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Read Introduction to Jonah


“Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.”


Now we turn to the anguish of the Phoenician sailors.  The violent storm of judgment on Jonah was about to break up the ship.

Then the mariners were afraid;

The mariners feared for their lives.  This was no ordinary storm.  Others were in jeopardy because of Jonah’s sin.  You would think that his conscience would bother him.  No, that was seared.

and every man cried out to his god,

The Phoenician sailors worshiped a number of gods.  These crusty sailors went to their gods in prayer; that is how desperate they were!


Sin is social as well as individual; our personal sin affects others.


Our sin can bring trouble to others.  No man sins alone for it always hurts others directly or indirectly.  Children pay a price for the sins of their parents.  The populace bears ill for the failures of their politicians.  God made us communal beings linked interdependently with each other.  Our personal acts have social results. 

The alcoholic may say, “My alcoholism is my personal business.”  His alcoholism affects his family, his work associates and many others.  He cannot be an alcoholic in isolation.