"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40).

The word whale is synonymous with a large size or one that is impressive especially in size (a whale of a difference or a whale of a good time). In terms of an adjective it can describe one who is or something that is whale like. It can be a (n) large man-made snow mound (whale-shaped piles.

Etymological Note: So-called because of their large, round shape and perhaps influenced by “whale” meaning “a large or significant example of a particular thing,” as in “I have a whale of a headache.”

There is a very authentic story of Jonah in the Bible. In all the historical records of any people there are none that are superior to the Books of Kings, which records were kept by the Hebrew people under the direction of God’s Spirit. And the recent advancement of archaeological learning has established the authenticity of these Scriptures. In 2nd Kings chapter 14 there is an historical reference to the prophet Jonah that authenticates his character and gives him an established background. The father of Jonah is named, thus giving his genealogy. The place of his residence is told. We also learn the name of the king who ruled when Jonah was alive.

As we observe the book of Jonah, it seems that Jonah was in a whale of a mess. He had been instructed by God to go to Nineveh and share with the people giving the people an opportunity to repent. For whatever reason, Jonah was disobedient causing consequences that he was not prepared for. No doubt if Jonah had known that he was going to have an experience like he did, he would never have decided to disobey God. In his disobedience, Jonah decided to go in the opposite direction of God’s instruction. Boarding a ship, going out to sea and causing trouble for the mariners on board, he asked to be casted overboard. God prepared a great fish or whale to swallow him. But we cannot say whether God prepared this fish in the natural order of generation and birth or whether it was a special creature. He stayed in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights. What a whale of a mess Jonah to find himself in. We are told that Jonah prayed, received God’s forgiveness and was delivered out of this whale of a mess that he found himself in. He accepted the task that was assigned to him in Nineveh.

Although you maybe over whelmed by the whale of a mess that surrounds you, plagued with trouble and defeat, and filled with anxiety and desperation, this is no reason for you to give up and stop living. Where there is life there is hope. Be encouraged to know that you can be forgiven, and delivered. In life, there are possibilities of second chances and sometimes third chances.

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