabilized and secure.