Summary: The link between Jonah and Israel
Introduction: Of the Books of the Bible that the critics like to criticize, this is one of their favorites. One such critic asked a Bible believer if he really believed this part of the Bible too. The man answered “why, of course!” “Do you understand all that went on in the whale’s belly?” “No,” answered the Bible believer, “but when I die and go to heaven, I’ll ask old Jonah about it.” “Suppose he is not in heaven?” ask the critic. “Then you ask him when you die.”
This book has been their happy hunting ground in their efforts to discredit God. This reminds me of the illustration I read some time back. This group of scientists decided they did not need the Lord and more since they had created life in the laboratory. They went before the Lord and told Him so. They challenged the Lord to a test. They told Him that they could make man out of dirt also. So they got ready to do so. They picked up some dirt when the Lord told them to get their own dirt.
Men have preached from the pulpit fiction in regards to this book of the Bible. They have taught it from the lecture circuit in the classrooms and wrote about in their “scientific journals”. They think we are stupid for believing that a great fish or a whale could swallow up a man. But some try to say it is possible that a whale could swallow a man but Jonah could not survived the length of time that the Bible says. They point to the fact of the oxygen supply that is necessary for human life would have been long exhausted by the time the three days were up. If by some miracle that the oxygen supply did hold out, then they point to the fact that the gastric juices in the whale’s belly would started to digest Jonah long time before the three days and three nights were done.
The chief chemist of the Erie Railroad, W. B. Landon wrote a series of articles in a Christian magazine on the subject of “Chemistry and the Bible”. One of his articles tackled this passage. The following is an excerpt from that article.
“The earth is composed of about sixty-nine elements, such as aluminum, arsenic, bromine, calcium, carbon, chlorine, copper, gold, hydrogen, iron, lead, magnesium, mercury, nickel, oxygen, silicon, sodium, sulfur, tin, etc., etc.”
“Now, a God, who prepared an earth containing such an array of elements for man to make up into thousands of things to supply every need and whim, would not be greatly handicapped in using some of the carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium, to make a great fish to swallow Jonah; especially so, when he needed to be swallowed.”
“What is this terrible juice called gastric juice, which has probably kept a good many from believing the Jonah fish story?…Let’s suppose the gastric juice in the large fish prepared by God could have digested Jonah, would it have been any harder for God to change his juice to a harmless fluid for a man to change water that can be taken by the cupfuls to a harmful fluid, hydrogen peroxide, than can only be taken by the spoonful? The only difference between water and hydrogen peroxide is that the latter has only one more molecule of oxygen; consequently, if the gastric juice was liable to digest Jonah, God could certainly do as well as well as man in adding or taking away a few molecules of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, etc., to have the solution as harmless as water…”
“We should be careful that we do not accept some of the trash taught and preached, as we are liable to be swallowed up by something worse than a large fish, which God has prepared for those who do not believe His Word.”
When you read the Book of Jonah, which has only four short chapters, you can find some running in it. Chapter one I see Jonah running from God. In chapter two I see Jonah running to God. In Chapter three I see Jonah running for God. Chapter four I see Jonah running ahead of God.
There is a great miracle in this book than the miracle of Jonah itself. It is found in this: Jonah, the disobedient prophet, is a type of the disobedient nation of Israel. As we look at this book, bear in mind some of the lessons seen in this book and how they affect us.
I. JONAH WAS COMMISIONED TO GO TO A GENTILE CITY. THE NATION OF ISRAEL WAS COMMISSIONED TO GO TO THE GENTILE WORLD.
Before the flood in Noah’s day, the sin of denial of divine authority produced the dissolving of all moral and social bonds. Genesis 6:5