The Storm at Sea

Missionary statesman Hudson Taylor had complete trust in God’s faithfulness. In his journal he wrote: Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning... He sustained 3 million Israelites in the w … More

Provision

The sailors were afraid as the sea was raging and asked Jonah what they should do (vv. 10-11) Notice that Jonah was willing to give his life to save the sailors even though he had refused to do the same for the people of Nineveh (v. 12). In fact, he would rather die than repent and go to Nineveh. Whether through kindness to the prophet or out of fear of His God, the sailors tried to avoid throwing Jonah overboard (vv. 13-14). However, regardless of their thinking or motives, their efforts failed (v. 15).

The sailors complied with Jonah’s instruction (v. 12) and cast him into the sea (v. 15). When rebellious Jonah was thrown into the water, the sea became calm and ceased its raging. We have no record of what the sailors did after this except that they feared the Lord and offered a sacrifice (v. 16). We do not know if they accepted Jonah’s God or not, but, they did vow to serve Him.

God’s sovereignty is evidenced in His providing a big fish to swallow Jonah (v. 17). By means of this large sea monster, God preserved Jonah alive and later deposited him upon dry land. The word “prepare” includes the idea of creation. Many speculations have been made as to the exact kind of creature it was. The thing is that God prepared such a creature for this special task and all the scientific research in the world will not prove fruitful or beneficial. The fact that God did it and that it was a miracle is all that is important.

Application

God is able to use even my mistakes to help others come to know Him. It may be painful, but admitting my sins can be a powerful example to those who don’t know God. I should be ashamed when unbelievers show more concern and compassion for hurting people than I do.

Jonah 1:10-17 (English Standard Version)

Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, "What is this that you have done!" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Then they said to him, "What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?" For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them, "Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you." Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. Therefore they called out to the LORD, "O LORD, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you." So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows. And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

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