“And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17, ESV)
When Jonah was thrown overboard, God miraculously saves Jonah when a fish comes to swallow him. It was not a whale. The text does not say what kind of fish it was. It just says it was a great fish. We can only speculate.
The crew from the boat had thrown Jonah to his certain death. But God had other plans. What was seemed certain, gave the opportunity for a great miracle. Already in this story, we see God deliver the people on the boat from the storm. Now he delivers Jonah from the consequences of his actions.
God would use a storm and a great fish to get Jonah back in the right direction. Can you relate? How has God got your attention when you were headed the wrong way.?
This is what God does. He is a God of second chances. He was giving Jonah a second chance. It certainly would not have been pleasant to have gone through all this. Jonah could have saved himself from a lot of hardship if he had listened to God from the beginning. But he was stubborn like many of us. He thought he knew better.
You can read through his prayer in Jonah 2. What you see in this prayer is a confidence in God. Jonah was anguished in his distress, but he knows that God will provide his deliverance. Jonah’s prayer was a wordy way of saying, “God I believe you will get me out of this mess!”
After three days, the fish “vomits” Jonah onto dry land. Again, it does not sound like a pleasant experience. Jonah must have regretted not being more obedient in the first place. But that was in the past now. And Jonah had a new start. On Monday, we will look at what he does with that new start.
- How has God corrected your course in the past?
- What does it mean to you to have a new start?
Thank you, Lord, for your guidance. I know that I too often go my own way rather than listen to you. It never works out well. But I thank you that you call me back to you. That you receive me with open arms in spite of my continued disobedience. Give me a mind and a heart to make the most of each new start you give to me. Amen!