When we last saw our buddy Jonah, the strong-willed, directionally-challenged prophet of God, he was about to hit the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. His thoughts led him to believe this was the end of God’s plan to change the hearts of the evil Assyrians in Nineveh. I guess he didn’t know his God as well as he thought he did.
There’s a brief pause once you hit the surface of the water before the water engulfs you. (Don’t ask me how I know this, but a word of advice to college-aged young men reading this–don’t announce your wedding engagement during soccer season.) If Jonah’s eyes were open the last thing he would have seen is a stormy sky and angry sailors.
Just as it looks like this is the end of our hero’s adventure God throws in an incredible twist that nobody saw coming. The first submarine voyage ever recorded took place as the mad sea-fairers watched. Yeah, Jonah disappeared as a huge fish swam by. Those heathens were pretty sure Jonah’s God meant business with this guy.
Instead of this being the end of our protagonist’s jaunt God was using His own means of conveyance to get His man to His intended destination while giving Jonah a three day time-out.
Some questions come to mind at this point in the story.
Was Jonah awake during this time in the belly of the fish? Yes. He was awake enough to offer up a prayer for God to give him a second chance. Which God was already in the process of answering. You see, the attitude adjustment did work it’s course according to plan, God’s plan.
How did Jonah breathe in there? Apparently God had the fish gulp enough air for Jonah to survive. You can ask God when you get to heaven for a more definitive answer cuz that’s all I got for ya.
If the boat sailed out less than a day why was Jonah in the fish for three days? You’re apparently thinking God had Jonah taken to the shortest route back to shore. I think God made His own temporary version of the Suez Canal to get Jonah around the Saudi peninsula through the Straits of Hormuz and up the Euphrates River so the fish could barf our buddy on the beach in downtown Nineveh. God knew He needed to use our man before he had a chance to change his mind.
What would you do if you’re fishing the banks of your favorite river and a humongous fish deposits a breathing person right next to you? I don’t know what I’d do either, but I do know he’d have my attention.
Tune in next time to see how well this twisted evangelistic endeavor turns out in As The Fish’s Stomach Churns.
So, what lessons can we glean from this portion of the story? You tell me cuz, other than displaying God’s sovereignty, I’m at a loss.
This story is so filled with God’s awesome amazement that many liberal scholars have written this all off as a fictitious tale. I don’t know about you, but the God of the Bible I read is completely capable of accomplishing everything I’ve read here.
Then again, I got saved so young I don’t remember not being a Christian. This story made sense to me as a boy. It still does today.
God still has incredible opportunities available to us today. The odds are still stacked against us in our own power. But, when you serve God instead of a god anything is possible.
I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that. I have numerous things in my life that are completely out of my control. I trust God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His will–He always has in the past. Why would He stop now?
My advice to you: release your grip of the situation you can’t control. God can’t steer your car if you have the controls. Trust Him.
Get as many people praying for your situation as you can. God answers prayer. Jesus taught that numerous ways. Pray to Him.
Be open to an outcome you don’t expect. God’s ways are His ways not our ways. You may not get your answer in your lifetime. Brace yourself for anything.
God loves you.
Keep smiling. Wade