And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah 2:10 (NIV).
I couldn’t agree more with the meme that says “the quickest way to get someone out of bed is for them to hear the sound of a cat about to throw up.”
Right on, right on. Imagine what it would have sounded like for some giant fish to swim up close to the shore and start horking. Imagine what you would think if you had been standing on the beach, and you saw all this happen. Shocked? Amazed? Sickened? Imagine the horror of people who saw or smelled him.
Imagine how Jonah must have felt. He had prayed and suddenly realized that his prayer was being answered. The fish was spitting him out; would it be on land or in the water? Where would he be? What would happen now? All Jonah could do was be in the moment, then be puked out of the fish. THAT would have been, um, ‘unusual.’ Nothing like it had ever happened before; nothing like it has happened since.
Yet don’t lose sight of a few things. God commanded the fish and the fish obeyed. God isn’t some fantastic Dr. Doolittle. He’s God, who can not only communicate with nature but command it…and nature obeys. It had always been this way; it was this way with the giant fish. Later in Jonah’s story, God’s command over nature would teach Jonah another lesson.
And God had not only been with Jonah the entire time, hearing his prayers and keeping him alive. But God then provided for Jonah by ensuring the fish spit him out onto dry land, where Jonah could find what he needed to live. That is, perhaps, the most miraculous aspect in this entire book of miracles. God provided all along. Even when Jonah had rebelled; even when the pagan men on the boat hadn’t really believed; even when Jonah was in a seemingly hopeless place, God still provided.
Just like He does today.
Vectoring back to my wife’s Bible study, it was brought up that Jonah would have stunk. He would have been covered in that sticky, white film that covers your skin when you clean out a fish. Jonah would have been covered in that from head to toe. Maybe he cleaned off after, but as we’ll soon see, that also may not be the case. One thing was clear: though his outside may have been covered in fantastic slime, Jonah’s heart had been cleaned. He had been made ready by the Master’s hand to do the Master’s work. God would use that spread his message…just like He does today.
THAT ought to get us out of bed every morning.
For further reading: Jonah 3:1
Lord Jesus, You saved Jonah and prepared him for Your good work. Thank You for providing for him and for us.
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