Inside the Belly of a Fish

Imagine this world if the disciples had not obeyed the words of the Lord YAHSHUA: Go then and make disciples of all the  nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days, to the close and consummation of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). God’s commanding Jonah to go to Nineveh to warn the people, expresses His love for all mankind. Jonah however, was not on the same page as God’s. For when the Ninevites repented and turned away from their wicked ways, causing the Lord God to relent from His judgment, Jonah was furious. He said to the Lord, O Lord, is not this just what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and [when sinners turn to You and meet Your conditions] You revoke the sentence of evil against them. Therefore, now, O Lord, I beseech You take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live (Jonah 3: 1-3). Why should there be a warning, if it is not to cause people to repent? Shouldn’t we then rejoice to see sinners turning to God in repentance and humbleness of heart, since there are serious consequences of eternal punishment for them in hell? Jonah’s life was spared for his disobedience, but the salvation of so many displeased him. God said to Jonah, And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons not [yet old enough to] know their right hand from their left, and also many cattle [not accountable for sin]? (vs.11).

On another page of Scriptures, we read about another call, and this time to Macedonia. Contrast Jonah’s reaction to that of Paul’s, when he had a vision sending him to Macedonia: and when Paul had seen the vision, he at once endeavored to go on into Macedonia, confidently inferring that God had called him to proclaim the glad tidings to them (Acts 16: 9-10). Paul and Silas, suffered much persecution, were beaten with rods, and struck with many blows and thrown into a dungeon with feet fastened in the stocks for having gone to Macedonia to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord YAHSHUA. However, in spite of all, Paul and Silas, about midnight, prayed and sung praises to God for all those in jail to hear. Then something supernatural happened, when suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened (Vs.23-26). Much happened that day, resulting in the salvation of the jailer and his family. (Acts 16:23). Paul rejoiced in their salvation, forgetting the cruelty done to him and Silas.

The Prophet Jonah lacked the most important link, the link of love toward the lost ones. Instead of praising God for the salvation of that city, he complained to the point of desiring death. I will never be able to reason Jonah’s reaction to the salvation of that city, but I do understand the fact that his experience of three days and nights in the belly of a fish served to show Israel a sign they required of YAHSHUA in their faithless attitude, disregarding all the signs and wonders performed by Him in their midst. The only sign YAHSHUA verbally gave them was that of Jonah’s in the belly of a fish three days and three nights, rendering His own experience when in the near future He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, that was in His own words (Matt. 12: 39). After his ordeal, Jonah was miraculously taken to the Mediterranean Sea coast by the great fish God had provided and subsequently went to Nineveh to do what God ordained him to do. As a result, Nineveh was spared, for repenting of their grave sins. 

Unlikely Jonah, the Prophet Isaiah when called, answered God’s question, Who will go for Us? Here am I, send me (Isaiah 6:8). “Speak Lord, for your servant listens” was the young Samuel’s answer to the Lord’s voice to perform a difficult task. Running away from God’s calling, will take us to a road of nowhere, we even might end up being swallowed by a fish of unpleasant circumstances, never exiting it, because we haven’t repented. Kept prisoned year after year, our lives will be just shadows of the past, always remembering the “good old things,” while the world around us cries for help. Prisoners of our own vanities, we think nothing about it, until circumstances, in its “what goes around, comes around,” hits home.  YAHSHUA’S call remains sounding today, in His words, The harvest indeed is abundant, but the farmhands are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out like lambs into the midst of wolves (Luke 10: 2-3).  Will you answer Him, “Here am I, send me?”

THINK ABOUT IT

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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