As we look into the second chapter of Jonah in the belly of the great fish, we must not disconnect the context from 1.17, where we learned that our man Jonah was swallowed up by the great fish that The Lord had prepared for him. The Hebrew word for swallowed here means, “Covered, destroyed, devoured, eaten up, be at end, spent up.” When you run from the will of God, you will feel spent up, at your wits end….devoured. When a child of God runs away from the will or work of The Lord, The Lord will prepare something to swallow them up until, like Jonah, they come to that place in their heart of repentance and confession of sin.
It is important to keep in mind that the whale wasn’t sent by The Lord to devour Jonah, it was sent by The Lord to keep him from drowning. The whale was both an instrument of chastening, as well as a vehicle to get Jonah to the place where God wanted Him to be all along, on the shores of Nineveh, preaching His word to the Gentiles.
When David tried to cover up his sin with Bathsheba, instead of running to The Lord and confessing his sin, he was circumstantially “in the belly of the whale”, so to speak for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 years. He writes about this horrible condition in Psalm 32. He should have repented immediately. But he did the cover up thing and was swallowed up emotionally, physically, mentally, and above all spiritually. In this Psalm, David writes about how The Lord prefers to guide us, and what we must guard against.
Psa 32.8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
In other words, beloved, Jesus would say to you and me today, do not be like Jonah and David, Trust Me…listen to Me…..you can void a lot of distress and despair….Don’t be stubborn, My child.