The sailors had never seen a storm of that kind before. They believed in many gods, but they just wanted to know which god was so angry.
And when the storm got worse, these experienced mariners started to freak out. They told everyone on the boat, including the stranger below deck named Jonah, to call on their god.
Jonah told them, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land. . . . Throw me into the sea . . . and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault” (Jonah 1:9, 12 NLT).
Of course, the sailors didn’t want to do that. So they “rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it” (verse 13 NLT).
Ultimately, they threw Jonah overboard.
Like those frantic sailors, sometimes we try to get ourselves out of our problems in our own strength. We say, “No problem! I’ll take care of this. One phone call to a friend, and I’ll have a resolution. I have a way to resolve this.” Then our problem gets worse and worse. And eventually we realize that we need to cry out to God about it.
Some people think they can become Christians just by doing good things. Or, like throwing cargo overboard, they decide to just get rid of some of the bad things in their lives.
But it’s not about just cleaning up your life a little. Being a Christian is realizing there is no other way for you to be forgiven of your sin except through Jesus Christ.
You don’t clean up your life and then come to Christ. Come to Christ, and then He will clean up your life.