But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
This passage captures three bad ways to handle a problem just in verse 5!
1. Ignoring God’s Word and wisdom. Each of the sailors cried out to his god. All of the gods except the living God are just the inventions of men. If we try to handle a problem just with man’s methods, instead of going to God and his Word, we are in trouble.
(Side note: Isn’t it odd that Jonah ran away from preaching to unbelievers by throwing his lot in with another bunch of unbelievers?)
2. Ignoring God’s power. The hurled the cargo into the sea. Here the sailors are trying to solve the problem by physical means. If we use only what we can do, without tapping in to God’s power, we are missing out. (Especially when the issue is supernatural, like Jonah’s storm.)
3. Ignoring the problem itself. Jonah laid down and went to sleep, thus blowing off the issue completely. ‘Nuff said?