“Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (v. 17)
It looks as if Jonah had a “whale” of a prOBlem! First let us clear the air about something; Men say that a whale’s throat is not big enough to swallow a man, but my God is big enough to make it happen! Furthermore, if anyone takes issue with this, let him take issue with Christ, who said “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Mt 12:40). Even Jesus says it was a whale! Whether it was a whale, or simply a large fish, is not the key issue here, it is actually irrelevant to the story, but the Truth must always prevail for Truth’s sake.
More importantly though, we need to keep one thought in mind as we read through these pages, and that is that Jonah had a rotten attitude all the way through, and God used him anyhow! This is somewhat amazing to me. It tells me there is still hope for me! There is also a sign here for us, a picture of Christ’s death and resurrection, which He Himself alludes to in the aforementioned verse.
This is a beautiful picture of a resurrected Savior coming to a lost and dying world, but the type stops there! Jonah’s attitude was horrific! He did not rejoice when Nineveh repented, but wanted to see God’s wrath spewed upon them! He complained all the while about going; about the heat, and then about the gourd! The amazing thing is that God used him in spite of his attitude! We hear that God will not use a dirty vessel, but He did it here! God can use ANY vessel to promote His kingdom and glorify His name. I do not recommend, nor condone backsliding, it just isn’t healthy spiritually or physically, but if and when you do, God can still use you for His glory! Don’t put yourself on the shelf if you have fallen under a bad attitude, and think that God can no longer use you. He can use anyone that will go. Yes, someone has said “God’s grace is greater than all my sin” and I believe it is; another has said “God will not go against our will, but He’ll sure make us willing to go!” and that is what happened with Jonah.
Don’t wait until God makes you willing, go now, and save yourself a multitude of troubles.