We are at the end of the Giving Thanks series as we pick it up in Jonah chapter two, beginning in verse one. Jonah is now inside the belly of the whale. Imagine for a moment what that smelled like. I imagine it’s kind of like Pinocchio. Do you remember the big whale Monstro? That swallowed Geppetto and Pinocchio, and maybe the little Cleo, the fish and the little cat. Remember how it was almost as like there was like a sea inside the fish, filled with little tiny fish? It’s crazy. What was it like inside the belly of that whale? We can only imagine. But this is how Jonah responds.
Hi, I’m Erica. Hope you brought your Dramamine because we are headed back to the story of Jonah on the Bible for busy people. Today we are smack D in the middle of a series called Give Thanks As Your Heart and My Heart Turns toward the Thanksgiving season, I don’t know about you, but when things go well, when you’ve got something to be excited about, it kind of rolls off your tongue.
Thank you, Lord. I love to say, praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. I mean, even recently, my daughter is a music teacher and she gained an eighth student and I’m like, thank you, Lord. It just rolls off when everything’s going great. And then when it’s something pretty miraculous, like when my mom leaves the hospital after over 70 days of battling covid, I might say, praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
There are so many ways to give thanks. Sometimes, it’s a heartful of [00:01:00] gratitude that God can see. There are so many different ways. It’s harder to give thanks when you find yourself in a difficult situation, or in circumstances that you wouldn’t have chosen. Like say, you’ve been swallowed by a whale. That’s what happened to our pal Jonah the last time you and I met. Here’s the backstory, in case you missed our time, last time.
Jonah was a prophet, God’s mailman. That’s what the veggie tales say, and I love that so much. So, he was a mailman and he did not want to deliver the message that God had given him. He was running away from God. God wanted to show mercy to the mean people, the Ninevites. Jonah was like, I don’t wanna send that message. I’m not a fan of the Ninevites. So, he ran. He got on this ship and the ship was thrown into a violent storm because it was God saying, Jonah, I want you to do a 180. And so, the poor sailors [00:02:00] had to throw Jonah into the sea so that the storm would stop. But God provided for Jonah, even in the midst of the wild waves and the crazy circumstances, he sent a great fish to swallow him. That fish was a huge gift of mercy. Grace. A second chance. And so, we’re gonna pick it up today in Jonah chapter two, beginning in verse one. Jonah is now inside the belly of the whale. Imagine for a moment what that smelled like. I imagine it’s kind of like Pinocchio. Do you remember the big whale Monstro? That swallowed Geppetto and Pinocchio, and maybe the little Cleo, the fish and the little. What was that cat’s name? Felix, maybe. I don’t remember. Remember how it was almost as like there was like a sea inside the fish, filled with little tiny fish? It’s crazy. What was it like inside the belly of that whale? We can only [00:03:00] imagine. But this is how Jonah responds.
Jonah chapter two, verse one. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God, from inside the fish. He said, I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord you heard me. You threw me into the ocean depths and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me. I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. Then I said, oh Lord, you have driven me from your presence. Yet, I will look once more towards your holy temple. I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you Oh [00:04:00] Lord, my God snatched me from the jaws of death as my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy temple. Those who worship false Gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise. And I will fulfill all my vows, for my salvation comes from the Lord alone. Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach. The mission had begun to be accomplished.
Jonah had not yet set foot in Nineveh, but he turned his heart back to the Lord, and that was the beginning of mission accomplished. Maybe that’s you today. Maybe you have run far from God in your heart. You don’t have to get on a boat to run [00:05:00] away from God. Sometimes it’s in our thoughts. We stray away. And maybe today is the day where you turn your heart back to God, and it’s back on mission with you just like it was for Jonah.
May I pray for you really quick if that’s you, or even if it’s you, you’re saying, I just want a fresh start today. I’m in the middle of a whale of a situation and I need prayer because it is stinky in here, and I wanna give thanks in the middle of it, but it’s hard. Let me pray for you too.
Father, my friend and I, we just come to you in the name of Jesus. Lord, if someone is feeling far from God, I pray that you would draw them extra close to you today. Remind them of your great mercy and grace through the story of Jonah. Lord, thank you that you don’t give up on us. You are the God of the second chance and the millionth chance. And for my friend who needs a fresh start today, Lord, who wants to start a new page in the notebook of [00:06:00] life and say, Lord, I am choosing to give you thanks in this situation. Lord, would you put gratitude in my friend’s heart right now? Would you give them fresh strength to deal with this situation? Would you Lord, lift their arms up and just let them know that you are fighting for them in this situation. God, thank you for being merciful. Thank you for being the God of the second and the millionth chance. Thank you for giving us a fresh start. We just give you thanks for being who you are, our provider, our mercy giver, and our father. We worship you like Jonah did in the midst of our situation, in the middle of the whale of what we’re dealing. We praise you in Jesus name, amen. All right, until next time, remember, you are really loved.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at OnPurposely.com.