City Blessing Vancouver Church

Running to God

Written on 01/03/2020
Ps. Ivan Jonathan


INTRODUCTION >>> Chart of Jonah

Read: Jonah 1:15-2:10

When someone is in a pit, they usually cry out for a help!

When Jonah was on the boat & the storm came, he did NOT pray, the sailors prayed. Jonah prayed when he was in the belly of the fish.

In Chp. 1: 15-17, when Jonah was thrown out into the sea, the storm stopped. Then the Lord arranged/provided a great fish to swallow Jonah.
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(Image 1)
The Great Fish – according to Historia Animalium in 4th Century BC, Aristotle described the species which swallowed Jonah.

“As for the whale, the Bible doesn’t actually specify what sort of marine animal swallowed Jonah. Most people assume that it was a cachalot (also known as the sperm whale). The Hebrew phrase used in the Old Testament, ‘Gadowl Dag’, literally means ‘Great Fish’. The Greek used in the New Testament is ‘Ketos’ which simply means ‘Sea Creature’. There are at least two species of Mediterranean marine life that are known to be able to swallow a man whole. These are the cachalot/sperm whale and the white shark. Both creatures are known to prowl the Mediterranean and have been known to Mediterranean sailors since antiquity.”
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Now, based on the Jonah's prayer in Chp. 2, there was a moment between the sinking and the fish swallowing.

Jonah was struggled to survive himself after he was thrown out into the sea.
And it was expressed/described in Jonah 2:3-6.

Peaceful above the sea does not mean peaceful beneath the sea.
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> The Jonah's Prayer in the fish belly is NOT only about Repentance Prayer, but it is also telling us - what was going on with Jonah before the fish swallowed him.

Firstly, the author of this book is Jonah.

He wrote this book after all the incidents happened (starting from Chp. 1 when God called him until he argued with God in Chp. 4).

So, he wrote this book telling the readers about what happened in his life.
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In Chp. 2 - He did NOT say anything about what he did in the fish belly, he only said that he prayed from inside of the fish.

And in his prayer, he described what happened when he got sinking, >>> NOT what happened in the fish belly.

In the fish belly for 3 days & 3 nights, Jonah prayed! 

Read: Jonah 2:3-6
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So, from this Chp. 2, it show us that Jonah could have died because he was sinking beneath the sea, NOT because of the fish.

When Jonah prayed in V. 2, he said to God 'I called to you from the land of the dead' - in the original Hebrew word, it is called = Sheol/Grave/Death.

V. 5-6 = I sank beneath the waves, the water closed over me, seaweed wrapped itself around my head (tied me firmly), I sank down to the very roots of the mountains sea - imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever (no way he could survive) - (Image 2)

But in V. 7, it says = As my life was slipping away/almost died, I remembered the Lord.

>>> I think, that's when the Lord arranged/provided the fish to come, NOT only for swallowing Jonah, but for saving him from the death of sinking beneath the sea.
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1. Don't mistake God's provision for punishment

Q. How do you see the fish that God is sending to you right now?
Q. Are we only seeing the look of the fish (or) the purpose why the fish is coming to you?

The way God provides is different than the way we expect for a provision.

Most of the time, the way God provides is NOT the same with what we expect how it would be coming.
Don't mistake God's provision for punishment!

The fish that God is sending to you right now maybe looks scary / NOT what you expected, but you never know what God can do using that fish in your life > that is to save you, to protect you, to bring you to the next level, to bring you back to the right path. 
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2. Jonah experienced the spirit of brokenness

The greater the anointing, the greater the breaking!
> Desperation leads to determination.

Jonah experienced God's discipline & His mercy before he preached about God's judgment to more than 120.000 people in Nineveh.

Read: Ps. 34:18-20

The greater the anointing, the greater the breaking!
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The cry out of Jonah inside the fish is the same with the cry out of David in Psalms:

Jonah 2:2 = Ps. 30:2-3
Jonah 2:3-4 = Ps. 42:7-8
Jonah 2:5 = Ps. 69:1-2
Jonah 2:9 = Ps. 66:13-14
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3. God knows when is the best time to let you in to the pit & when to let you out from the pit.

The way you return to God is NOT necessarily has to be the same way when you ran away from God.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 says = finishing is better than starting.

You may be proud with your past (your achievement, your life experience, your pain, your gain, your performance, your journey, your best time of your life), but make sure we finish well!

On Jonah's story, starting from the boat, the ticket, the sailors, the storm, the lots, the great fish, they were all arranged by God to bring you back to the right path.

God is so good!
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This Jonah's incident inside the fish for 3 days & 3 nights is also referring to Jesus.

(Jonah & Jesus)
Read: Matt. 12:38-41

> 3 days in the belly of the fish / 3 days Jesus died in the grave
> Jonah was spitted out onto the beach / Jesus resurrected from the death
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Read: Psalms 139:1-12
Song: God You're So Good