Tag: #swallowedup

Swallowed Up

Swallowed Up

Swallowed Up

“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights…Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly.” (Jonah 1:17, 2:1 KJV)

This is where I get to share my imagination. This great fish that the Lord had prepared for Jonah was not for digestion but ingestion. Let’s look at the definitions of these two words. Digestion means the process of breaking down food, that can be used for the body.  Ingestion means to take into the body by swallowing. The ingestion or swallowing of Jonah was meant to be a kind of holding cell for our prophet.

Keep in mind, that this fish was prepared with a special function to protect the human life it would house inside. It would need an airtight seal, necessary oxygen for breathing, and a pressurized container suitable for the depths below. Finally, for its assigned purpose the great fish would not need food, as its nonworking digestive track was made inoperable.

Only fully gripped by my own imagination do I attempt to understand the phrase “swallowed up.” Like a big vitamin and a gentle swallowing motion, Jonah was pushed down the fish’s throat as he passed through the esophagus, a simple tube with a muscular wall leading into the stomach. As he slides down a slippery slope toward a nonworking, expandable muscular stomach wall into a clear, jelly like lining that was both longer and wider than he was. Lying there, a still passed-out Jonah would remain. Is anybody as intrigued by the thought of where Jonah was the way I am? An alive Jonah was in the belly of a fish, no doubt a miracle of God’s mercy to a disobedient prophet.

The great fish swished and gracefully glided, descending into a chilly abyss of underwater mountains and thickets of coral, passing by vividly colored fish, extinct volcanoes with piles of lava, and sea stars on the broken ocean floor. It watched massive loosening rocks tumble down from above like an avalanche as it passed by, going deeper into the ocean’s black hole and coming to rest in a large underwater lair.

At some point Jonah opens his eyes to complete darkness. Gagging and coughing as the smell of rotten fish came across his nose. Thoughts began to race across his mind as they became clearer, he remembered being thrown into the ocean and a fish bigger than he had ever seen. In his mind, he said, “it was attacking me, and I was fighting to get away.”  There was that stench of rotten fish again, as fear gripped him, as he realized he didn’t get away. Could it be? O Lord my God, is it even possible? Amen

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.