Out of the Belly of Hell (Jonah 1-2)

“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
    and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
    and you heard my voice. Jonah 2:2

I trust you had a wonderful weekend and I trust you are enjoying Memorial Day (the day we in the USA pause and remember those who gave their lives for our freedom).

This day we begin a two day study of the book of Jonah.  On the first day we see his journey downward and on the second we will see the ups and downs of his journey.

Unlike the men and women who give their lives for others (we remember this memorial day) Jonah was a guy who did not want to give himself for others, outside of his Jewish family.  Jonah was a prophet of God who became a reluctant preacher.  God said to this prophet; Jonah, unless you go to the people of Nineveh they are going to go to Hell.  Jonah’s response was; let them go to Hell.

The prejudice in his heart led to his personal downward turn.  Over and over in chapter 1, Jonah is seen as going down.

  • He fled from God-the presence of His conviction.
  • He hide on board a ship heading away from God’s will for his life.
  • He slept while others were putting their lives on the line.
  • He was cast in the sea.  He would rather die than share the message of God with his nations enemies.
  • He was swallowed up by a fish.  Inside this fish he would get a taste of what it would be like to go down into the belly of Hell.

This tragic scene leads Jonah to change his mind:

But I with the voice of thanksgiving
    will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
    Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Yes, he does change his mind and he does preach, but he does not have a heart change!  Jonah is not a good model to follow.  However, there was another who would come and would spend time in the belly of Hell for others.  His name is Jesus

Matthew 12:40
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the
Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
On this Memorial Day, I pray the following for you:
1.  God would show you all that Jesus did for you.
2. God would lead you, if you have not, to receive Him as Lord and Savior.
3. God would lead you to praise, honor, and obey Him by serving others in His name.

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