Rethinking The Story of Jonah
The story of Jonah is an iconic narrative about a man who was swallowed by a great fish because of he ran away from the Presence of God. The Lord had told him to go to Nineveh only to find himself on a ship on his way to Tarshish.
So the Lord sent a storm.
I’ve always thought the storm came because Jonah was being punished by the Lord. But that wasn’t the case at all.
Jonah was APPOINTED to go to Ninevah so that he could proclaim the mercies of the Lord to a nation. Yet because Jonah knew the compassion of the Lord, he ran away. He turned his back on his destiny.
What I love about the story is that Jonah immediately knew that the storm came because of him and the solution was to be thrown out into the sea.
I reckon he knew that the Lord was going to save him. God wasn’t about to kill a man He appointed to bring salvation to a nation.
He was thrown into the sea and and the Lord sent a a great fish to swallow him.
Rethinking the Great Fish
Jonah was running away from his destiny and when the storm came a great fish was PREPARED to catch him.
In John 15:2-3 Jesus said, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.”
Here’s what I see.
Jonah was called to go and be a representative of God to the people of Ninevah. He was appointed for a mission. He was already clean, set apart, anointed, because of the word that the Lord spoke over him. He was to become fruitful, yet instead he ran away.
Swallowed in the greek means to make away with, to destroy, cover, eat up.
The swallowing of Jonah was the pruning of the Lord.
It was a form of dying so that in the end resurrection could take place.
Rethinking Your Circumstance
So Jonah found himself repenting before the Lord inside the belly of the fish. He realized that he was in the wrong by running away. After his prayer of repentance the fish vomitted him out into dry land. He was taken back to the place where he started. Back to the shore. Personally, I was glad to read that the fish didn’t spew Jonah out in the middle of the sea. It’s the mercy of the Lord not to leave us hanging in our circumstances.
The preparation of the fish was the Lord’s way of taking him back to where he needed to be in the first place.
The belly of the fish became the vehicle back to his destiny.
If you ran away from the Lord and have found yourself in rock bottom you might relate to Jonah.
Maybe you’re not running away from the Lord. You might not have disobeyed him but you find yourself in the lowest of lows. The dreams that you thought you have is dying. The promises you thought you received from the Lord is drifting away. Everything seems to be going wrong. It seems like you yourself is also in the belly of a fish.
Well let me propose to you a different perspective. The circumstances you might be finding yourself in is literally a pruning. Just as the Lord used a fish as a vehicle back to his destiny, your circumstance doesn’t have the last say. There is hope. There is resurrection.
Being inside the belly of the fish is the Lord’s way of preparing you for what is coming.
Whether or not the fish is from the Lord is not the point.
He has made you clean because of the word that was spoken to you.
All you have to do is abide in Him and He will show himself faithful.