In a 1924 trial of two young men named Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, the testimony of one witness was particularly damaging for the defendants. In fact, it was so damaging that their Defense Attorney, the famous Clarence Darrow responded by saying: “Why, a person could as easily believe this man’s testimony as he could believe that the whale swallowed Jonah.”
It is no surprise that the story of Jonah has been ridiculed by unbelievers and scoffers alike throughout the years. It is considered to be the fictional account of a delusional man who claims to have lived inside of a whale but, the Bible does not present it this way. It does not present it as fiction. It presents Jonah’s story as if it actually happened.
For example, while we do not know what type of fish it was that swallowed Jonah, it is known that the mouth of a sperm whale is 20 feet long, 15 feet high, and 9 feed wide which is larger than the size of most rooms in the average house. It is large enough to swallow a man without doing him any harm. The stomach of the sperm whale also contains air (as the whale itself uses air to breathe) and the gastric juices of its stomach would not digest living matter; otherwise they would digest the walls of the creature’s own stomach.
All of this is to say that a whale or some other type of fish could have swallowed Jonah. There is nothing in nature that suggests that it could not have happened. There is no reason to ridicule it or poke fun, and that is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church. We are going to look at Jonah 2 and study the prayer that Jonah gives from inside the fish. There Jonah says:
I called out of my distress to the Lord,
And He answered me.
I cried for help from the depth of Sheol;
You heard my voice...
...Salvation is from the Lord (verses 1, 9).
If you would like to study the prayer of a man trapped inside of a fish, come join us this Sunday morning at 9:30. If you would like to learn what Jonah was thinking about while he was in the middle of the ocean, that is what we will be talking about at 46024 Riverside Drive in Chilliwack. Bring your Bibles and be prepared to learn more about this fascinating true story. – Jeremy Cagle