Welcome, reader friends, to another short Christian fiction story by D.I. Telbat. Enjoy!
NEWS: The COIL Series books are now available in Audiobook formats! Click the link to find a list of retailers. MORE NEWS: D.I. Telbat’s Novel, The Legend of Okeanos, A Tale of Restoration, Survival, and a Great White Shark, is NOW available from most e-tailers! Click the title link to read a description and to find a list of where to get this adventure. Now to the story–
The Tarshish Merchant
by D.I. Telbat
I have never been a deeply religious man—until now. And I am not sure I could call this a religion, this reality that has compelled me to claim . . . Him!
My name is Borah Zavin, and of all the remaining Phoenician merchants on the Sea, I am certain to be the least. My ship scarcely floats, and the holds leak constantly below deck. Taking on that passenger from Joppa was not rare for me to do, but what became of our journey has forever changed my life.
We were just hours into the voyage when a great storm arose and completely overwhelmed my simple vessel. My men and I cried out to our many gods in our meager way, yet the storm only grew worse. To lighten our load, we threw our Tarshish-bound cargo overboard, but nothing seemed to help.
But then I found the man we had taken aboard at Joppa. He was actually sleeping! I woke him and he said his name was Jonah. We had to shout over the raging sea, but by the third wave that swept us from our feet, Jonah got the point: we were all about to die.
We cast lots by drawing straws and yearned for the gods to disclose whose offense had caused us such peril. The lot fell to Jonah, but he did not seem to be surprised. He said he was a Hebrew, follower of the God who had created all things. This concerned us because our simple gods seemed so inferior compared to this Hebrew God.
Jonah’s idea for calming the storm was to throw him into the sea! We could not do that, so we tried everything else—first trying to row to land and then crying out to his God. But our situation worsened to the point that we were forced to truly reconsider throwing him into the sea.
At this point, we began to discuss our own wrongs against this mighty God. It was obvious that Jonah’s wrongdoing had offended the Hebrew God’s sense of right. Such wickedness surely existed in each of us, and we set about to find a way to redeem ourselves. But we could think of nothing of value to offer other than our own lives.
Our simple minds came to understand a whole principle that seemed to be taught to us through what was happening to Jonah. We concluded that this Mighty God who had created us to live, did not ask for us to die, but that we would cry out to Him to rescue us from the wickedness we had committed against Him.
The last thing we desired was to anger such a mighty God even more by killing Jonah, but there was nothing else for us to do. We picked him up and threw him into the sea. Instantly, the storm ceased, and the sea was calm. Calm! I am telling you the truth! What became of Jonah I do not know, but I have no doubt such a mighty God could preserve His prophet in a way worthy of His might.
We later reached land, my ship nearly in pieces and needing much repair. My crew determined thereafter to serve and worship the Hebrew God as the only God, and we gave sacrifices in His name, and promised our lives to proclaiming His might no matter where our travels took us.
I feel that Jonah is still in the world, and if so, perhaps he will pen his whole story one day. But from me, you now have the truth as I witnessed and understood it—Borah Zavin, captain of the merchant ship bound for Tarshish.
May you know the Only True God as I have found Him to be. He rescues the perishing.
[End of The Tarshish Merchant]
COMING UP: Join us for “Vietnam Operation Report by COIL Agent Bruno.”