Imagine that you are in a situation, doing everything you know how to do right yet things are not working? You pray and find out that the reason of your struggle is due to a wrong association and nothing will change until you disassociate?
This is what happened to the men that sailed with Jonah. The full account can be found in the book of Jonah.
Jonah 1: 1 - 16
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.
15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.
But someone said, this is old testament and does not relate to us today. We must remember that all scripture (note the word all) is written for a purpose.
2 Timothy 3: 16 - 17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
In addition to that, scripture clearly states that we are not to be a partaker of another man’s sins.
1 Timothy 5: 22
22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
Revelation 18: 4-5
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
The above scriptures are clear evidence and warning not to be a partaker of another man’s sins. One way of a person partaking of another man’s sins is by association with them. This is why Rev 18: 4 says “Come out of her, my people” that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. We need to be careful!!.
The men that picked up Jonah had to cast him into the sea before they had peace. They really did not want to do it, but their life was in danger.
This article addresses genuine unhealthy relationships. This needs to be stated as some people disconnected from others for various other unscriptural reasons. Whatever you do, make sure it is in love and before the Lord you are right.
Is there somebody you need to disconnect from? Yes you do it in love, however if the association or relationship is causing you harm or some hindrance, you probably need to let go of it in love.
Consequences of wrong associations can be very serious and dangerous.
If you sense that you need to disconnect from a person or organisation or whatever it is, you need to obedient to those warnings. Be wise and don’t be a partaker of another man’s sins.
Perhaps a better title of this article would have been “ Who/ what is causing your raging sea?
Sacrifice is a step beyond convenience. Bill Johnson