It has been a week where the Lord has brought many songs of praise to my memory as I have meditated on Jonah. One song that I thought of was that great hymn “I Cannot Tell”. The words that William Y. Fullerton wrote over a century ago are so powerful –[wc_testimonial by=”I Cannot Tell” url=”” position=”left”]I cannot tell, why He whom angels worship should set His love upon the songs of men, or, why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wanderers, to bring them back, they know not how or when…”[/wc_testimonial]
Whey would the great God Jehovah worry about disobedient rebels like Jonah, and for that matter, people like me? Why would He seek a disobedient man who did not share His heart for those who were perishing? Why doesn’t He just walk away in disgust? He would have every right to do this, wouldn’t He?
Today’s Scripture reading is most excellent. It is know as Jonah’s Prayer and what a prayer it is! DId you know that JOnah’s prayer has been read for centuries on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the most solemn fast in the Jewish calendar? This fast was instituted by God for the nation of Israel, wherever they are scattered. On this day, all usual activity stops while God’s people confess their sins, asking for forgiveness and cleansing!
Jonah was banished by God for his disobedience and rebellion. Jonah could not be in a worse place. This was the result of his trying to outsmart God! Look where his thinking and disobedience got him – languishing in, what I can only describe as, an unthinkable place! Jonah, for all intents and purposes, was lost at sea. A great monster of the sea had swallowed him! Jonah was no more… or so the world would think! Yet deep in the Mediterranean Sea, in the belly of a whale, Jonah suddenly remembers just who he is and who his God is! So he calls out to the Lord! Remarkably God hears him! God not only hears him but answers him!
Today we will learn that God is the greatest of all providers. What He can do is simply out of this world – but then again He made the world and everything in it! We will also learn a couple of survival tips to use when we find ourselves in dark and inhospitable places because of the choices we make! I hope you are blessed this morning as we join Jonah in the belly of the whale!