A Large Fish and a Waiting God
In last week’s Manna, I focused on Jonah. This week, I want to focus on the fish. God called Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah said, “No, I think I’d rather go to Joppa, get on a boat and go to Tarshish.” God could have stopped Jonah in his tracks, but He let him go. Sometimes God lets us disobey but protects us in our disobedience until we agree to follow. When Jonah was thrown into the sea, the Bible describes the sea as in “a mighty tempest” and adds the ship was “about to be broken up” (Jonah 1:4). Obviously, when Jonah was thrown into the sea, his life was in danger. That’s when God “prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah” ( Jonah 2:17). That fish was God’s protection for Jonah, until he was ready to go to Nineveh. With Jonah inside the great fish, God said, “How do you like me now?” To which, Jonah said, “all things considered, I think I prefer Nineveh.” Safely on the dry ground, “Jonah arose and went to Nineveh” (Jonah 3:3). At the age of fifteen, sensing God’s call on my life, I decided to at least attempt to be a professional baseball player. In the midst of my disobedience, God prepared a nine-month stay in a hospital bed, while I recovered from a broken second vertebrae of my neck and decided to follow His call. When God calls, the call remains in effect even as we disobey. Close by every rejection of God’s call is a large fish (or a hospital bed), waiting to be God’s protection until we respond correctly.