As we get ready to pray through the book of Jonah, I want to address one important issue. Many people believe this book is like a fairy tail. They don’t think it’s believable. People don’t get eaten by fish, and if they do, they don’t live to tell about it. Or do they?
In February, 1891. the whaling ship Star of the East was in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands, and the lookout sighted a large sperm whale three miles away. Two boats were lowered and in a short time one of the harpooners was enabled to spear the creature. The second boat also attacked the whale, but was then upset by a lash of its tail, so that its crew fell into the sea. One of them was drowned, but the other, James Bartley, simply disappeared without trace. After the whale was killed, the crew set to work with axes and spades, removing the blubber. “They worked all day and part of the night. The next day they attached some tackle to the stomach, which was hoisted on deck. The sailors were startled by something in it which gave spasmodic signs of life, and inside was found the missing sailor, doubled up and unconscious. He was laid on the deck and treated to a bath of sea water which soon revived him. At the end of the third week he had entirely recovered from the shock and resumed his duties… His face, neck and hands were bleached to a deadly whiteness and took on the appearance of parchment. Hartley affirms that he would probably have lived inside his house of flesh until he starved, for he lost his senses through fright and not through lack of air .
Father, give me Your heart. When I see the great cities of the world and the wickedness of mankind, let me be moved with compassion. When I hear Your call to go, I desire to run in obedience. Give me a willing and compassionate spirit.
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
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