Jonah's story - 16 August 2018

Neville Turley

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”  Proverbs 30:5 (NIV)

Most people have no trouble believing the Jonah story up to the point where he disappears beneath the waves. After all water covers 71% of planet earth.

Since time immemorial countless people have drowned, others have been killed by predators lurking in the water. Few survive to tell the tale of being rescued from a life-threatening ordeal.

Jonah did, and what a story he had to tell. Having been swallowed live by a fish, he was in its belly for three days and nights yet did not die. He had praised God for his salvation and promised to serve him. Thereupon the Lord ordered the fish to spew Jonah up on the beach and it had.

The question every believer must ask is whether they believe Jonah's account.

The Jews certainly did, and still do. The Day of Atonement is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It was the one day in the year when the High Priest went behind the veil into the Most Holy Place with the blood of the sacrifice and sprinkled it on, and in front of, the Covenant Box to atone for the sins of the people of Israel (Leviticus 16)

The Day of Atonement is observed each year on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri) of the Jewish calendar (18-19 September in 2018). On the Day of Atonement, the complete book of Jonah is publicly read in every synagogue throughout the world.

Bible-believing Christians accept that all Scripture is inspired by God and leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. The Book of Jonah is an integral part of Holy Scripture revealed to us, by the grace of God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ believed the book of Jonah, He used it to point out to the people of his day, the evil of their ways. (Matthew 12:31-41)

Some people find the story of Jonah a stumbling block to their faith. It shouldn't be, it is a stepping stone proving God's sovereignty over his whole creation, from the fish in the sea to you and me.

Prayer: Heavenly Father may the Holy Spirit inspire us to embrace the truth of the Bible with eyes of faith for Jesus sake.  Amen

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