“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.” (Jonah 1:5)
The wind that God hurled upon the sea was so great that the ship threatened to break up. That would mean the death of its crew and passengers. No wonder that the mariners were afraid! The Bible text tells us how they did whatever they could to ward off the disaster. They hurled the cargo overboard, which was a wise thing to do since it would make the ship lighter. But it was clear that practical wisdom alone could not save them. Therefore “each cried out to his god”. After all, the more gods were called to the rescue, the better their chances of survival!
Christians know another source of help. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2). It is remarkable that Jonah uses a similar description of God some verses later: “I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” The God who created the sea and the winds, is also able to calm them. If only Jonah would cry out to Him, like the mariners cried out to their gods…
When you are in danger, where do you seek help?