Summary: Sin never advertises itself truthfully. It only talks about how nice it is going to be in Tarshish and that you should go there. But it never tells you about the storm you are going to encounter resulting in you being thrown overboard.
The book of Jonah #07
The debarkation of Jonah
When Jonah got on board the ship, I feel sure he never dreamed of leaving the ship the way he did. With everything going as smooth as it did when he was running from the will of God, he never dreamed he would be the object of such a scene on the ship. He felt like he would just walk off the ship in Tarshish and go about his way. That is not exactly the way it happened as we have already seen. The sin of disobedience of Jonah turned out to be a very sour experience for Jonah. That is always the way it is on the path of disobedience. Sooner or later disobedience shows its real self, and what a shock it is to the one who is following disobedience. Sin never advertises itself truthfully. It only talks about how nice it is going to be in Tarshish and that you should go there. But it never tells you about the storm you are going to encounter resulting in you being thrown overboard. You and I had better beware of the devil’s travel agents because they don’t tell the whole story.
In our study tonight, we want to look at the debarkation of Jonah. The first point I call your attention to is THE SENTIMENTS AGAINST DEBARKATION.
It is rare that a convicted criminal recommends a sentence that is stronger than the judge and jury decide upon, but this is the case of Jonah. When the sailors asked Jonah what they should do that the storm would spare them, he said cast me overboard. As far as they were concerned and also Jonah, this meant the death sentence. And as we read and conclude from our reading, this sentence was a little strong for the sailors. They put great effort into trying to save Jonah. In verse 13, we read that “the men rowed hard.”
You know I have thought about this a great deal. The men were sincere in trying to save the life of Jonah and we would have to commend that some. But as sincere as the sailors were, their rowing was against the will and plan of God. So, you can be sincere in what you are doing and be sincerely wrong if it is not complementing and completing the will of God for your life. God does not reward effort, no matter how great, if the effort is against His will and way for your life.
Now there is something else I want you to think about here for a moment. The sailors’ attitude toward Jonah was a testimony to Jonah about his attitude to Nineveh. They were doing all they could to spare his life while he was doing all he could to allow the Ninevites to spend an eternity in hell. What a shame when the people of the world have more concern for people, than the person of God. The sailors demonstrated more concern for the physical welfare of Jonah than Jonah did for the spiritual welfare of Nineveh.
I want you to hear me just for a moment. Where does a saved person go when he departs this life? He goes to heaven. Now where does a lost person go when he departs this world? He goes to hell according to the truthful Word of God. Now the typical church spends more time praying saved people out of heaven than they do the lost person out of hell. I want you to know we ought to spend time for the healing of the sick but as much time ought to be spent praying for the lost family member and neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus.
As hard as the sailors’ worked to spare the life of Jonah, Jonah’s message was to them that one would have to die that others might be spared. All their works were not going to save them. How vain the theology of the person who puts his trust in works rather than the One who died that we might be spared.
We see not only the sentiments of debarkation but also THE SUBMISSION TO DEBARKATION.
It took a little while but the sailors’ did as Jonah had requested as we can see in verse 15. The sailors’ were not saved from the danger of the storm until they believed the message of Jonah. Salvation is the same way; we aren’t saved until we receive the Gospel message and embrace it.
Now I want you to see something else in our text. Jonah did not jump over the side but had to be cast over the side. The sailors’ had to respond to the message of Jonah. You see, we are not saved because Jesus died on the cross but because we accept His death as our atonement for sin through faith and then we are saved.