Jonah And The Whale
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and to warn the people that their wickedness was so great, He was going to destroy them...
Is this story about Judgement? No. It is about Mercy and how a Loving God engineered it for a people that didn't even know Him.
It is about learning a little of the Modus Operandi of an Awesome God engineering Mercy out of Justice with an opponent nipping at His Heels and looking over His shoulder to make sure He dots every i and crosses every t; an opponent just waiting to accuse Him of something... anything.
Why would God engineer such a scenerio? Because The True Narrative can only be extracted under cross-examination by an opponent. Because validity of the composition requires the seal of an opponent of the narrative; "I have searched it and could find no errors."
Ready for an adventure?
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the people. Jonah pouted with God and ran. Why? It is easy to pray for someone who is good to you. It is not very easy to pray for someone who has hurt you, caused you grief or made your life miserable.
God didn't pick someone who loved Nineveh, He picked someone who had been hurt by Nineveh. God is giving the enemy an open door to set up the next move...Jonah is going to sea.
God is playing hide and seek with Jonah with the sailors of the boat looking on. They are witnesses of the events about to unfold.
A fierce storm blows up and the sailors are talking amongst themselves... "One of the gods are mad; but which one and why?" The sailors are superstitious. Superstitious means aware of the supernatural, but not comprehending The True Narrative.
They find Jonah and he tells them his story. The Hebrew God Jehovah told him to go to Nineveh and he doesn't want to go. If they will throw him overboard, the storm will cease as God is mad at him, not them. Jonah is still pouting... [and God is not mad at Jonah; God loves Jonah and understands Jonah's feelings, but He is using Jonah to teach some very awesome lessons to future generations-when the situation seems hopeless, God is building something...]
The sailors reluctantly throw Jonah overboard.
Where did that whale come from? God doesn't play parlor tricks. He will never try to impress me. I am His creation, He is not mine. He is not interested in teaching me fables or get on my good side and he doesn't ever "try this, try that." He has me in class.
In seances, demons move tables and play all sorts of parlor tricks to ooh and awe the crowd. They live for the moment. Pride arrogance and the strut, that is what they live for. So we don't understand when Scripture says, " In the beginning [of all things] was the Word..." Logos-Living Word-Context of the Narrative-Logic. Everything He does has a purpose. He is building to the Integrated Whole. Here He is using the enemy to create the build to give meaning to His presentation.
That whale was a baleen whale following the storm and scooping up crustations on the surface. The timing of the event was an integral part of the event. That whale wasn't looking for Jonah; Jonah was the last thing it wanted to [and probably ever would] scoop up. Jonah is rolling around in the whale's air cavity. Jonah is going to make that whale very sick...
The whale goes deep. How deep? Maybe 1000 feet. At 44 psi per 100 feet, that's 440 psi, Jonah's eardrums burst. They are bleeding. The whale's enzymes are beginning to bleach Jonah's skin, ghost white. Jonah has cuts and bruises and bites from the little things in there with him. Jonah has swallowed so much of the sea water and the whale's digestive juices, he can't stop vomiting. He is probably wrapped in seaweed...
In the meantime, those sailors deter and go to Nineveh. Boy, have they got a sailors' tale !
So, 72 hours later when that whale is so sick, it beaches itself to get Jonah out of there and Jonah starts running to Nineveh to do what God called him to do, a whole lot has changed; Jonah is white as a ghost not only from the enzymes, he is deathly sick. Hiis ears are streaming blood, he has bruises, cuts and bites all over him; he is probably still wrapped in seaweed. He looks as someone who has been raised from the dead.
Nineveh now knows who Jonah is and why he is there.
When the king of Nineveh says, "Perhaps if we repent" , he didn't say, "Let's call on Ra, Dagon, Baal or some other demigod...The Hebrew God had done made an open show of them. He went into their turf and darken the sky and roughed up the sea to get His prophet.
Why is the Lord interested "let's pretend" demigods or getting into someone else's make believe narrative? He's not. He is interested in us. He starts where we are at and begins the build. Before that king could say, "Perhaps if we repent...", he had to first say, "There is no god like this God..."
If Jonah had went at the first, before the build, Nineveh would have been destroyed. Israel only had one god, no statues, ect. so their god was considered inferior to all the nations around them with several gods along with statues galore. They would have called on a demigod and lights out. But now, after the build, the presentation has real meaning and Nineveh falls on their face to ask for a reprieve. It was granted for 75 years.
So was God angry with Jonah for not going at the first. [It was and is] Just the opposite. The Lord set up the chess board so the enemy would deter Jonah to make the build, before he made the presentation. God is not "mad" at us when we stumble. He is just making the build to give His presentation meaning and purpose. Then He will pick us up, clean us off and get us ready for the next class.
God engineered Mercy out of Justice using the most unlikely of candidates...God is not looking for a reason to hurt you. He's engineering ways to help you.
I believe Jonah died in Nineveh. His work was over and God brought his child home. Jonah's rewards were waiting on him.
I hope you like my interpretation of Scripture... Have a great day!