The Deliverance of Jonah

Jonah 1:15—2:10 (17)

Verse 17  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.

When you are in a difficult position – fear, anxiety, and panic are crowding in – you can’t think clearly – do you expect a miracle?  Harrison Okene did.

The Associated Press reported on December 4, 2013 that Harrison Odjegba Okene begged God for a miracle.  He needed one.  He was entombed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an upended tugboat.  This Nigerian cook breathing the ever-dwindling supply of oxygen caught in an air pocket under the tug-boat was freezing cold.  His wife had earlier sent him a text which is sometimes called a Prayer for Deliverance.  “Oh God, by your name, save me. … The Lord sustains my life.”  This now became his prayer.

One hundred feet below the surface, seventy-two hours later, a diver thought he had found another corpse.  He took hold of a hand and it grabbed him!  Ten Nigerians and the Ukrainian captain including four young cadets from Nigeria’s Maritime Academy perished in the accident but this man miraculously survived an impossible situation.   He said he found a cabin that felt safe.  As the waters rose he made a rack on top a platform and piled two mattresses on top.  He said, “I started calling on the name of God. … I started reminiscing on the verses I read before I slept. I read the Bible from Psalm 54 to 92. My wife had sent me the verses to read that night when she called me before I went to bed.”

by Dr. Gayle Woods

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