Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Fish Rescued Jonah

Much of my growing up years, I lived with an understanding that God sent the fish to swallow Jonah as his punishment.  In Jonah 1:17 after Jonah was thrown into a raging sea and it grew calm the Word says, "Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and nights."  Jonah was right when he told those on the boat that the storm was his fault.  The sailors feared God when the storms calmed. 
I think they must have realized the storm was supernatural before Jonah "fessed up" anyhow because the lots were to find out who was responsible for the calamity.  As sailors, they must be able to read the sky and know when a storm pattern is brewing.  When this storm raged from no where and kept getting worse, they became desperate.  They didn't want to be responsible for Jonah's death and they tried to avoid throwing him in the sea, but God knew what He was doing.
Jonah 2:5-7 "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."
It even seems by the order of the text that Jonah didn't pray this prayer of thanks to God until he'd been in the fish for 3 days and nights.  The last phrase of the prayer is quoted and then verse 10 says the Lord commanded the fish to spit him out.
It is by God's providential hand that Jonah survived this ordeal and God put him in this ordeal.  It makes me wonder if Jonah pouted for 3 days and finally realized that God rescued him and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving.  I'm only thinking that because I see a pattern of him pouting. 
Regardless of why we experience the things we experience, whether it be rebellion, sin, or just God's sovereignty, we need to look to God for the answer.  Sometimes, the trouble we seem to experience is actually our salvation.  I've been there.  I hated a situation I was in, but if I never experienced it, I wouldn't have been able to come into the place I am right now.  God provided my discomfort to rescue me and I believe rescue my children. 
It's all in perspective.  I need to remember to pray for God to let me see from His perspective when I face what I face.  Unfortunately for me it usually takes me longer than 3 days to figure things out.
Romans 8: 28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

No comments:

Post a Comment