"Flight to Tarshish"
Jonah 2:1 "Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,"
This fish was one of a kind, God prepared this fish for this event, and appointed Jonah to be swallowed and held for three days and three nights. In most churches today, it's taught as a childs story. Many don't believe it all happened like the Bible says. It's presented in such a simple way that they miss the whole lesson God is trying to teach.
This event is a type of the first advent. Christ's death, and burial, with Jesus in the tomb three days and three nights.
While Jonah was in the fishes belly, he was still alive, loving, trusting and praying to his Heavenly Father.
Jonah 2:2 "And said, "I cried by reason of mine affection unto the LORD, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and Thou heardest my voice."
This is a lesson to us today also; when we think things are insurmountable we can cry out to the Lord, and He will hear us. Jonah prayed and God heard him.
Jonah 2:3 "For Thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all Thy bellows and Thy waves passed over me."
When Jonah was cast into the sea, the winds blew hard, and the waves swallowed Jonah quickly into the deep water.
This is also a reminder of Revelation 17; where the waves and floods of lies and deception will engulf the entire earth. However, God has prepared a way for His elect, and those with the seal of God in their minds will be protected by Him. They will also complete their ministry for God, as recorded in Matthew 24, and Mark 13:11, as well as Jonah 2:28-32, and Acts 2:16-17. Peter said; "But this is that which was spoken by Joel the prophet;" (verse 16) " "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons, and your daughters shall prophecy..." (verse 17).
Just as Jonah will complete his appointed duty, so will you and I.
Jonah 2:4 "Then I said, "I am cast out of Thy sight; yet I will look again toward Thy holy temple."
Jonah knew there was a life after the death of his flesh. He also knew that in so much that he disobeyed God, and that he would have to answer for that disobedience.
Through the act of Jonah, being unfaithful to God's order for him to go to Nineveh, and the response of our Heavenly Father and through that disobedience; We can see the type of Father that we serve.
God has an eternal plan, which effects each one of us, as well as earth and it's elements. God controls all of it to conform to His plan. When you are in that plan, your in His will, and when you fight that plan, your outside of the will of God in your life.
God will move heaven and earth to keep you on course, and in His will. When Jonah fled, and entered the ship at Joppa, he left the will of God, for both himself and Nineveh.
In the whales belly Jonah repented and cried out to God. Jonah is placing himself back into God's will.
We are entering into a new period in this earth age, that is all part of God's eternal plan, the climate of crime and violence today is as it was in Nineveh, and earlier in Sodom. God has appointed (Prepared) His fishes for the protection of His elect to complete the task we are to do for God in this generation today.
We will either do as we are lead to do, through His word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and be in His will; or we will be deceived by Satan, his System and pay the price.
Jonah 2:5 "The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. "
The "soul" is the "inner man" and not the fleshly body. In the Hebrew it is the "nephesh", that soul body that only God can destroy.
In that tumbling, rolling waters Jonah was tossed about, sinking to the bottom, the "Abyss" in the Hebrew. The floating seaweed was wrapping abound him, and like a lose around his head, and snared his head into a strangle hold. Jonah was as a dead man crying out.
Jonah 2:6 "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever; yet hast Thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God."
God brought Jonah to the breaking point. Jonah was taken to such a point of despair, and broken both physically and mentally; before Jonah finally was ready to yield his will to God. In this state of total depravity (and helplessness) Jonah cried out, "O Lord my God."
Jonah's life passed before him, and he went to "the bottom of the mountains", you can't get any lower. "The earth with it's bars", is another way of saying " he became a fugitive ("Briyach" #1280 in Strong's) from the earth.
What does it take to pull someone out of his or her stubborn self-centered ways, so that they will seek God's perfect will in their life? Only God knows. He knows the thoughts and intent of our hearts, he see everything we do, he knows every word we speak, even before we do it. He knew Jonah and created a special fish just for him. God is our only life line.
Jonah 2:7 "When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple."
If you can believe and except God's word, and that He spoke and nothing became everything. Why is it so difficult to accept fact that God is preparing a fish to complete the task of taking Jonah's soul, his inner body and self, as he became focused only on God: not his people, his pride nor his will, nor any earthly thing or person; Jonah came into focus with God's will completely. Then "I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came into thee (God)." Jonah knew he could talk to God and cry out to Him from anywhere, and He is there. Your prayers will flow from your heart, to His Holy Temple, and to the very Holy of Holies, where our Lord Jesus Christ sits making intercession for His own at all times. God does hear the prayers of His own, and those who seek Him with their whole heart.
Jonah 2:8 "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."
They that regard, and participate in their own empty vanity, are not going to heed to the chastisement of God.
"Mercy" is "unmerited favor" before God. Through Christ's death on the cross we receive unmerited favor from God the Father. It is not that we earned it, but because Christ paid our price for you and I. His burial and resurrection is the price He paid.
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."
This is the significance of the book of Jonah "Salvation is of the Lord". It was the Lord that would come to this earth, as a babe, born of a virgin; and be in the tomb three days and three nights, so that you and I could have eternal life through Christ our Lord. When Jonah was in the whales belly is the only sign that God would give to the Kenite infested religious order of His day.
Jonah 2:10 "And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land."
There were enough witnesses present to Jonah's being vomited by this great fish that it is established as a fact. They knew it was a fish that came to speak to them and bring salvation to them.
Keep in mind, that the Assyrian people in Jonah's time worshipped the "Dagon' the fish god. They had huge idols, ceremonies, and rituals in their idolatries to the Dagon.
When this huge fish brought Jonah to them, "on dry ground", The people of Nineveh then respected Jonah, and listened to his message of salvation, because he came from a fish. This was the only way that God could reach the people was through their false fish god. God knew they would listen to Jonah.
What does it take today for anyone to listen to God's salvation message, believe it, and repent?
Though Jonah's intent was to flee from God's order to preach to Nineveh, this was part of a greater plan to present a way for the people to accept the message when it arrived.
To Jonah it was a turning point from his will, and way of saving his people, to a complete submission, to the "Salvation of the Lord."
What was accomplished here? First, Jonah's life completely changed. second, a way for the people of Nineveh to see and understand the message of Salvation using their own god, the "Dagon" as a tool to understanding. and third the most important, it provided the only sign Jesus would give the corrupt religious order of that day (Matthew 12:38 & 39).
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