Some baleen whales are up to 100 feet long and 40 feet around weighing in at 300,000 pounds. A Mediterranean fish was recently caught and exhibited in Beirut which had a head that weighed 6 tons. A man standing on the lower jaw could not reach the upper jaw, the opening being about 8 feet across. The April 4, 1896 Literary Digest gave a story of a Mediterranean whale that demolished the harpoon boat. Two men were lost. One was found alive in the whale’s belly a day and a half after it was killed. James Bartley lived with no after effects except his skin was tanned by the gastric juices. A pure fish was caught off the Florida coast that weighed 30,000 pounds. It was 45 feet long and 8 feet thick. It had a 1500 pound fish in its stomach besides a large octopus. A man could easily stand up in its stomach. It could have swallowed 10 men. (Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible; Matthew 13:41; note S)
Jesus confirmed the story of Jonah and the whale then said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 13:40). It happened just as He said for a sign to the world that God has power over life and death. So, if you are a child of God there is nothing to worry about. The God of promise will keep and hold you up.
Knowing that Jonah was kept alive in the belly of a whale at the bottom of the sea is confirmation that God can do anything and that He will rescue you. Of course you have to understand that Jonah repented and went on to do God’s will. There are many people who, like Jonah, get into trouble because they disobey God. But when they repent they are elevated to do God’s will. Yes, God can turn death into life simply by calling upon Him. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
The story is told of an atheist who died after willing his farm to the devil. This gave the court cause for some head scratching, but after several months of deliberation it handed down the following decision: “It is decided that the best way to carry out the wish of the deceased is to allow the farm to grow weeds, the soil to erode, and the house and barn to rot. In our opinion, the best way to leave something to the devil is to do nothing.” Therein is a truth.
Few people would will their possessions to the devil, but many will disobey God and postpone the great decisions of life which gives everything over to him. Wasted years amount to having no accomplishments. Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons of school is the challenge to meet a goal within a deadline. We may forget history and science but hopefully we will remember how to make those deadlines work for us throughout life. For without a goal or a vision or a purpose we lack determination. So, look up, be determined, for good things will come to you.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.