(April 30, 2020)
Jonah 2:10And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”

We often have the tendency to sanitize the scriptures, or to take and lift out the verses that we like or make them say what we would like them to say.

But here we come to one of the more colorful verses of Jonah: “[the fish] vomited Jonah onto dry land.” The word for “dry land” again evokes the same word used in the creation narrative as Yahweh pushes back those chaotic waters of death to form “dry land.” And in the midst of Jonah finding new life and coming back from Sheol, he is vomited out. Nothing teaches humility like being a whale loogie.

Is this image supposed to be comic? I don’t know. But it surely should drive home the humility piece. Humility strikes to the core of knowing Jesus, for it goes hand-in-hand with repentance. Humility means seeing ourselves soberly; as we truly are. Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself; it means thinking of yourself less.

But instead of living in true humility, don’t we Christians sometimes brag in being “right?” Do you think that Jonah had bragging rights as a prophet? After all, even the scriptures testify that he heard God’s voice. If we are ever tempted to think highly about ourselves because of this grace that has been given to us, consider this: When verse 2:10 above states that God “commanded” the fish, it is using this same word, “spoke.” God “spoke” to Jonah, yes, but God “spoke” to the big fish as well. And the fish had the better track record of obedience out of the two.


The truth without humility – or to give is a slightly different nuance – the truth without love is a destructive and terrible thing. May God grant us mercy. May God grant us a humble and contrite heart. May God give us humility in place of our need to be right (Isaiah 66:2; Psalm 51:17; Ephesians 4:15)