Grace and Wrath Podcast
Ep. 144: Jonah and the Fish
The Lord said to Jonah the prophet, “Leave right now and go to Nineveh. You’re to tell them I’m going to judge them because of their wickedness.”
Jonah knew that God was merciful and would forgive Nineveh if they repented. He didn’t want that, so he ran away from God’s will and went to the seaport town called Joppa. He bought a ticket and got on a ship going to Tarshish. He wanted to get far away from God’s will so there would be no possibility of Nineveh’s repenting.
Once the ship was out to sea, God sent a violent storm to hit it. The sailors were terrified because the storm was about to destroy their boat and drown them. They threw their cargo overboard to lighten the load. When that didn’t help, they prayed to their various gods. While all of this was going on, Jonah was fast asleep down in the hold of the boat.
The captain woke him up and said, “How can you sleep? We’re about to die. Get up and pray to your god.”
Eventually the sailors figured out that this storm was directed at only one person on the ship. They cast lots to see who it was. The results showed that Jonah was the reason for their troubles. They said, “Who are you, and what have you done?”
He said, “I serve the Lord God, who made the sea and the dry ground. But I’m running away from him.”
Suddenly the storm got worse! The men screamed at Jonah, “What should we do to you to calm the storm?”
Jonah yelled back, “God only wants one thing, and the storm won’t stop until He gets it. You’re to grab me and throw me overboard.”
The men didn’t want to kill an innocent man, so they worked even harder to fight against the storm and get to land. Finally they realized they couldn’t fight God. They cried out to the Lord and asked him for mercy for what they were about to do. They then grabbed Jonah and threw him overboard.
Immediately, the storm stopped! The men were shocked at the power of God. They fell to the deck and worshiped the Lord and vowed to serve only him.
God had a large fish waiting for Jonah as he went into the water. The fish immediately swallowed him, and he stayed in the fish’s stomach for three days.
Jonah prayed and acknowledged that it was God who put him in the fish. He finally said, “I’ll give you what you want. I’ll thank you for your will, and do what you want me to do.”
With that, the Lord spoke to the fish. It went to land and vomited Jonah onto the shore.