Jonah (2 of 7) Jonah In The Midst Of The Storm

1:4-6 Jonah In The Midst Of The Storm

Memory Verse: Jonah 1:4

1:4 When We Disobey, Sometimes God Will Send A Storm

  • 1:1-3 Jonah was a prophet of the God of heaven. He received a commission from God to immediately leave his home and go to Nineveh and cry against it—because their wickedness had come before the Lord. This was a city actively sinning against God and God was going to give them one last chance to repent or else He would bring judgement upon the city. Jonah obeys the command to “arise and go” but he didn’t head towards Nineveh. First, he goes down to the costal city of Joppa. There he found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare to board the ship and then got on and headed towards Tarshish. Tarshish is the complete opposite direction of Nineveh—the direction he should have been heading. Jonah was trying to flee from the presence of the Lord.
  • 1:4 What does God do when His servants disobey him? Does God care if we are disobedient to His will? Yes, as we will see in the life of Jonah, God does care. God doesn’t just cast Jonah to the side and find another prophet to use. God goes after His man. He hurls out a great wind into the sea. This caused there to be a mighty tempest in the sea. This was a “divine-storm”. The storm and waves were so great that it was threatening to break the ship that Jonah was on. What we need to notice is that it was God who caused the storm. God was trying to get Jonah’s attention.
  • God is a loving father, therefore He chastens His children (believers) if they are unrepentant concerning their sin or for disobeying His will. This isn’t a joyous time in their lives, but God does it for their profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. God wants us to live holy lives, and lives fully given over to Him.
    Hebrews 12:7-13; Proverbs 3:11-12
  • God will never take away our salvation because we have sinned or disobeyed. Believers can and will disobey God, but will not be condemned for this disobedience.
    Romans 8:1
  • God works everything for our good. If you are a believer, then you can rest assured that God is working everything for your good, even if you can’t see it. If you are in the middle of the storm, like Jonah, know that God is going to use it for your good.
    Romans 8:28

1:5 When We Disobey, Sometimes It Affects Those Around Us

  • 1:5a God sent the storm because of Jonah’s disobedience, but the storm also affected the people around him. Those people were the mariners. They became afraid. These men most likely were experienced sailors, but the storm seemed to be something greater than what they were used to. These men were not worshippers of the God of heaven, so they didn’t cry out to the God of heaven, but instead tried to overcome this divine-storm through two methods: (1) They cried unto their false gods—they were religious men who thought their different gods could deliver them. Their cries fell open the ears of nonexistent gods. They will eventually learn that no other God is like the true God. (2) They took the cargo (wares) that were in the ship and cast it into the sea to lighten the ship. This was done so the ship could ride over the waves instead of sinking into them. But even this couldn’t save them from the storm. The mariners were caught right in the middle of Jonah’s storm. His disobedience and the following chastening was affecting not only Jonah but also those who were around him.
  • 1:5b Where was Jonah? He had gone down into the sides of the ship to lay down and sleep. When this storm was raging and the mariners were fearfully crying out to their false gods and throwing cargo over board, Jonah was fast asleep. I can only image that Jonah was trying to ignore his predicament by sleeping it away. He wanted to escape the guilt.
  • Do your realize that your sin affects those around you? Do you realize that God loves you and He won’t let you run away, He will come after you, to restore you. Are you running from the will of God?
  • Are you in the inner part of the ship trying to sleep away the guilt of disobeying God’s will? Are you trying to escape His will? Are you trying to ignore it? God doesn’t give up.

1:6 When We Disobey, Sometimes We Have A Chance To Repent

  • 1:6a Everything the mariners were doing was failing. Their gods were not saving them. Throwing the cargo overboard was not working. So the shipmaster goes to find Jonah. He must have realized he was not doing anything to help. He finds him down in the inner chamber sleeping. So when the shipmaster finds him, he says to him, “What meanest thou, O sleeper?” The shipmaster most likely didn’t know about Jonah’s situation. He didn’t realize he was running from the God of heaven. He was confused at “why” and “how” Jonah could sleep in the middle of the storm. It wasn’t because Jonah had a great peace, but because he was trying to ignore God’s chastisement.
  • 1:6b Next, the shipmaster tells Jonah to “Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.” It wasn’t that the shipmaster necessarily knew that Jonah served the true God, but that they were willing to call upon any god that they thought would help. He was fearful of loosing his life and the lives of the passengers and crew. The shipmaster’s command to Jonah could have brought several thoughts into Jonah’s mind and also into our minds, such as: (1) Grace—God is giving Jonah a chance to repent. Jonah knew the reason for the storm. God is using the unbelieving shipmaster to remind Jonah that God’s grace is still available to him. God could have destroyed Jonah and everyone on the boat, but He is offering grace instead. (2) Repentance—Jonah couldn’t pray to God for deliverance with unrepentant sin in his life. He knew that seeking God for help would also mean repenting of his disobedience. Was he willing to do that? (3) Mission—He has to reconsider the mission God gave him and ask if he is now willing to obey it. Application: All mankind has sinned against God and He could have destroyed us but He offered grace instead through giving His own Son Jesus to die in our place on the cross. Because of God’s grace we have a chance of salvation (like the unbelieving sailors—faced with immediate and eternal death) and restoration (like Jonah—face with restoring his fellowship with God). Is God speaking to your today? If so, repent.
    Romans 8:32

Review Questions

  • When we disobey God, does He care?
  • How are we to view God’s chastisement?
  • When we disobey who does it affect?
  • When we disobey we sometimes have a chance to repent?
  • What were some thoughts we can take away from when the captain talked to Jonah?

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