THE Bible has a strange story about a man being swallowed up by a whale. This man is Jonah. God, my God, the God of Moses and Israel, who sent His only and beloved Son, Jesus Christ to us, and who became man through the Blessed Virgin Mary, and who willingly suffered and died on the cross to redeem us from the consequences of sin, so that we may have eternal life with Them in heaven, speaks to Jonah. God commands Jonah to preach repentance to the city of Niniveh. Jonah found this order unbearable because not only was Niniveh known for its wickedness, but it was also the capital of Assyria, one of Israel’s fiercest enemies. Jonah did the opposite of what he was told. He went down to the seaport of Joppa and bought a ticket to Tarshish which is 4,000 miles in the opposite direction of Niniveh. He “ran away from the Lord.”
In response, God sent a violent storm in the magnitude of Haiyan or Yolanda which destroyed the city of Tacloban in the Philippines last week. The storm threatened to break the ship to pieces. The terrified crew asked each other who among them had wronged his God that they should be in the center of a horrible storm. Jonah admitted that he was running away from his God. So, they tied him up and lowered him down to the sea. As Jonah’s feet touched the water, the storm stopped! The crew thought that maybe this was good enough to stop the storm. But when they pulled Jonah up the storm started again. After doing this several times, they tossed Jonah into the sea and the water immediately grew calmer. The crew made a sacrifice to Jonah’s God, my God, and they were all converted to worship Him as the one true God after witnessing how God literally switched the storm on and off.
Instead of drowning, Jonah was swallowed by a great fish which God provided. This could have been a whale or an oarfish. An 18 foot oarfish was recently found dead in the shores of Santa Monica, California. While Jonah was in the belly of the whale or oarfish, the digestive juice of the fish was bleaching Jonah’s body, hair and clothes a ghostly white. Jonah cried out “man, it stinks in here!” But Jonah also repented and cried out to God in prayer, praising God, ending his prayer with the prophetic statement that “salvation” comes from the Lord.
God commanded the whale and it vomited the reluctant prophet onto dry land. Jonah looked like a ghost. His hair, body and clothes were all bleached white after 3 days in the belly of the fish. He looked like a human marshmallow walking through the streets of Niniveh proclaiming that in 40 days, the city would be destroyed. Surprisingly, the Ninivites believed Jonah’s message and repented, wearing sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes.
From this story of Jonah, we can see that God commands everything in His creation, from the weather to the whale, to carry out his plan for us. God is in control. Thus, your debt problems are under His control. He has a plan to get you out of your debt problems so that you can be productive again. It may be a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. It’s really not important whether a whale or an oarfish or even a giant squid that swallowed Jonah. The point of the story is that God can provide a supernatural means when his people are in trouble. Jonah thought that he knew better than God by running away 4,000 miles in the opposite direction of Niniveh, but in the end, the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness extends beyond Jonah and Israel, to all people who repent and believe that He is the one true God, and that nobody gets to Him, except through His one and only beloved Son, Jesus Christ who is the way the truth and the life. There is no other way to eternal life.
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Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S Fremont Ave Bldg A-1 Suite 1125 Unit 58 Alhambra, CA 91803.