15. So they picked Jonah up and
threw him into the sea, and
the sea stopped raging. 16. The
men greatly feared the Lord,
and earnestly vowed to offer
lavish sacrifices to the LORD.
Continuing on this journey with Jonah, we find him in the hands of those whom life he placed in danger. He has been lifted from his seat, elevated above their heads, and now is being cast into the sea.
To Stop the Storm, you have to Surrender The Problem to the Sea.
In this passage, we find the problem on the boat is Jonah. The Crew followed a pattern that I believe we should immolate. In the previous passage they petition the Lord about what they should do about the problem they face. They heard the Word from the Prophet, but verified with the Lord that it was His will. Then they took their problem, and surrendered it to the only one they knew had the power to handle it. What’s your process?
Are you willing to surrender your problems to the Lord, or are you still trying to row back to shore? Most of us are still rowing back to shore. The effort, resources and time it takes to row against the wind can be crippling. Not only is it unlikely to make it back to the shore, but the remaining cargo and ship are sure to be damaged beyond repair, and those traveling could loose their life while you struggle.
What did you sacrifice trying to keep what should be sacrificed?
I can’t tell you how many survive living with the remorse of hanging on to something they knew was causing storms in their life. Be it a relationship, forgiveness, pain, job, business, sin, purchase or etc, there are times when holding onto these things cause not just pain, but result in further loss. Worst, after loosing other things to protect the desired item, one often finds that it end up loosing both the item and more. When God tells us to release, you must release. When God says sacrifice, it’s time to sacrifice. Yet most of us kill valuable things refusing to sacrifice what has the potential to destroy us.
The Captain and Crew not only sought God’s approval, but they followed through on what they heard. The cast Jonah into the sea, ultimately saving their lives, and saving Jonahs life too.
They were Enabling Jonah
It never crossed their mind that their unwillingness to throw Jonah overboard was enabling him to remain disobedient to the Lord.
What or who have you enabled? What have you allowed to maintain power or gain power in your life, that should be released to the Lord. In this case, it was a person. One of God’s servants whom they stood protecting, even though that protection was sure to bring their life and prosperity to an end. They rallied around Jonah, and considered his rights and will ahead of the Lords will, and decided it better to face the wrath of the Lord, rather than require Jonah to face his Master. We are still doing this today.
Upon throwing Jonah into the sea, they found that the storm subsided. In this, the Word recounts that the “…men greatly feared the Lord…”. The fear they had for the Lord was not only that the Lord had the power to create a storm that could take their life, but this fear was also one of reverence and submission, found that the men who once worshiped other gods, took a vow and made sacrifices to the one true and living God.
When we face God, it demonstrates a Reverence
that leads to Conviction and commitment.
Their fear, vows and sacrifice to the Lord were a combination of Jonah’s testimony and their experience of the Lord’s power. Not to be forgotten in all this, is Jonah’s willingness to give his life for those on the ship, and His trust in the Lord of heaven and earth (allowing himself to be cast into the sea).
What would people learn from your willingness to be sacrificed? How many would believe if you allowed yourself to be corrected by the Lord and submitted yourself to him?