Amongst all the people I’ve read about in the Bible, I think one of the people I’d really like to meet is Jonah because he strikes me as a regular guy. When I think of some other prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah, I get the sense that they were very devout men of God who asked God, “How high?” when he told them to jump. Not Jonah.

When Jonah was told, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me,” Jonah promptly did something completely different (Jonah 1:2 NIV). 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” (Jonah 1:3 NIV).

I don’t admire Jonah because he didn’t do what God told him to do. As I’ve said, I see Jonah as a regular guy. I can relate to Jonah because I’ve messed up in my life. I know there have been times when I didn’t do what I was supposed to, and it got me into trouble. When Jonah’s ship was being tossed back and forth in the storm God sent, I liked Jonah’s straightforward approach to solving the problem.

“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you” (emphasis added).

Jonah 1:12 (NIV)

We go through lots of trials and tribulations in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I think many of the ones I’ve gone through have been my fault. I’ve heard it said that when we don’t pass a trial, we will have to go through it again until we do pass it. Again, I don’t know about you, but admitting that we’re to blame seems like a pivotal step in getting through trials so we don’t have to go through them repeatedly. It’s certainly not God’s fault that we’re going through the same thing again, is it?

After Jonah is thrown into the sea, he’s swallowed by a giant fish. We’re told this immediately in Jonah 1:17.

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 1:17 (NIV)

The first thing Jonah does once inside the fish is pray.

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.

Jonah 2:1 (NIV)

The rest of Jonah 2 is Jonah’s prayer. It also accounts for what happened to Jonah after he was tossed into the sea. If you’re unfamiliar with this prayer, I invite you to read it here (Jonah 2:2-9).

Jonah 2:1 reminds us that no matter how far we’ve sunk. No matter how far we may think that we’ve gone away from God, we can pray to God, and he will deliver us. Maybe you’re in the belly of a fish right now, or perhaps you’re still sinking. No matter the circumstance, God is available to hear your prayer and deliver you, like Jonah, onto dry land.

And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Jonah 2:10 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.