Daily Delight

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

As a child, I grew up hearing all of the Bible stories: Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, Moses, Esther, and Jonah. From the time I was five I could retell every story perfectly. Now, older and having an established and growing relationship with the Lord, I have gone back to these intriguing stories. I am finding the deeper meanings to them and what God was truly doing and how they apply to my life now.

Recently, I went back and reread the story of Jonah and the Whale. I took out commentaries and dove in to dig up treasures of this timeless story.

Jonah was a prophet, meaning he delivered messages from the Lord to the people. God asked Jonah to deliver a message to the city of Nineveh, also known as the “Great City". However, there was tremendous wickedness happening there. Jonah was terrified to go and instead he ran in the opposite direction to Tarshish. Jonah was trying to hide from God but, of course. hiding from God is impossible (Psalm 139:7-12). One of my commentaries stated that Jonah intended to escape from his divinely appointed task. Divinely appointed. We are all given divine tasks. And even if we try, we can never quit them. Romans 11:29 says “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” We may delay them, like Jonah, and run in the other direction, but we can never terminate them. 

Jonah jumped aboard a ship but was hit with a violent storm. I believe the storm was a reminder to Jonah that God controls everything. There is no escaping His power or love. The sailors soon figured out that it was Jonah that had caused the storm through the casting of lots, and they began to question Jonah. The sailors acted as Gods agents to accuse Jonah on what he did. They tossed Jonah into the sea, as he asked them to, and the storm calmed. This is my favorite part. We call it whale, but it doesn’t specify in the Bible. All it says is a “great fish”. Many of us view the whale as this great beast of the sea that swallowed Jonah up. That, in a way the whale acted as a punishment to Jonah. However, if you think about it, the whale acted as a rescue boat for him. Jonah was stuck in the middle of the ocean in raging waters. The great fish saved Jonah! Jonah asked God for forgiveness and acknowledged his disobedience. Again, God asked Jonah to sail to Nineveh and this time Jonah went. The people turned from their ways and the Lord spared the city.

I encourage you to go back and read this story; to soak in all that God has in this story and many others. I also want to encourage you to focus on the following questions and try to answer them with situations that have happened in your life or maybe what you are currently going through.

Are you running from something? Has God called you to a task or purpose that frightens you or seems too hard? What is the Tarshish in your life? What are you running to? What is your escape? What is your Nineveh? Is God using people in your life to call you back to Him?
Find your great fish. What has God given you to use as a boat to carry you back to the path God has made out for you?

I want you to go back to these simple stories, stories you know, and dig into them. Pull them apart and put them back together with a clearer understanding of what the story is really  about. It’s amazing what you will uncover.

{photo: @katebooye}

About the Author

Christian Fisher is eighteen years old and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. However, her heart lies wherever there are tall skyscrapers and sidewalks overflowing with people. Her first love is her Lord and Savior. She has given Him her every move and waits on Him daily to whisper into her heart (even though sometimes it sounds more like a roar). Christians second love is coffee, preferably in a cozy café with towers of Bible commentaries spread out on the top of the table. Christian is a bit sassy but passionate in spreading the love of God to everyone she encounters.


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