Sunday, February 12, 2012
The Big One That Got Away
THE BIG ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Based on Jonah 1:17-2:10
Let me tell you about a man that got away. It’s quite a bragging story, in so much that it proves God’s power over creatures of the land and the sea. One day there was born a really Big fish. And by really big fish, I mean he was bigger than any baby fish that anyone had ever seen. Now this fish eats everything in sight, and when it grows up enough to play with it’s playmates, they start to make fun of the poor fish. They pick on him and call him names like “fatty”, “double whale” and many other cruel names that we won’t mention here. And when he went to the school of fish, it didn’t get any better. Even the teachers picked on him, because he had been picked on for so long, he had become so timid that he didn’t even participate in class. He tries each year to make friends, but it is always the same ole thing. Finally he just gives up and quits school, even though he had made it to the fish equivalent of high school.
And that is when his life changes forever. You see, he had nothing to do with his time, so here he is just swimming around in the ocean, feeling sorry for himself, when all of a sudden a storm starts to brew, but it doesn’t really bother him, he is so big he is not tossed about by waves or currents from the big storms, but he notices there is a boat nearby, then all of a sudden a body comes flying out of the boat and lands in the water. HOT DOG. LUNCH. (pardon the pun).
He hears the voice and recognizes it is Gods voice, saying “get over there and swallow this man up right now”. Well you can bet he didn’t waste any time swimming over to the body and swallowed him right up. He was so happy to have a meal tossed to him; he didn’t even bite or chew as the food slid all the way down. But a weird thing happened. The body he swallowed didn’t start to digest. As a matter of a fact, the poor fish thought he was losing his mind. He kept hearing things, someone talking inside of him. Now HE was getting paranoia. But God came to the fish and comforted him and listened to what the body had to say inside of him, and it went something like this:
(Read Jonah 2:2-9)
Well, just when he thinks it can’t get any worse than all this that is going on inside of him, he hears Gods’ voice once again, only this time it is very commanding. God tells him to regurgitate the body inside of him, as he has had enough of the punishment. Now this really ticks the fish off, as first he isn’t getting any nutrients from this meal he thought he had; now he has to make himself vomit. If you think it is hard to ram your finger down your throat and try to make yourself throw up, just try it with no fingers. But, the Lord commanded that it be so, and he wasn’t stupid, what God said, God got. So he worked and worked on it and finally about the time he had almost bottomed out on the land, (he wasn’t watching where he was going while he was trying to do this deed), up came this body out of his body and the poor guy landed on the dry land. So now the fish thinks he really is no good, and just a loser. He had a meal and a half, couldn’t even manage to eat it, though he tried for 3 days, then God makes him get rid of his meal, this human body that he had swallowed. But then the man named Jonah finally goes to a town called Nineveh, where God wanted him to go in the first place, (and none of this would have ever happened), and many people get saved.
Three things can be learned from this:
(1) When God tells you to do something, do it. You may not get the results that you were thinking were coming, (i.e. Sometimes the person who gets the reward isn’t always the person who put out the effort), but the fish did what God said, and Jonah didn’t and look at where it got him.
(2) Even when you think you’re so different, and maybe you really do stand out from among the crowd, you were still made by God.
(3) No one is ever a failure if you listen to God. God can use you in many mighty ways that you don’t realize or think about.