Saturday Sermon: Jonah and the Resurrection
By Bill Walden
April 18, 2014 at midnight
Updated April 17, 2014 at 11:18 p.m.
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law," Deuteronomy 29:29.
"Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world," Acts 15:18.
There are many mysteries that are not revealed to us, and many mysterious things that can only be understood by searching His written word. I will mention as an example: "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," Matthew 12:40.
As we reflect on this scripture, a revealed truth that had been kept, which had never been so clearly described of Christ's time in the grave, is now revealed concerning His resurrection and compared to the time Jonah spent in the belly of the whale.
This was said in reply to those who wanted to see a sign from Him. Those to whom He said were "an evil and adulterous generation," but to His believing children, it was and still is held close in their heart as a precious promise made and kept.
We have also read accounts of men trying to dismiss this great event concerning Jonah as a myth, saying a whale's throat just will not allow it to swallow a man.
The mystery is unraveled by reading God's revealed truth: "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights," Jonah 1:17.
The reason the whale could swallow Jonah was simply because God had prepared it. Notice the word prepared. The word from which it is translated means "assigned, appointed, ordained" to swallow Jonah. The skeptics are examining the wrong whale.
There are many and wonderful things that have pleased God to reveal "unto us and our children forever." However, there are secret things that belong only to the Lord our God. We cannot know the secret things because it has not pleased Him to reveal them to us.
The natural wisdom of man cannot comprehend the wisdom of God. God is omniscient, and since He is all-knowing, there is nothing He does not know. His foreknowledge is an eternal now. "Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?" Job 11:7.
While this is in the form of a question, the answer is implied - it is impossible to "find out" God.
"Remember, the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (Isaiah 46:9) declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure," Isaiah 46:10.
Bill Walden is the pastor of Stratton Primitive Baptist Church.