The Way of the Warrior Week 21 - The Warrior's Journey®

The Way of the Warrior Week 21

Author: Nathan Werner,

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol…” (Jon. 2:2). This is Jonah in the belly of a great fish, deep in the Mediterranean Sea, calling out to the Lord. This is the amazing part: I cried, and you heard my voice. Do you think the Lord has lost track of you? Not a chance.

“My prayer came to you, into your holy temple” (2:7). His prayer, like yours, streaks into the inner sanctum of Heaven, into the very epicenter of the Universe. It’s strange how we ignore this fact. At any moment of our day, we can call on the greatest, kindest person in the entire Creation, and we hesitate, or forget, or think we can handle our situation. Doubly troubling, but the Lord assures us he’s available. What stops us? Pride.

Jonah, the religious professional & a prophet who spoke on behalf of the Lord, was a thoroughly dedicated servant of the Lord and acted like a knucklehead. When the Lord had a huge project, (1:2) he called on one of his most qualified men, and Jonah refused. Well, the Lord doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, so he changes the man, not the project. We also noted that the Lord used a great fish (1:17) who was fully compliant, who humbly obeyed the call of the Lord on its life. This was a means to capture Jonah’s attention.

Jonah’s lesson was affirmed a little later: And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. (2:10). The fish complied with God’s call on its life, while ironically the ‘man of God,’ was notably rebellious! Well, Jonah got ‘slimed,’ sitting in stinking vomit on the shore. The Lord can be very pointed with his rebellious followers. Why do we need to relearn this in our lives? Pride.

Will Jonah come to his senses? “Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying…” (3:1). God is persistent, and he’s got the resources of the entire universe at his disposal. So far with Jonah he’s used a mega storm, and a giant fish. He’ll get your attention – believe me. He’s very patient and will outlast you.

“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you” (3:2).

So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. (3:3). Are there cheers and wild celebrations for Jonah’s choice of obeying the Word? Nope. Just him and the Lord. So he went on his trek: Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. (3:3). It was a huge cosmopolitan center. It was a place of commerce, of culture, of power, and Jonah was to invade enemy territory and preach the gospel. People of influence, people of power, people charmed by the things of the ‘world,’ lived there.

What kind of sophisticated message is Jonah going to preach to the power elites of the world? Nineveh is vast: “Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey” (3:4). He’ll need some sort of theological treatise to let these pagans know about the goodness of God, with all sort of compelling illustrations, a fine sermon outline, with several intriguing, and compelling spiritual truths.


You can imagine the people of the city were intrigued by this man who had just been spit out on land by a huge fish. He did not have a change of clothes thanks to his luggage lost at sea. His appearance must have been disheveled and unkept thanks to the fish vomit. Who would listen to a homeless guy who looked like a bum? God exhibits strength under control. His patience with

Jonah and the Ninevites gives us the assurance that he is safe, though he might challenge us. Even in the adversities he is training us for greater glory, for a better good, for a glorious future. He is on our side, though we often try to resist him. He is good, though we don’t understand his ways. He is generous, even offering us kindness, even when we’ve earned retribution.

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