Swallowed up with the WordMay 18, 2011 at 9:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
Tags: children's Bible, Jonah, Jonah 1, Jonah 2, Matthew 12, Megalodon, Pinocchio, Psalm 3, Psalm 37
The illustration in the children’s picture Bible seemed so accurate then. I have to laugh, though, when I think back on it now. There’s Jonah, the prophet, wearing a long robe, with his long hair and serious expression. He’s sitting on a wooden bench, with only a candle for light, intently reading his Bible, surrounded by huge white ribs and shadowy internal organs. The caption beneath the illustration proclaims that he’s in the belly of the whale.
When I read the Book of Jonah today I find that the swallower is not even called a whale (although Jesus referred to it as a “whale” in Matthew 12:40). In Jonah the swallower is called a “prepared fish” (prepared by the Lord.) I prefer to think it was a Megalodon shark, but what do I know?
The point is, it is not likely that Jonah sat calmly on a bench reading by candlelight during his three days and three nights in the fish’s belly.
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
In fact, Jonah was probably squeezed in there, alone in the dark, like a man buried alive in a submarine coffin.
Thankfully, though, this did not keep Jonah from reciting the Word of God. Jonah 2:9 (“But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”) shows that Jonah had memorized Psalms 3:8 and 37:39.
There are many good reasons for memorizing Scripture (showing off is not one of them), but one of the best reasons for doing it is so that we can call out the promises of God in times of great peril. I pray that you will never find yourself in the belly of a great fish, but if you do find yourself alone and trapped and in the dark, you will be thankful if you have been long in the habit of spending time alone with God, letting Him sear upon your heart the light of His Word.