Jonah 2:2, “And he said: “I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice”
It’s tough to be in a situation that takes away your freedom and limits you to what you can and cannot do. Some we bring upon ourselves and some find us. Regardless of their origination, the results are still the same, expect limitations.
Jonah decided to disobey God by going the opposite direction from what the Lord had instructed him. Upon deciding to go to Tarshis, later we find that the Lord sent a storm in the sea and later he was thrown into the sea. Some could say the Lord was trying to kill him, I doubt it, I see that God trying to show Him who is God. The sea should have killed him but listen to this Jonah 1:17, “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights”. What a way to humble a man of God, being swallowed by a fish. His freedom taken away, his pride crushed, his sense of ability limited and all he is left with is to focus on the One he was running away from. He was running away because he thought he had it together, with situation being unbearable, he called on God. Why did he not call on God when the storm was fears, or when they threw him into sea or the first or second day in the belly of the fish? Because man has a tendency of still trying to lead and fix their lives until they come to a dead end then they remember the Lord. Jonah says, “I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction”, I thank the Lord because my afflictions allow me to get closer as I call on Him. Now Jonah did cry in the midst of yuck (belly of a fish) and God heard him and out of the belly of the fish did Jonah come forth. Vs 4, “Then I said, “I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’”
Jonah after all these went to Nineveh to fulfill his assignment. He believed God to bring Him out of a situation and now He was going to be an ambassador for the Lord. John 7:38, “…as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” His belly did not have the right water till he found himself in another belly, a belly of death yet preserved. The reason he did not want to go to Nineveh was because though he was going to preach future punishment, he knew if the people repented, God would pardon their sins. He did not want forgiveness for the people of Nineveh until he also found himself in a place where he messed up and needed a pardon for himself. He cried to the Lord to be pardoned.
I don’t know about you but my living water of ministry, encouragements, teaching, preaching came about after having an experience in the belly of some type of fish. The experience taught me new and valuable lessons I could never learn in a classroom. I can now preach that God pardons people’s sins because mine has been pardoned. Out of my life living water flow because He flows in and through me. So if you are in the belly of some fish right this moment, cry to Him for deliverance, let Him set the living water out of that experience and then be an ambassador for Him in whichever Nineveh He places you in because out of a belly did He bring you forth and from your belly shall flow rivers of the living water. Blessings Evans.