Thanksgiving in the belly of a great fish
Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
"But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving…" (Jonah 2:9a)
As Jonah discovered from the belly of "the great fish", giving thanks to God can bring forth tremendous spiritual power. For in the very next verse, we read: "And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah onto the dry land." (Jonah 2:10)
Thanksgiving helps put us in right relationship with our Maker, acknowledging who He is – His provision, mercy and grace as our Creator – and acknowledging who we are – our dependence on Him and need for relationship with Him as His special creation. Thanksgiving is a vital aspect of a repentant heart.
Too often we focus on our tribulations and forget the manifold mercies of God which are "new every morning" (Lamentations 3:23) – in spite of the fact that by His holy standard and in our sinful condition none of us deserves His mercies!
What's interesting to me is that Jonah was able to thank God from inside the fish – a dark, fetid, unpleasant and frightening place. He realized that "the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah" and thereby delivered him from a watery death by drowning (Jonah 1:17, 2:6). This was his "salvation", as he exclaimed.
Sometimes, indeed, the Lord's deliverance is by a rather rough route. Yet, it is for our good, and we do well, like Jonah, to recognize it as such.
In this wonderful season of Thanksgiving, may we all appreciate the many blessings of our great Creator. The Bible tells us, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Even when in "the belly of a great fish", it is good to give thanks.
Up until Darwin, the book of Jonah was regarded as biblical history – miraculous but historical. After all, Jonah is an historical, biblical prophet from Galilee during the reign of Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:23,25), and Jesus accepted the reality of Jonah's miraculous experience in the great fish ("whale, sea monster" – Matthew 12:38-41).
It wasn't until after Darwin's theory of evolution was formally advanced in 1859 that criticism of Jonah's account became popular. As we've mentioned before, so-called "historical criticism" – in its attempt to debunk the Bible – became fashionable following the ascendancy of evolution into the halls of science.
And the great tragedy is that so much of Christendom surrendered to the evolutionists and to the critiques which presumed evolutionism and compromised their view of Scripture.
There is actually much anecdotal evidence of men being swallowed by whales and surviving after the whales were caught and cut open. But clearly in Jonah's experience, God was working with nature to orchestrate a miraculous deliverance for the runaway prophet. As the Bible says, the Lord "had prepared" a great fish, preserved Jonah in it and caused the fish to eventually vomit him out onto dry land.
The Lord's similar preservation and deliverance of Noah and his family through the Ark during the cataclysmic destruction of "the world that then was" (2 Peter 3:6) was similarly unusual and, in fact, miraculous. Indeed, evolutionists have ridiculed a worldwide flood too, as creationists know, particularly because evolutionists require long ages of gradual change instead of the relatively short-duration catastrophic change as supported by biblical history.
We are natural rebels, running from the Lord like Jonah or choosing to be "willfully ignorant" (2 Peter 3:5) of the great cataclysm which radically changed the world and gave us the fossil record and the correct version of natural history. Evolutionism is indeed an attempt to usurp the truth of God. Tragically, many professing Christians have run away from a biblical witness, compromising with evolution to the detriment of mankind and the witness of God upon the earth.
With Thanksgiving coming up this month for those of us in the U.S., all believers should be especially thankful that the Holy Spirit has opened our eyes to the truths of Scripture – yes, even the miraculous portions that are most difficult for people to believe. Most of all, we should be thankful that He has revealed to our hearts that salvation is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here at Creation Moments, we are also thankful that He has used our ministry to help open the eyes of countless people to the truths of biblical creation:
"Creation Moments very strongly supports my faith and belief in all of the Bible as a book of truth, which none can contradict, undermine, nor disprove." – D.D.
"I appreciate and am guided by persons willing to take a stand and defend God's Word. Ruddy little David stood up to Goliath when others wouldn't. I can stand up to educated atheists because of Creation Moments! Thank you!" – C.P.
Remember … these people are not only thanking us … they're thanking you for supporting our work through your prayers and financial contributions. So thank you for standing with us … and may God fill your heart with joy and peace this Thanksgiving!