Final Wake-up Call

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Jonah 2:1-10

So Jonah has been thrown overboard into the raging waters and swallowed by a great fish. It's at this low point that we finally see him wake up and reach out to God. Jonah calls out to the Lord, starting in despair but ending with thanksgiving. And when Jonah concludes, the Lord speaks to the fish and Jonah is spit up on the dry land. Can you even imagine this?

So any Jonah experiences in your past? And, if so, what did you learn from it? What did Jonah's time in the belly of the fish show you about repentance and restoration of relationship with the Lord? Tami W.

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Again what I see is that the fish was Jonah's "salvation" The three days in the belly of the whale is significant. Jesus three days in the tomb. It was the beginning of life for Jonah as Salvation is the begining of life for us. God does such a great job of teaching us through scripture doesn't He?

Thank you for your comments Cathy! Jonah's salvation. I knew there was some significance to the great fish. Sort of like the Ark and how it kept Noah & family safe until they reached their destination. I am reminded of 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. With all that I've been through to get to where I am in life; I now know that my arms are to short to box with GOD. Via con Dios amigos!

My personal "Jonah" moment came out of a hospital trip because my liver had shut down. I was not expected to live. I had drank heavily for years, and like the children of Israel in Judges, "did whatever I wished." The Lord used this moment to communicate to me that all I am and will be is because of him, and at that moment, I saw with clarity the wrong choices I had made in the life I was living. I turned my life over to Christ, and, as you can tell, I'm still alive. Not everyone has a dramatic of a "Jonah" moment, but this was mine.

What a surprise God had waiting for Jonah in the form of a great fish! Not exactly what he was expecting, was it? Jonah thought that his disobedience had brought forth the wrath of God (the storm) against him, and the entire crew of the ship was in peril because of it and the only right action was to volunteer to be thrown overboard in order to spare the lives of the others. I find it interesting that the crewmen were hesitant to do this (Jonah 1:13-14). Everyone, including Jonah, knew that this meant certain death...that is what Jonah was expecting. So, now he's in the belly of a great fish and he's probably thinking at this point that his certain death has only been temporarily delayed. (I'm assuming) After three days of reflection, this prayer comes out. It sounds like repentance, but we will see as the story unfolds that Jonah's attitude about his assignment hasn't really changed at all. The key phrase (for me) in his prayer is in v.2---"I called out to the LORD, out of my distress..." I know I keep jumping ahead, but I'm familiar with this story and I just wanted to point out that it seems as if Jonah only "calls out to the LORD" in times of distress...sound familiar to anyone? It's also notable that this prayer DIDN'T happen in the midst of the storm...that was the REAL time of distress in this story, not being swallowed by a fish. If we take the time to meditate on this, I think that we can all learn something about our prayer lives from it. Putting that aside and focusing solely on today's passage, I see that God is always working in ways that we don't expect and can't even imagine. We can't out smart, out maneuver, or out run God. He will surprise us at every turn, and His objectives will always be met with or without our complete cooperation. If we are who we say we are (followers of Jesus Christ), we should give our complete cooperation at all times. Why would we want to forfeit the blessings that come along with obedience, no matter how difficult or dangerous or uncomfortable the assignment?

Sorry, but I just couldn't leave this one alone...the thoughts just keep coming and I feel a need to expound a little further...

If Jonah was truly repentant, there never would have been a fish story...the prayer would have come at the point of conviction...on board the ship in the midst of the storm. Jonah was so stubborn in his rebellion that he would rather die than obey God. He clearly made this choice. In Jonah's prayer, it sounds as if it originated as he was cast into the sea (once again, Jonah's choice) but v.1 states that he prayed from the belly of the fish, and I believe that v.10 happens right after the prayer, so...three whole days of reflection before Jonah decides to respond to God appropriately. I'll just leave it at that and let each reader compare notes from their own personal experience to this interpretation of the story and let the Holy Spirit do the rest...

As I read Jonah 2 I am thinking about my Jonah experience. I did run away from God for a while even though I was raised as a preacher kid. You probably have heard all the jokes about preacher's kids. My is different, I kept quiet and suffered in silence as I ran from God. He let me run for a few years then he brought me back into the fold after I went and ask for his forgiveness. Now I can praise him without feeling like a hypocrrite. Even though I am going through a tough time right now. I know he is with me and he is still in control.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on November 1, 2011 5:00 AM.

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