Jonah and the WhaleIllustration:  “Seascape with Jonah and the Whale” by Gaspard Dughet, c. 1653-1654.  Tempera on canvas.

“And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17).

You remember the story of Jonah: God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital of Israel’s sworn enemy Assyria, to proclaim God’s judgment upon them for their evil. Jonah refused because he was afraid the Ninevites would repent and God would spare them. He wanted them to be destroyed! So he ran away. Swallowed by a “great fish,” he spent three days in the depths of the sea and finally was spit up on dry land after he agreed to deliver God’s message. The Ninevites repented and God spared them.

Jonah epitomizes the reluctance of God’s people to obey His commands. He struggled with God the whole way! But God used Jonah’s reluctance to prophesy the death and resurrection of Messiah Jesus. And later, Jesus would further prophesy “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). Messiah would not be just an earthly, political ruler—He would conquer our greatest enemy, death itself.

Prayer: Dear God, by Your Spirit, help me overcome my reluctance to tell others of my hope in the Messiah who has come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

As We Wait: Like Jonah, we are often reluctant to share the message God has given us: that Jesus is our hope! Look for an opportunity today to share your hope with someone else.



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