Swallowed

Daily Reading: Jonah 2

“Now the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah…

Joanh 1:17 (NKJV)
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It’s true, our heavenly Father prepares situations for us, throughout our lifetime, to help us find our way back to the path He desires for us. We can only wonder reading this narrative, if God smiled as He prepared the fish. Think of all the things God could have done. Perhaps He might have prepared a passing boat or a log for Jonah to float on – something we could explain, claiming Jonah was “fortunate.” If you know the God of the Bible, you know there is no “fortune,” no luck, no chance. The sovereign hand of God leaves nothing to chance. The text here clearly exclaims that it was God who prepared this great fish. It is God who went before Jonah, and it is God that goes before each of us as we walk with Him.

We might pause for a second and wonder if Jonah merited such a great miracle. After all, no other person in all of Scripture or recorded history survived in a great fish for three days. Instead, what we witness in these short verses is the glorious intersection of grace, sovereignty and free-will. Once out of the boat, there was nothing that Jonah could do. Was Jonah’s act foolish? Surely he would perish out of the boat. Nevertheless, the men picked him up and threw him overboard. What would he face having confessed his wrong doing? Would he simply sink to the bottom, would he die of starvation and thirst on the open water. I can only imagine the fear that gripped his heart as he splashed into the raging sea.

When we as Christians confess our sin, accept the consequence, and are tossed into a situation that we think will certainly lead to destruction, we may find ourselves feeling much like Jonah. If you feel like Jonah, rest assured, it’s OK! Hopefully you don’t get swallowed up for three days; in fact I highly doubt you will. You may however, have to endure something as God takes you to the new place where you can experience the victory that He desires. This is an important truth, if we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive, however, we still may have to endure a hardship. Be confident, God is with us and He is faithful. He will be present in your journey as you walk with Him.

What was Jonah’s response to what appeared to be a terrible tragedy? “Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly.” It’s here we find the heart of this man truly revealed. He worshiped God and cried out to Him even when life was extremely difficult. God of course never moved, never changed. As Jonah accepted His condition and trusted God, our heavenly Father showed Himself faithful. If you feel like you’ve jumped overboard, not knowing what is next; keep moving forward in the assurance that God is actively working in your life. You never know where you might end up!

Matthew Elroy

Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father & pastor.