Google+ 09/04/13 God Has Probably Sent Us a Whale!

 

Jonah 1:17-2:4

 

Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah.

And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish.

 He said,

“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me.
I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me!
You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea.
The mighty waters engulfed me;
    I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.
Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence.
    Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’"

 

As we continue with part three of our seven-part devotion entitled, "Jonah and the Whale,"  we get to examine Jonah's prayer to God.  As you remember from part two, Jonah has been thrown overboard and the sea is now calm.  God arranges for a great whale to swallow Jonah.  Jonah is sinking to the bottom of the ocean.  It looks like all is lost and the situation is so desperate that Jonah is going to die.  Not to be cruel, but Jonah was deserving of the punishment.  Remember, Jonah had denied God and actually decided to go in the opposite direction from His instructions.  Jonah put everyone on the ship in great peril because of his disobedience.  He also put all the people in Nineveh in jeopardy because the message of repentance, that Jonah was to proclaim, is not going to be delivered.  So, in addition to his own disobedience, he is about to be responsible for the death of an entire nation.  As we know, God is a merciful and loving God, even in times of great turmoil.  What does God do?  He sends Jonah a lifeboat.  That's right, the whale is a blessing!  Without the whale, Jonah surely dies.  The good news is that Jonah actually recognizes that God has heard his pleas and cries from the deep.  Notice that Jonah repents, in the first part of his prayer to God, by saying that he will once again look towards God's holy temple.  If you have turned away from God and feel like you are drowning, this devotion is particularly for you.  It is never too late for us to repent, until we see Jesus coming back on a cloud for the second time.  Look around carefully because in our time of deepest despair, God has probably sent us a whale!