They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. (Jonah 2:8)
Jonah, when he was in the belly of the whale, if anybody would have symptoms, Jonah would’ve had. Well, if he looks this away, it was a whale’s belly. If he looked back this way, it was a whale’s belly. Everywhere he looked, it was whale’s belly.
He had seaweeds around his neck, laying in vomit in the whale’s belly. Why, no wonder, he had a good case of symptoms. He was a lot worse case than what you could have tonight. There’s no one here in that condition. But you know what Jonah said? He said, “They’re lying vanities. I won’t look at anymore whale’s belly, but once more, Lord, will I look towards Your holy temple.” Amen. Why?
He knew when Solomon dedicated that temple, Solomon prayed a prayer, and he said, “Lord, if Thy people be in trouble anywhere, and will look towards this holy place, and pray, then hear from heaven.”
And Jonah, if you want to call him backslid, hands behind him, tied, feet tied, on a stormy sea, in the belly of a whale, plumb down at the bottom of the ocean, he refused to look at anything but that temple, because there was prayer over that temple.
Jonah could look to the temple that was made by man, and have that kind of faith, in those conditions, how much more can we tonight, under any circumstance, look to heaven, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, with His own Blood to make intercession upon our confession. It depends on what you’re looking at. Do you know what God did? He must’ve put an oxygen tank or something in there. He kept that prophet alive for three days and nights and took him on a ride, all the way across the ocean to Nineveh.
Nineveh was a large city, many thousands of people. They were idol worshipers, and they worshipped gods, and their great god was the god of the sea, the whale. All of them were fishermen.
Here they were out there pulling their nets, sinful as the United States is now, and the first thing you know, income the whale (He was a god to them.), opened up his mouth, stuck out his tongue, and the prophet walked off like a gangplank.
There comes the god, spitting the prophet out. No wonder God had to do it that way. God knows what He’s doing. No wonder they repented at the preaching of Jonah. Because why? The whale god spit him out on the bank. The prophet walked right out of the whale’s mouth and begin to preach. Sure they repented. God does things in supernatural ways, His wonders to perform.