Sunday’s lesson (7/8/12) looked at Jonah 1. The main idea was that storms in our lives can be brought on by rebellion against God. Our own storms follow us, affecting those around us; other times we’re the ones affected by storms following someone else. Ultimately it’s how we respond during a storm that will determine its length and severity.
In rebelling against God’s call, Jonah had brought a storm upon himself and consequently upon everyone else around him. The first response we witness is that of the mariners on the ship. Surprisingly enough, the first thing we’re told they did was pray each man to his own god (Jon 1:5). When none of their gods seemed to care or have control over this storm, the mariners began throwing over anything and everything that might be weighing the ship down, but the only thing that would lift the burden from the ship was about 175 pounds of flesh asleep below deck. While every wave on the violent sea heightened the mariners awareness of the divine nature of this storm, Jonah became increasingly numb to the consequences of his rebellion. Until he was dead asleep in the belly of the ship, … his shipmates fighting to save their lives along with his and the captain trying to call him out of his stupor (Jon 1:6).
At various times in our lives and to various degrees we have all tried to run away from something, and we always have a means of escape. For Jonah it was a ship bound for Tarshish (Jon 1:3); for us today our escapes could be food, work, a hobby, ungodly entertainment, drugs (alcohol or otherwise), unhealthy relationships, … anything that takes us away from God and His call. Regardless of what it is, the result is the same every time. The longer we rock with our ship, the more numb we become to the turmoil around us and all the more desperate are our shipmates. Praise God for leaders (like the ship’s captain) whom He sends to wake us up!
... There is so much more we discussed on Sunday, and I desire to share it all with you … But for whatever reason, I sense that I’ve said enough. I would encourage you to read all of Jonah 1. As always look for repetition both within and between verses. Specifically consider the mariners’ fear in verses 5 and 10 as well as the level of reverence of the Lord in verses 9 and 16.
I’ll leave you with a few "I wonders." Comment if you have thoughts! I wonder …
- if there was another way (aside from Jonah being cast overboard) for the storm to cease.
- about the mariners. How do you think their story continues?