I hope you people know what I go through for you. Because today, not only am I bringing you another Bible/Torah story, I am bringing you the story of Jonah.
AND THE WHALE.
If you remember, I have gone through some serious mental anguish in regards to googling whale pictures. And frankly, I don't think I have the wherewithal to do it again.
So for today's illustration, I've made something of my own:
That's right. It's Jonas And The Fail Whale.
Alright alright, enough stalling. On to the story!
Now if we did this as a true "As I Recall" with me just telling you the story as I remembered it, it would go like this: Once upon a time, there was a man named Jonah. He was eaten by a whale. Fin.
So once again I've gotta trust Ol' Soggy to lead me through this bad boy.
We jump right into this story with God talking to Jonah (And since they don't expand on where he comes from, I'm going to go with 123 Middle East Rd, Middle East City, Middle East.) So the Lord tells him to go to Nineveh which is referred to as both great and wicked. Make up your mind, God. Unless you mean wicked like, totally tubular?
Anyway, God wants Jonah to go to Nineveh and shake his fist wildly at it.
Jonah is not super into this idea. We don't really know the deal with Jonah, but apparently he is a huge coward. So he goes a-running off to Tarshish to try to find a place where God can't find him. Don't really know why he assumes Tarshish is a God-free zone, but the guy is dead-set on heading out there. So he finds a ship that's going there and climbs aboard.
Now you guys have read enough of these by now to figure out what happens next. If I know my Old Testament God (and I think that I do) when you cross him, SHIT. GOES. DOWN.
Not one to disappoint, God makes a crazy storm happen. Everyone on the ship is crying to their individual gods which is of course doing nothing without the exact invisible, almighty being in mind. But through all this, Jonah is sound asleep. Nothing like a mighty, death-creating storm to rock you gently in your dreams.
The captain of the ship comes down and freaks out and is all WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED AND PRAY TO YOUR GOD OUR GODS AREN'T LISTENING YELL YELL YELL.
Next, the sailors decide to cast lots to decide whose fault the storm is.
a. I'm still a little confused why anyone has to have caused this storm. At this point, I guess we're not-so-much with the science, and no one has figured out cold wind vs. hot wind yet.
b. What is a lot, you ask? And how do you cast one? Well, I asked this question, too. And the general consensus via the internet is: *shrug.* So I guess it's like rolling a die? Or flipping a coin? It's not that important. What's important is that casting lots causes them to start ganging up on Jonah.
The sailors are all "who are you? where are you from? what is your deal?" and they use the word calamity and I immediately started singing this Styx song:
So next I had a little dance party and forgot what I was doing and got up and made a sandwich and vacuumed a little and then remembered I was blogging so I got back to it.
Jonah tells the sailors that his god is the one that made the land and water and their knees start shaking and they get seriously freaked out. Not sure what their gods were supposed to have been in control of. My guess is sandals. The sailors ask Jonah what they could do to calm the storm, and he suggests that they throw him into the sea. At first the men still try to row themselves out of danger, bless their souls, but they are no match for The Wrath. So they pick Jonah up and throw him into the sea, and the storm immediately quiets down.
And here is where we pause, take a deep breath, calm....ommmm....ommmmmm...
God makes a whale eat Jonah.
Wait a second. Wait. A. Second. Hubba whhaaa? Ol' Soggy is telling me that it was not a whale. Or, well, it MAY not have been a whale. He actually calls it a "large fish." I'm sure it's one of those things where the original (Hebrew?) word could be translated to either "whale" or "large fish." Now, you may feel scandalized to realize such a fact. And you may feel scandalized if you are a big sciency nerd, because whales aren't even big fish, they are MAMMALS. But really, the man survived in the belly of an aquatic animal. Are we really going for scientific accuracy here? Let's move on.
Jonah hung out in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. It is a gastric juices MIRACLE.
Jonah finally figures it out: there is no place where you are safe from God's Destructive Yet Apparently Loving Hand. So he sends up a prayer from the belly of the fish (why it took him 3 days to figure this out, I don't know. Maybe he spent the rest of his time fighting other swallowed sea creatures. *shudder*)
Finally, after hearing Jonah's prayer of thanksgiving, God tells the whale/fish to spit Jonah out into dry land and speaks to Jonah again with the same message: get your smelly fish ass to Nineveh and shake your fist at them.
So Jonah goes to Nineveh and tells everyone that if they don't shape up in 40 days, everyone is doomed (again with the 40. I'm telling you. I'm giving you serious Cash Cab knowledge here.) And amazingly, everyone believes him. And fasts. And puts on sackcloth. Again. What is the deal with sackcloth, honestly? Even the king hears Jonah's story, puts on a sackcloth, and sits in ashes, which is explained not at all. So...whatever?
Point is, everyone turns from their evil ways and God rethinks his plan of calamity.