Saturday, July 3, 2010

God Sent a Whale to Israel .. What Is He Saying?

by Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda
(Bolded and colored text is part of the author's original notations)

Recently, a 40-foot gray whale was spotted off the coast of Israel, astonishing researchers around the world. Gray whales are only found in the Pacific Ocean, and this sighting was the first in modern history. (* See References below for link to article on whale)  

Our conjecture is the only other time a whale has been spotted in the Mediterranean was more than 2,700 years ago in the prophet Jonah's dramatic rescue!

Whenever something extraordinary like this happens, take note, especially when it takes place in Israel. What happens in natural Israel is always an indication of what God is doing in the spiritual realm. He is speaking to us as a nation, as a Church and as individuals in this hour. God is likening our days to the days of Jonah and He is awakening our spiritual senses to recognize the hour in which we are living.

Many people think the story of Jonah must be a fable. There's no way that a man could be swallowed by a whale and turn up three days later a little worse for the wear, but fully alive. (** see references below) 

Jesus didn't seem to think so. When the religious skeptics of His day demanded a sign that He was the Son of God, Jesus replied, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here" (Matthew 12:38-41).

Again in Matthew 16, Jesus said, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah" (Matthew 16:2-4).

Now in 2010 God is giving us another sign! Like in the days of Jonah, He sent His messenger on a journey to speak to us in our hour of need. God wants us to meditate on what the book of Jonah is telling us for today.

The book of Jonah gives us a type of the most important event in history: Jesus' death, burial and resurrection from the grave. It is the singular event that affects your life, past, present and future, personally. God is indicating a great deliverance in our day.

Jonah's testimony tells us a little bit about God and His ways. First, God came to His prophet Jonah and said, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me" (Jonah 1:2). 

God calls Nineveh a great city. In Jonah's day it was certainly large, stretching nearly 60 miles in both directions. It was also a regional terror to all its neighbors, known for merciless genocide and oppression. Israel had not escaped Nineveh's cruel reach. 

But God's definition of greatness is different than man's. The word translated as "wickedness" in Hebrew also means "disaster." God had heard the cry of the Ninevites themselves for deliverance from the principalities and powers of darkness that had settled over their city and culture. He commissioned Jonah to go and cry out against the darkness that oppressed them.

Of course, Jonah didn't see it quite like that. He probably ran through the personal testimony of friends, relatives and neighbors that had been massacred by Ninevites. He probably went through an entire list of reasons that he thought judgment and destruction was just what Nineveh deserved and he wasn't going to be the messenger that let them in on God's mercy. So, he suddenly remembered some pressing needs in Spain and jumped in a boat heading in the opposite direction.

How many of us have discovered that it is impossible to run away from God and His calling? Scripture says Jonah intended to go away from "the presence of the Lord." He went down to Joppa; he went down to the ship, he went down to the pit of the ship and there he went down into a deep sleep. Didn't work! That ship that set sail on a sunny bright day soon encountered that Presence in the midst of a great storm. 

After throwing all the cargo overboard and giving up all hope of survival by human strength or wit, the captain decided it was time for a prayer meeting. Being an equal opportunity pagan, he didn't want to miss out on any source of help. He went down to the pit looking for Jonah. Astonished to find him asleep, he said, "What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish." (Jonah 1:6).

Jonah is a type of the Church in this hour. Asleep and seemingly off the map of our calling, preoccupied with the temporal comforts of this world or content with being a light to our own enlightened community, God wants to shake us awake and give us the word of peace and direction to the people and nations all around us.

The nations are trembling. People are scared. The Euro is collapsing in Europe. Oil is spewing out of the depths of the Gulf, destroying the livelihood and environment along the coast for decades to come. Iran and North Korea are rattling their sabers, and Israel is once again singled out for the ire of the world. Everything is shaking.

But when people are scared, they are ready to hear from God. The pagan crew and captain asked Jonah to call on his God. When he gave them the word of the Lord and they obeyed by throwing Jonah into the sea, they were saved. The crew gave praise to the God of Israel, offered Him sacrifices, feared Him and made vows. Revival broke out on the deck. The Lord is saying to His Church, "When the world is shaking around you, it's not a time to be afraid, but to wake up and share the word of the Lord." 

His presence was in the storm. We need to recognize God's presence in every situation. He has called us to be salt and light. In the middle of the darkest hour, He wants to give you the anointed word for those who are terrified around you.

While the pagans are rejoicing, Jonah is sinking lower than ever before. His lungs about to burst, tossed and turned in the undersea currents, he was probably running through what he thought was His last prayer when he was suddenly swallowed up and found himself in the belly of a whale. 

The Bible says God had prepared a great fish. God knows the end from the beginning. He knew what Jonah's reaction would be to His calling, and He went ahead and sent His transport in advance. Who knows how long and how far Jonah's whale had to travel. It may have been weeks or even months in getting there. But God knew that on a certain day in a certain location this fish would have a mission to deliver Jonah to his destiny and ultimately to deliver a nation from destruction!

This is why we took note when a whale paid a visit to Israel recently. If God can commission a fish all the way from the Pacific Ocean to give us a sign, we want to tell you that God is going to give us a great deliverance. He is preparing us for a great awakening and return to our destiny as a nation and as a Church. 

No matter how far down we have gone as a nation, as an economy as an individual, we have a great God and He has prepared a great deliverance. No pit is too deep for His hand to pull us out. No distance too far for Him to pick us up and put us back on the shore of our calling.

This is a word for you and for your house. Begin to declare the Lord's deliverance for your children. Begin to thank Him for His victory. Remind Him of His destiny for America as a Christian nation and friend of Israel. Declare His word and the prophetic promises He has given you and your family.

This is the time of great deliverance. This is the time for great awakening.

Drs. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda
Mahesh Chavda Ministries


* Discovery News Gray Whale Spotted on Wrong Side of World. 

** There have been several published accounts of people and animals swallowed alive by a whale. One such is that of James Bartley, a sailor on a whaling vessel that was knocked overboard and discovered days later unconscious and bleached white by the whale's stomach acid, but alive when the crew killed the whale and brought it to shore. Another is of an account of barking inside of a whale. When the whale was opened up, they found a dog that had been swept overboard and swallowed. In 1925 Sir John Bland-Sutton shared another account of a whale story from 1771 and gives the dimensions of a whale, concluding that it is entirely plausible for a man to be swallowed and kept alive in the belly of a whale. Sir John Bland-Sutton, "The Psychology of Animals Swallowed Alive," British Medical Journal July 18, 1925

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