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The Heart of God in the Heart of the Sea

Devotion Fifteen

April 19, 2024

The Obedient Fish

Daniel Barta

After being in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights, Jonah found himself being vomited out onto the shore by the great fish. God had hauled him down into the depths of death and in time brought him out again onto dry land.

What brough about this vomiting? Did the fish eat something that made it sick? Did Jonah hit a nerve that induced a reflex much like when on sticks a finger down the throat to produce the body's natural reaction?

We do not know the physical causes and effects, but we are told that the fish vomited after the "Lord spoke" to it (Jon 2:10).

God commanded the fish. He instructed the fish and the fish obeyed. The fish went and obeyed his master. Even the fish moving in the bottom of the sea find their direction from the God who created them.

God's Voice Is Heard and Obeyed by His Creation.

Creation does what God instructs it to do. The flowers stretching toward the sun, soaking in the warm rays of light, budding and pollinating; the deer gracefully leaping through a meadow of tall grass; the bolt of lightning stretching across the sky; the hurricane winds slamming into the ocean front vacation spot; the ant community organizing a line to steal away with the crumbs your three year old left under her chair at the dinner table - In each instance, creation receives and obeys God's direction.

And God said... and it was so. - Ge 1:11, 14-15, 24, 29-31

God speaks and the stars twinkle. God speaks and the clouds form and give rain. God speaks and fish vomit. God speaks and the sun stands still. God speaks and the graves give back their dead. God speaks and diseases spread. God speaks and frogs, blights, and darkness take over a kingdom.

Creation submits to the kingship of God Almighty.

Be Like the Fish Not Like Jonah

Unlike the fish, Jonah abandoned the task assigned to him by God. The word of the LORD came to Jonah, but Jonah rejected it. He ran in the opposite direction. He fled. He did not submit.

Sadly, men and women have stood out among God's creation as the rebels. He created us with the capacity to reject Him, to disobey Him, and to defy Him. Since Adam, this has become our default position.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:7-8 (ESV)

God's good and perfect word comes to us. He gives us wise direction. He commands us in the way we should go. Yet, we stubbornly refuse. We shake our fist, stiffen our necks, and harden our hearts.

Let the story of Jonah serve as a warning. Do not rebel against God's Word. Stop running. Listen. Submit your lifestyle to the design and order and instruction of God. Be like the fish not like Jonah.

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