The story of Jonah being swallowed by the whale is one of the most well known stories in the Bible. We think of it as a cute story of a man swallowed by a fish but there is more hear than meets the eye.
Jonah has just allowed himself to be thrown from a boat into a raging sea. In doing so he has accepted the responsibility he has in disobeying God, running from God and endangering his own life and the lives of the sailors on the boat. If he wasn’t already sure he was going to drown in the sea then surely he thought being swallowed by a fish was going to be the end.
Finally, when he realizes that he is completely helpless, Jonah prays. From the belly of the fish Jonah cried out to God. We tend to think that coming to God in the midst of our biggest troubles is a bad thing. The truth is that we always come to God totally helpless. Whether we know it or not we always come to God in the midst of a war that is going on around us; a war in which we are completely helpless. God wants you to come to Him in times of trouble. It took both the storm and being swallowed by a fish for Jonah to realize this. The storm and fish were God’s grace towards Jonah to show him that Jonah’s suffering in his current situation was about him and God and nothing else.
What we see in Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish is that Jonah realizes that he has been putting his hope in idols. And that those idols can never save him. At long last, Jonah realizes this and gives us this stark reminder “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD! (Jonah 2:8-9 ESV)
Band for the Week was:
- Zack Van Hoy – drums
- Julie Watkins – vox
- Scott Wenger – bass
- Ben Davis – guitar + vox
- Patrick Downing – guitar + vox