Once they find out who Jonah is, whom he worships, and the reputation of God they try to figure out what to do to make the storm go away.
When we do this in our own lives, when we have gotten ourselves into some major trouble and when we have accepted it as our fault then we have to figure out how to get out of this.
That is a lot of whens and ifs. This is all going to be dependent on how honest you are with yourself and how open you are to God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. (Psalms 26:2, 139:23) We have to get to the point where we accept the blame for our sins, just as Jonah did.
v.12 “I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
Jonah came to this point in the short time from being awoken to being found out. Remember, he had proven it ok to himself and had fallen asleep with his decision. So when he woke up he was still under that impression that everything was ok until he found out it wasn’t.
When you get to the point where you accept the responsibility and consequences of your actions, the solution is usually radical and right there in front of you. Jonah knew in order to repent of his sins and save their sailors (maybe not his own as he had no guarantee that he would survive) he had to get off the ship. God was stopping him from sailing to Tarshish so Jonah knew he couldn’t and God wouldn’t wait until he had finally finished his act of disobedience to come back.
If Jonah had been allowed by God to sail all the way down to Tarshish as he had planned then Jonah may not have turned back to sail to Ninevah. We’ve all done this, pushed through our sin simply because we can. Like we will get a badge for the sin we’ve just completed.
*Well you may get a badge but it will be a badge of guilt from the devil stating that you’re a terrible person and God could never use you again instead of the badge of conviction with the precious gift of repentance given to us by the Holy Spirit when we turn around* Which badge do you want?
So Jonah takes his consequences, he sees the solution and presents it. God solutions to a crisis are hardly ever going to be a favorite usually because it means that we have to turn from our sin and they are also usually radical change.
*disclaimer this is just an illustration not how myself or Pastor Bob feels*
It would be as if one Sunday we came into church and it was normal – like it is today – and God’s solution for our church to repent of its sins (again, illustration) was to bring in all this band equipment, bring in a loud and ‘contemporary’ worship band, turn down the lights, get a hip new preacher and just basically change everything. Well I can tell you right now, that would NOT go over well with anyone and YET that is exactly what God’s solutions are – radical change. That is my point, God’s solution are radical change.
Throwing Jonah out of the boat was a RADICAL CHANGE for the sailors to do. They are always about bringing men back into the boat “MEN OVERBOARD” and here this dude is telling them, ‘yeah just toss me out there and the storm will calm down. No biggie.’
Then instead of doing what we should and what we know we need to do, people around us try to help us and find a better way. (His ways are higher than our ways Isaiah 55:9) Like we said last week, Jonah should have just jumped out but he didn’t. I imagine he was just sitting there thinking “if you would just listen to me. I’m the man of God here, I know what needs to be done, stop trying to fix it your way. It won’t work.”
When God has presented the solution, there is no other solution that will be acceptable for all fronts. You see not only did Jonah have to publically repent in front of those he had unwittingly involved by getting thrown out into the sea, but the sailors also had to witness the greatness of the sea calming quickly. Not just quickly as the storm dissipated naturally but it went out quickly as only God can do. Their lives had to be spared and they had to witness so they would sacrifice to God and make vows to Him. AND Jonah also had to by swallowed by the fish.