Blessing in Disguise

So after Jonah gets thrown into the sea, the Lord doesn’t allow him to die. Instead Jonah gets swallowed whole by a “great fish” Jonah sat inside a fish for three days and nights. (EW!)

Jonah 1:17 “But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and nights.”

Personally, fish creep me out they are slimy and don’t look very smart. They seem content with eating bubbles and swimming around in circles. The bible doesn’t actually say that it was a whale but it could have been it would allow Jonah to breathe.

In Jonah’s case being swallowed by a fish is a blessing in disguise. I would rather have drowned than sit in a fish belly, but that’s just me.
While Jonah is inside the fish he prays! If it were me I would most likely go insane. I am extremely claustrophobic and the idea of being inside my least favorite animal… I’d be a mess. But Jonah starts praising the Lord for his situation!

Jonah 2:1-6 “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 the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.  You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and 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 me barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit O lord my God.”

Jonah amazes me; he sees something, which I would have seen as a curse, as a blessing. At this point Jonah has had three days of just prayer and sleep. The lord shows him favor and has the fish puke him up. (Super gross)

Normally when I think of blessing I don’t think of being turned into puke, but God uses extraordinary ways to help people.

Jonah 2: 10 “And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”

Jonah has seen the power of God first hand at this point. Maybe he takes God more seriously when he tells him yet again to go to Nineveh. Sometimes it takes extreme measures to get through to stubborn people.

The Lord tells Jonah again to go

Jonah 3:1 “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’”

He listened, but I don’t think his heart changed towards the people. This time I think it was fear of God moving him to the city.

Jonah changes, before he was filled with hatred toward the people of Nineveh and lack of healthy fear for the Lord. So he ran away.
Now after his near death experience he is convinced doing what God says is what’s best, but his heart still hates the city of Nineveh.

In chapter 4 Jonah shows this hatred for the people.

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1 Comment

  1. Gma

     /  August 2, 2012

    Yikes! What does it take before we see people–God’s way? I am amazed at my (and Jonah’s) ability to continue to adhere to my self made agenda.
    “So–and-so is icky poo poo and annoying to speak to –so I would rather not have to deal with them–if you don’t mind, Lord.Someone else can save them . . .”
    Hmmm, is there a whale in my future?
    Gulp–“Let’s do things YOUR WAY–Lord. You did make the universe, and all–likely you know better than I.”
    What a dolt I am–thank you for the wake-up call–

    Reply

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