v2. Nineveh was a huge city, the capital of Assyria. No prophet of God had been sent like this to Gentiles before. Like in Sodom and Gomorrah, the outcry of their wickedness had come up to God.
v3. How do you flee from God? Can you hide where He cannot find you?
v4. Sin brings storms into the soul, family and the church.
v5. These sailors were Gentiles who had many gods. Jonah, the cause of the problem, was unconscious of the results of his sin. Sin creates an insensible conscience. How unaware are we to the consequences and collateral damage of our own sins?
v6. “Why are you sleeping? We are all praying to our gods and the storm rages on, get up and pray to yours as well, we can use all the help that we can get.”
v7. The casting of lots did not reveal the cause of the problem, only the one responsible for it.
v8. The want to know if he had a god that could have caused the storm and would stop it if Jonah cried out to him.
v9. This was well understood and by this authoritative claim, Jonah was able to reveal the one true God to these heathens.
v10. Their fear shows that the sailors understood that disobedience of God Almighty was a serious crime. They ask why and how Jonah could know the Creator God and think he could run from His presence. How foolish and inconsiderate for the mischief he had caused.
v11. “Get us out of this mess you’ve put us in.” The storm was not going away without action, it was getting worse.
v12. Jonah is now willing to accept his responsibility and offers to give his life to spare the sailors.
v13. They are reluctant to throw God’s prophet into the sea and risk offending God further.
v14. They realize they must throw Jonah overboard. They pray to God, now convinced that He is God alone, asking for His forgiveness and favor. They recognize this as God’s judgment through His sovereignty.
v15. Immediate answer to their prayer and justification of their part in Jonah’s judgment.
v16. They believed in God, gave Him praise and worship and committed their lives to Him in faith.
v17. Through providence Jonah’s life was spared by a miracle. In the midst of judgment God remembers mercy.