Fear is when someone is frightened by something. Youwill have no problem remembering the name Goliath. We all remember this man asthe giant that came forth and said send me a man that we might fight. This oneman had a whole army of men frightened. Then there was a man named Elijah, oneday he heard that a woman by the name of Jezebel was going to have him killedand her words frightened him to the point that he ran. Then there was a shipand some men who one day at sea were frightened. I want to take a look at themin hopes that you and I will find another avenue to help when fears come.
Jonah 1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and therewas a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
Jonah 1:5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, andcast forth the wares that [were] in the ship into the sea, to lighten [it] ofthem. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and wasfast asleep.
Jonah 1:6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, Whatmeanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will thinkupon us, that we perish not.
Fear produces being afraid. Being afraid produces aplan with prayer to God; notice what is said “every man cried unto hisgod.” These men were in the midst of a storm and were fearful of losingtheir lives. Things were bad; the moment seemed too urgent, so urgent thatthere seemed no time to wait on an answer from their god. So they made adecision to lighten the weight of their ship on their own. They began to castforth the wares into the sea. At that moment that seemed like a good idea, butthat wasn’t the answer to their problem and it didn’t solve it. You may ask,what in the world does that have to with me? Great question! Let’s look at thisevent in a different way, a way that concerns you and me. The first thing Inoticed was the storm. We all have them come in our life and sometimes theycome upon us very quickly. We lose our job; a family member gets a bad reportfrom the doctor, we feel a lump, we are involved in an accident and a host of otherstorms that come our way. Did you notice what was really said in verse 4? Itwas a great wind; a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was likely tobe broken? In the midst of what looked likely to be a problem a decision wasmade. Reminds me of when we ourselves get into a storm we assume the worst. Wepray but like the mariners we too make a decision before the answer comes. Theproblem wasn’t in the storm nor was it the weight of the ship but it was with aperson on board the ship with a sin problem that they were ignoring. Jonah’ssin problem had now effected those around him and he had to be woken up to its effect. That reminds me of principle #7 which says “Oursinful habits do hurt those who are following us.” A good word of advice isdon’t let our sin become storms in others lives. Have a blessed week andremember we do have an effect on those around us.