Summary: The LORD is Sovereign, accomplishing His purposes. The LORD is over all Creation, preparing ways to second chances that we would never have naturally figured. The LORD is available to all and shows great Mercy and Compassion. Has the LORD sent you a wh

Given at Glorious King Jesus (GKJ) on Sunday, February 13, 2010.

Apex, NC

Preacher: Sterling C. Franklin, Rev.

Webcast: (case-sensitive)

Scripture Reading:

Psalm 116:1-9

1 I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications.

2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

3 The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.

4 Then I called upon the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!"

5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.

6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.

7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling.

9 I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living.

Main thought: The LORD excels in deliverance.

Opening Prayer

Main text: Jonah 2

Where we left off:

Jonah 1:17

17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Key Question: Was it a whale?

This creature could possibly have been a whale, but it could have also been another creature at the time, perhaps an even bigger fish living at the time. The term is simply 'fish' or 'sea-dwelling living-thing.' What if it were a whale? There was one story from the 19th Century about a man who was swallowed by a whale and was later spit out onto dry land:

James Bartley

(Illustration from New York World, 4/12/1896)

Quite possibly a fictional story that the sailor drummed up to get attention.

Sailor in the late 1800s, the story claims that he was sailing off the coast of Africa for whales. As he leaned overboard to harpoon the whale, he was instead swallowed. Later, he was spit up onto dry land with somewhat bleached skin and partial blindness (due to acids)


- The ship he was on wasn't listed as a whale boat.

- There were no other corroborating accounts from sailors.

Is it possible to live inside a whale?

- Likely not for long.

- Stomach chambers: The most external stomach chamber would only cause damage through regurgitated acids from the inner chamber.

- Oxygen: Whales are mammals. Their nostrils are on top of their body, so oxygen would have been taken in regularly. Even opening its mouth while above water would allow oxygen to enter internal cavities.

- Drowning: So long as the whale didn't open its mouth for too long underwater , drowning would not be an issue.

In James Bartley's case, the story is possible, though not very likely. And as it is extremely rare for a survival, I see Jonah as a miracle and thus as 'the exception' and not the norm. Some take the account to be figurative or allegorical, but I think it's worth taking Jonah at his word and trusting that the Lord literally provided a sea creature to rescue Jonah from drowning.

Now we will take a look at the thoughts of Jonah while in the whale's stomach --

Jonah 2

1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly.

2 And he said: "I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. "Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.

3 For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.

4 Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.'

5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head.

6 I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God.

7 "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.

8 "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."

10 So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Verses 1-2:

Setting: Jonah is now in the stomach of a whale, and is now praying to the LORD in a prayer of thanksgiving and remembrance.

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