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September 12, 2022 8:00 pm
Michael was diving for lobster when a humpback whale caught him in its mouth. He pushed back in the darkness as the whale’s muscles squeezed against him. He thought he was done. But whales don’t prefer lobstermen, and thirty seconds later the whale spit Michael into the air. Amazingly, Michael had no broken bones—only extensive bruises and one whale of a story.
He wasn’t the first. Jonah was swallowed by “a huge fish” (Jonah 1:17), and he stayed in its belly three days before being vomited onto land (2:1, 10). Unlike Michael, who was caught by accident, Jonah was swallowed because he hated Israel’s enemies and didn’t want them to repent. When God told Jonah to preach in Nineveh, he caught a boat going the other way. So God sent a whale-sized fish to get his attention.
I appreciate why Jonah hated the Assyrians. They’d harassed Israel in the past, and within fifty years they would carry the northern tribes into captivity where they would vanish forever. Jonah was understandably offended that Assyria might be forgiven.
But Jonah was more loyal to the people of God than to the God of all people. God loved Israel’s enemies and wanted to save them. He loves our enemies and wants to save them. With the wind of the Spirit at our backs, let’s sail toward them with the good news of Jesus.
Welcome to today's encouragement are deliberate unlikely titles are reading well. The story Michael was diving for lobster when a humpback whale caught him in his mouth.
She pushed back in the darkness as the whales muscle squeezed against him. He thought he was done, but whales don't prefer lobster and 30 seconds later, the whale spit Michael into the air.
Amazingly, Michael had no broken bones only extensive bruises and one whale of a story. He wasn't the first. Jonah was swallowed by a huge fish and he stayed in his belly. Three days before being vomited onto land. Unlike Michael was caught by accident. Jonah was swallowed because he hated Israel's enemies and didn't want them to repent. When God told Jonah to preach to Nineveh he caught a boat going the other way.
So God sent a whale sized fish to get his attention.
I appreciate why Jonah hated the Assyrians they'd harassed Israel in the past and within 50 years. They'd carry the northern tribes into captivity where they'd vanished forever. Jonah was understandably offended that his Syria might be forgiven but Jonah was more loyal to the people of God, then to the God of all people. God loved Israel's enemies and wanted to save. He loves our enemies and wants to save with the wind of the Spirit at our backs. Let's sail toward them with the good news of Jesus. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional Scripture reading is from Jonah chapter 2 verses one through 10 from inside the fish. Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said in my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me from deep in the realm of the dead.
I called for help and you listened to my cry, you hurled me into the depths of the very heart of the cease and the currents swirled about me all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said I had been banished from your site yet. I will look again toward your holy temple.
The engulfing waters threatened me the deep surrounded me seaweed was wrapped around my head to the roots of the mountains I sank down the earth beneath hard me and forever, but you Lord my God brought my life up from the pit.
When my life was ebbing away I remembered you, Lord, my prayer rose to you to your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them with shouts of grateful praise will sacrifice to you what I have vowed I will make good.
I will say salvation comes from the Lord and the Lord commanded the fish vomited. Jonah onto dry land. Let's pray Lord Jesus please show us how to love our enemies as you love them. Thank you Lord it's in your name we pray. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread ministries