Jonah 1:10-14

Talks for Growing Christians

The Response of the Sailors to Jonah's Testimony

Jonah 1:10-14

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Lesson Number 3

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. A believer’s disobedience results in disruption for unbelievers.
  2. A believer’s disobedience results in rebuke from unbelievers.

Practical Application

  1. Would you rather die than change?


  1. Why did Jonah run the other way when God called him to go to Nineveh?
  2. What disrupted Jonah’s plans to run from God?
  3. Jonah finally gave his testimony to the mariners in the midst of the storm. What was Jonah’s testimony?
  4. Trace the mariners’ response to the storm.
  5. What was the mariners’ response to Jonah’s testimony?
  6. Is orthodoxy the same as with spirituality?


  1. Jonah did not want God to show mercy to wicked Nineveh.
  2. God sent out a great storm.
  3. “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” Jonah 1:9.
  4. They were afraid, they cried out to their gods, they threw cargo into the sea to lighten the load (1:5); they sought the cause of the storm (1:7-8); they were exceedingly afraid (1:10); they sought an answer to calm the storm (1:11); they rowed hard to get to shore (1:13).
  5. They cried out to the Lord (1:14); they asked for God’s mercy in throwing Jonah overboard (1:14-15); they feared the Lord exceedingly, offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows (1:16).
  6. No. Jonah was right in his theology, but he was not righteous in his life.


  1. Because of Jonah’s disobedience to the Lord, the lives of the mariners were disrupted. The point? No one can sin in a vacuum. When a believer disobeys the Lord, he affects not only his personal relationship with the Lord, but other people as well. Consider this when you are tempted to disobey the Lord. How would your disobedience affect others?
  2. The captain and the sailors rebuked Jonah for failing to share his Lord God, the controller of the storms of life. Fortunately, just as God used Jonah’s testimony, He can use the testimony of believers in spite of their disobedience. What a God of grace! Can you think of a time when you were a testimony to God without trying?


  1. Would you rather die than change? Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. He chose the sea instead. Would you be willing to change your lifestyle to become a more effective witness? How great is your concern for the Ninevites in your life?

Key Verses

  • “They knew that Jonah had fled from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:10
  • “Throw me into the sea, for this great tempest is because of me.” Jonah 1:12
  • “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish…and do not charge us with innocent blood.” Jonah 1:14

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