Jonah and the Whale2017-03-22T04:46:15+00:00

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Jonah 1-2

 

Jonah and the Whale

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Jonah 1-2

 

Jonah and the Whale

 

By Lois Parker Edstrom

The story of Jonah and the whale is a very odd story. Jonah heard God speaking to him, telling him to go to a city that was evil and preach to the people there. Jonah did not want to do that so he left, got on a ship and traveled in the opposite direction.

When he was on the ship a fierce storm came up and all the people on the ship became very frightened. Jonah believed that God was punishing him for running away, so he told the others to throw him into the water and the sea would become calm. They threw Jonah into the water and the sea did become calm.

The story tells us that Jonah was swallowed by a “great fish” (1:17), perhaps a whale, and we are told Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days. While Jonah was in the belly of the fish he prayed to God. He realized that he was trying to run away from God and from what God had planned for his life.

Sometimes we need a time-out. You may have experienced this yourself when you do something you know to be wrong and your parent suggests you have a time-out – time by yourself to think about what you have done and figure out how you can do better.

Perhaps that is what happened to Jonah. He realized he had made bad choices and he asked God to help him. He said, “… I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving” (2:9). Jonah wanted to serve God.

We are told that “Yahweh (God) spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land” (2:10 ).

Thankfully your time-outs weren’t anything like that!

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan