PRAYING PEOPLE ... JONAH


I believe the Bible.

I believe that God created the universe in six days. He said, “Let there be...” and there was. God made absolutely everything from absolutely nothing.

I believe that God told Noah to build a boat big enough for a zoo. When the floods covered the earth, the animals ... momma and daddy buffalo, momma and daddy rhino, momma and daddy field mouse ... all were safe inside the boat. So were Noah and his family. I believe it happened just like the Bible says.

I believe that Moses and the emancipated Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry land, and that God rained bread from heaven, and that God spoke to Moses on the mountain.

I believe that Jesus fed five thousand with a boy’s sack-lunch, He walked on water, and He healed the leper, the quadriplegic, and the blind man.

I also believe that Jesus was born to a young virgin named Mary, He lived a perfectly sinless life, and died on a Roman cross. Best of all, I believe that Jesus only remained in the grave for three days, then He burst forth alive, and He still lives today!

One more thing... I believe that Jonah, a preacher who lived almost eight hundred years before Jesus, was thrown overboard during a terrible storm. Yes, I believe that God sent a big fish to rescue him.

(Get this... the Mediterranean Sea is almost a million square miles. That’s ten times bigger than all five of the great lakes: Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Ontario.)

God can do that. God can direct the path of a big fish.... and that big fish swallowed Jonah like I swallow an aspirin (Jonah 1:17).

The Bible says that Jonah “cried out to the Lord” from the belly of the fish. (That’s an understatement if there ever was one!) I’m sure Jonah cried, screamed, pleaded, and begged!

With seaweed wrapped around his neck and swirling in digestive juices, Jonah prayed! Really prayed! The Bible says, “Water engulfed me up to the neck; the watery depths overcame me; seaweed was wrapped around my head!” (Jonah 2:5, CSB). Jonah prayed like it really mattered!

Later, Jonah wrote, “I called to the Lord in my distress...” (Jonah 2:2, CSB). “As my life was fading away, I remembered the Lord!” (Jonah 2:7, CSB).

God heard Jonah’s cry, and the Almighty directed the fish, “and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2:10, CSB).

I suppose I’ve left out an important detail. Jonah wasn’t on a pleasure cruise or out deep-sea fishing. Jonah was running away from God. God had called Jonah to preach at Nineveh, but instead of obeying, Jonah high-tailed it to the ends of the earth! Jonah was actively rebelling against God. And yet, when Jonah, the Old Testament’s Prodigal Son, called out to God from the distant deep, the Almighty God heard his urgent cry.

So, are you in a pickle? Up a creek without a paddle? In over your head? Stuck in a rut?

God knows. He’s watching and listening. He cares!

Try “casting all your cares on him” ... I promise... “he cares about you!” (1 Peter 5:7, CSB).

South Georgia Baptist Church

Amarillo, Texas

Mike Martin, Pastor

mike@southgeorgiabaptistchurch.org

© 2020