Jonah Prays - Jonah 2:1,2
November 14, 2022, 9:37 AM

Jonah Prays

Jonah 2:1,2

1. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.

2. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.

From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.”

November 14, 2022

I didn’t give much attention last week to the part when Jonah was swallowed by this huge fish. Most popularly it had been identified as a whale because it is the largest sea creature we know.

An average sperm whale might have a mouth 20 feet long, 15 feet high and 9 feet wide. It’s about the biggest mammal on the planet. That explains how the fish or whale could swallow a person.

I have read stories of sharks and whales swallowing men who have capsized and lived through it. A popular story often quoted from other sermons is in the late winter of 1891, the whale-ship “Star of the East” was in the area of the Falkland Islands when captured the creature that overturned their boat. James Bartley was missing. Later when they were cutting the whale open the sailors found the missing ship mate! He was alive.

Bartley, after he recovered told his story. While struggling for his life underwater, being drawn into darkness, and feeling a terrible, oppressive heat. He lost consciousness. During his time inside the whale, Bartley’s face, neck and hands were bleached deathly white by gastric juices and the texture of his skin was like parchment.

Great story! But is it true? There are some who put this in the category of an early urban legend, but whether it’s true or not, we know that there has been at least one man in the world who has truly gone through such an amazing experience and lived. That man is Jonah!

God did not say that a whale just happened to be swimming along in the vicinity and just happened to swallow Jonah. God calls this a great fish which He prepared.

Dale Lundgen wrote, “Even if no other account points to this happening, we must not debate if it is possible or if can God do a miracle equal to walking on water with Peter, or parting the Red Sea with Moses, or raising someone from the dead. If you ask how a man can survive in the belly of a fish three days, the answer is, he probably can’t any more than a person can stay three days in the grave and live again. That’s why Jesus called it a “sign.” In Matthew 12:39 he says, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet.” Jesus knew this was no ordinary event. It was a miraculous sign of God’s gracious and powerful intervention.”

The issue for me isn’t focused on Jonah or the fish, but on God, who does want He wants, when He wants, however He wants, and certainly God intervenes in situations like this in miraculous ways.

It is in this circumstance. Jonah learns to prayer the prayer of repentance.