Someone has said, “There is only one commandment for those who don’t believe in Jesus and it is this: Watch those who do!” The pagan sailors are not attracted to Jonah’s orthodoxy, but are outraged that he could be running away from such a God! They put two and two together and conclude that Jonah’s God, the One who made the sea and the dry land, did not care to be disobeyed — and had done something about it! HE had sent the storm.
As they had their theological discussion, the sea “was getting rougher and rougher.” They ask Jonah, “What should we do TO YOU to make the sea calm down for us?” These pagan sailors were no dummies. And they realized that Jonah’s God was no impotent deity. HE had pursued His servant and HE got his servant’s attention. Yes, innocent sailors had gotten embroiled in the mix, but Jonah’s God was sovereign over that as well.
If one were to unit-read the book of Jonah (reading it straight through at one sitting), it seems apparent at several points that he wants to die! He has these suicidal ideations a number of times. Here he volunteers to be tossed over the side as a human bromide to calm an acidic sea! Jonah is certain that throwing him overboard will placate his angry God. And he is sorta right. (to be continued)