Many skeptics claim that the prophet Jonah could not have been swallowed by a whale. The whole story, they think, was impossible. But was it? Perhaps an incident that happened recently will give them a reason to believe.
Wildlife photographer and experienced diver, Rainer Schimpf was swimming off the coast of Port Elizabeth Harbour, South Africa and filming a sardine run when suddenly everything turned dark. He felt pressure on his hip and he knew immediately what had happened. He had been snatched up into the mouth of a mammoth Bryde’s whale. Bryde’s whales measure 45 to 55 feet long and can weigh up to 30 tons. A Bryde’s whale simply opens its mouth to feed, catching up anything in its path. That’s what happened to Schimpf.
Schimpf held his breath, hoping the whale would not dive deeper and release him into the depths of the ocean. After a couple of seconds, the whale released the clench of its jaws on Schimpf and he was washed out and rose to the surface of the water. On a nearby boat were Schimpf’s wife and another photographer who filmed the entire event. In an interview shortly after, Schimpf commented: “I was just holding myself and bracing myself and calming myself down not to be panicked, and it worked out. He [the whale] spat me out and everybody’s happy.” Schimpf then added, “I showed (the photo) to my son, and he was impressed. And you’ll never guess what his name is — Jonas.”
A swimmer snatched by a whale. Then spat out by the whale. He lives to tell the story. Sound familiar?
Watch it as it happened and listen to the man’s testimony. There’s an interesting “whisper” of a biblical connection at the end.
Read the Story of Jonah: Jonah Overview and Outline
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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