On August 11, Pastor Katy preaches on the story of Jonah and the Big Fish found in the Book of Jonah.
It was one of my favorites growing up! Who doesn’t love the idea of being swallowed up by whale for three whole days, and then being spit onto dry land? I always thought it was such a fun and exotic story, but it’s easy to become so distracted by the whale that we miss the actual story.
First of all, Scripture says it’s a big fish, not a whale that swallows Jonah, which might even be more impressive. When we look around the big fish (or inside it) and take a second look at Jonah, what might strike us is that we’re looking straight into a mirror. Jonah doesn’t run from God strictly out of fear, but mainly because he doesn’t like the people God wants him to warn. Jonah doesn’t want the people of Ninevah to be spared, and he’s angry that God wants him to be the one to do it.
We all have our occasional toddler moments when we are called to do something we’d really rather not, but not all of us are necessarily redirected by being swallowed by marine life. The other piece of this story that we often miss is the window into the heart of God, who goes to extreme measures to offer mercy for both Jonah and Ninevah, neither of whom deserve it.