Monday, February 1, 2010

In the Belly of the Fish

God's will will be done! We all know the story of Jonah. There was a man sent by God to call the people of Ninevah to repentance and worship of the one true God of Israel! He did not want to go. So he heads in the other direction. A storm arises, he accepts responsibility for God's anger and is thrown overboard. But he is saved by a big fish! This act of being swallowed up gives him time to pray. In the darkness he looks to God who has been returning Jonah back to Ninevah. Once ashore he walks for a day and his slight words bring about the conversion of this mighty city.

Jonah's prayer in the belly of the beast is one of thanksgiving for being kept from drowning. The fish was God's instrument of salvation, both for Jonah to prevent him from dying and for the people of Ninevah to prevent them from eternal death!

So the next time we are in darkness, wondering where we are, look to God and give thanks for His providence. After all, He knows where He is going!

 1 While Jonah was inside the fish, he prayed to the Lord his God and said,
 2 "When I was in danger,
       I called to the Lord,
       and he answered me.
    I was about to die,
       so I cried to you,
       and you heard my voice.
 3 You threw me into the sea,
       down, down into the deep sea.
    The water was all around me,
       and your powerful waves flowed over me.
 4 I said, 'I was driven out of your presence,
       but I hope to see your Holy Temple again.'
 5 The waters of the sea closed around my throat.
       The deep sea was all around me;
       seaweed was wrapped around my head.
 6 When I went down to where the mountains of the sea start to rise,
       I thought I was locked in this prison forever,
    but you saved me from the pit of death,
       Lord my God.

 7 "When my life had almost gone,
       I remembered the Lord.
    I prayed to you,
       and you heard my prayers in your Holy Temple.

 8 "People who worship useless idols
       give up their loyalty to you.
 9 But I will praise and thank you
       while I give sacrifices to you,
       and I will keep my promises to you.
    Salvation comes from the Lord!"

 10 Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and the fish threw up Jonah onto the dry land. (Jonah 2, New Century Version)