Monday, 29 April 2013

In the Belly of the Whale

I was reading Jonah the other day, and as I was following the story that we've all heard hundreds of times growing up, I got to the part where the guys throw Jonah overboard.

Jonah 1:15-16
Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

Okay, great. Jonah is running away from God, he is blatantly disobeying Him. God says go to Nineveh, Jonah goes to Tarshish, the absolute other direction. So God sends a giant storm and the sailors are all terrified. After some prayer and discussion and lot-drawing, they decide to throw Jonah overboard. Think about this. You are Jonah. God asked you to go to Nineveh to share God's great love for them and call them to repentance. For some reason you decide that you don't want to go to Nineveh and you head the other direction. While you are on your journey there is a horrible horrible storm and you might all die and the ship might break up. You are sleeping. The sailors were all praying to their gods and nothing was happening, so they wake you up to pray to yours. You all draw lots to see who is responsible for this mess - this storm was so bad there must be a big reason for it. You tell them to throw you overboard. That will calm the storm. They tried not to, in many ways; they made every attempt to save you from the certain death if they threw you overboard. In the end, that's what happened. You got tossed overboard. You are gonna die. 

Jonah 1:17-2:10
Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said: 
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
 The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.
 “When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.
“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Look at v. 17: God provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah [...]. Wow. Talk about deliverance. I betcha Jonah wasn't expecting that! Keep reading, that whole passage. Especially the first part: In my distress I called to the LORD and He answered me. Clearly the fish here is the answer, the deliverance. (the rest of the passage isn't so much what I wanted to talk about but I put it all there because I just. love. it.)  

When was the last time you were in some sort of trouble? Likely it was not as big as being thrown into the sea to certain death. But whatever it was, you needed some sort of help or deliverance. You prayed to God (or perhaps you even didn't) and He sent you something. Jonah was drowning. Then God sent a fish to swallow him. Wait a second here. This is helping me? What are you thinking God? Now instead of drowning I just have to die slowly inside of this fish. Is this like from the frying pan into the fire? But no. God used the fish as Jonah's deliverance. 

I think sometimes God will use things that we are not expecting to help us. We may even think it is horrible, worse than what we were going through. But look at v. 10: And the LORD commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah got his life back. God did not let him die in that fish, he sent him back to land. Our God can use anything! He is an awesome God! Don't doubt Him because He didn't send you the kind of help you were expecting! It will most definitely turn out to be the absolute best thing for the situation. 

Hope you all have a lovely lovely day!! :)

p.s. just because it is so awesome I will put the Newsboys 'In the Belly of the Whale' song from VeggieTales Jonah movie down here.... ;D

No comments:

Post a Comment