___God told Jonah to preach to the people in the town of Nineveh. God was concerned for the 120,000 people there and wanted Jonah to tell them to change their evil ways. Jonah didn't want to go, so he got on a ship to run away. However, God sent a bad storm. After the sailors learned the storm had come because of Jonah’s disobedience to God, they threw Jonah overboard.
___Nevertheless, God was prepared. He sent a whale to swallow Jonah. (There is always some air in the whale’s stomach, so Jonah would still have been able to breathe.) Jonah was inside the whale for three days. While he was there he prayed. Finally, Jonah was ready to do what God wanted him to do. Then God made the whale spit Jonah up on land and gave Jonah a second chance. (Having Jonah inside him probably made the whale sick. Sick whales often beach themselves. Sick creatures often throw up. It all fits!) 1
___Some people think this Bible story is hard to believe, but perhaps they don’t realize that God is all-powerful. God does not need to work within natural laws, but He often does. It may help skeptics (people who have a hard time believing something) to learn of a similar, but more modern example. In 1895, a man named James Bartley was swallowed by a whale. About a day and a half later, his fellow whalers caught that whale. When the whalers cut the whale open, they found their shipmate inside--still alive! Since in the ancient Hebrew customs even a partial day was counted as a whole day, Bartley could have been inside that whale as long or longer than Jonah! 2

Jonah 2:1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me."
Jonah 2:7 "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple."
Mat 12:40 (KJV) "For as Jonas 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."

[Note: Gasp! Is that green hair on Jonah? No! The Bible says that seaweed was wrapped around his head.]
Jonah 2:5 "The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head."

1 Robert W. Faid, A Scientific Approach to Biblical Mysteries/A Scientific Approach to More Biblical Mysteries (Carmel, NY: Guideposts, 1993) 160-161.
2 Henry M. Morris and Martin E. Clark,
The Bible Has The Answer (El Cajon, CA, Creation-Life Publishers, Inc., 1992) 74-76.
But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1:17
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