Monday, April 11, 2022

JONAH & THE GREAT FISH

Today’s Reading: Jonah 1-4

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Jaffa, Israel (ancient Joppa), is one of the world’s oldest harbours still in use today. “He (Jonah) went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish (Spain); so he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3b).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Jonah 1:17, 4:11

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights….

And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left–and much livestock?

 

Instead of going 500 miles northeast in obedience to God, Jonah disobeys God and sets out for Spain, 2,000 miles west. Jonah lived in the northern kingdom of Israel and had to travel 50 miles southwest to reach the harbour of Joppa, exactly the opposite direction from Nineveh. Read the historical reference to Jonah from 2 Kings 14:23-26. “Gath Hepher,” Jonah’s home village, is the modern village of Mishad, an Arab Muslim community three miles north of Nazareth. Jewish tradition says that Jonah was the son of the widow of Zarephath, whom Elijah had raised from the dead (1Kings 17:8-24).

Jonah knew his Bible. He quoted from four different Psalms while inside “the belly of the fish” (Psalm 3:8, 31:22, 42:7, and 69:1). In fact, he quotes from 14 Bible verses. When he finally confesses, “I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord,” the fish rises to the surface and spits him out onto shore, perhaps the very one in Joppa.

The Apostle Matthew records that Jesus likened his time in the grave to Jonah’s experience inside the great fish (Matthew 12:38-41). Another time Jesus speaks of the “sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 16:2-4).

When Jonah finally reaches Nineveh and preaches a one-sentence sermon, “Yet 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” we read that the entire city “turned from their evil way.” That’s called repentance! (Jonah 3:10a).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, give me grace to always obey You. I pray that if I should, like Jonah, go in the opposite direction that You desire of me, that You will do whatever it takes to turn me 180 degrees back into the centre of Your perfect will! Lord, You prepared a great fish to turn Jonah around, and I ask You to prepare a circumstance of Your choice which, if necessary, will do the same for me. I pray this in the Name of the One who taught about Himself using the story of Jonah, Jesus Christ (Messiah)! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There is a tradition that says that Jonah was a student at the “School of the Prophets.” Remember the student who was chopping down a tree to help build a new building at the Bible College when the axehead came loose, sank to the bottom of the river, and became the occasion of one of Elisha’s miracles? The axe head floated to the surface and the student picked it up (2 Kings 6:1-7). Do you think that student could’ve been Jonah who, when the sailors threw him overboard, knew that if God would save an axehead, He would also save him from drowning? Maybe yes maybe no. I like to think about what was going on inside Jonah’s head when he said, “Throw me overboard” (read 2 Kings 6:1-7).

Some say that the story of Jonah is way too unbelievable. The way I look at it is this…I’ve decided for myself that if God decides to do anything, He has the ability to do it. Of course I don’t understand how this could be, but then I certainly don’t understand the nature of the billions of stars and planets in the cosmos either. There’s an old chorus I’m singing under my breath just now, “God can do anything, anything, anything, anything but fail” (I forget some words here, help me out). I’ll try to find it on “Google”…Yes! here is an unusual version of the song. I’m worshipping the Lord along with the singer (click here).

Yours for believing that God can do anything but fail!!!

David

5 thoughts on “Monday, April 11, 2022

  1. Thinking of Jonah’s prayer, which concludes with, “But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”

    Thank You, Lord, for providing salvation for us. Not only do You provide us with life, but make the way for us to have eternal life!
    As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57,
    “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    Thank You, Father, for giving us Your Son, in Jesus’s precious name, amen

  2. Amazing, true story. Where could we go to hide from God, and why would we ever want to? He is our Rock and our Hiding Place! Running to Him is a far better decision. Thankful for the place of safety (no matter what). Amen and amen.

    • Amen Doreen and Rob.
      God can do anything but fail, absolutely!
      Praise our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we trust, Amen.

  3. For the 11th from “Prayer Map of Canada”
    1. Pray for God’s name to be glorified in your life, home, neighbourhood, city or community, and in Canada. (Psalm 86:12, John 12:28)
    2. Pray for New Brunswick.
    Pray for the leaders of the province, that God’s Spirit would influence them to act justly, serve with integrity and honour high moral standards. ( 1 Timothy 2:1-4)
    Pray for the churches of the province, that they would be lighthouses beaming forth the illuminating truth of God’s Word.

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