Lessons From Jonah

AnchorAnd the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. (Jonah 2:10)

Lesson 4 – Forgiveness Redemption.

And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. (Jonah 2:10)

Way back when, I titled this lesson “Forgiveness”.  As I sat down to write this post, I pondered over what I wanted it to say about forgiveness.  I finally came to the conclusion that this part of Jonah’s story goes past forgiveness all the way to redemption. And so, I’ve renamed the lesson “Redemption”, and what I want us to talk about, using Jonah’s experience as our launching pad, is the source of redemption – The Word.

Jonah rejected God, rebelled against God and ran from God, yet in spite of all of Jonah’s sin, God saved him.  Yes, there was a season of discipline, we saw that last week, but Jonah repented and God delivered him.  And, (here’s the good part), He did so with His spoken word.

Are you wondering what a prophet who was swallowed by a fish some 3,000 years ago has to do with you?  I mean, as far as we know, in all of history, this is the one and only time anybody ever got swallowed by a fish so chances are, God is not going to put you or me in the belly of a fish, right?  Well maybe, but if you have ever spent a season of doubt and worry – about your job, a family member, a health issue, a relationship – you have probably come pretty close to knowing what it was like for Jonah in the belly of that fish.  I know I can relate.

And the LORD spoke.  We’ve seen in other scripture accounts what can happen when God speaks; everything that exists, came into being when God spoke.   The dry land on which Jonah was set upon, God spoke into being on the third day, the fish that God commanded regarding him, is the same fish God spoke into existence on the fifth day.  While we’re on the subject of creation, let’s look at another Genesis moment, another redemptive moment:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

There it is, there’s the connection we were looking for.  The word saved Jonah and the Word saved us!

The eternal Word.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

The powerful Word.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

The Word that sustains.

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”(Matthew 4:4)

The Word that sanctifies.

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)

The Word of righteousness.

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. (John 15:3)

The Word of salvation.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, (Ephesians 1:13)

The Word of life.

holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:16)

Final Thoughts

As we consider all that we’ve read today, let us be reminded that we serve a powerful God, when God speaks, all of creation must obey.  Let’s be reminded that we serve a loving God, no matter how often or how deeply we fail, God’s love never fails.  Let’s remember that we serve a merciful God, no matter what trials and tribulations we face, His mercies are new every morning.

And always, let’s remember Jonah.  If God can put a man in the belly of a fish, then cause that fish to vomit him out onto dry land, don’t you think God can fix your problems?

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