“How long, O Lord?” is the cry of those who have had to wait on the Lord. In Psalm 13:1 David says, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” Again, in Psalm 35:17, he cries, “Lord, how long will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages; rescue my precious life from the young lions.”
God determines how long you wait in His waiting room. God determines the times. God promised Abraham that he would have a seed, and he waited in God’s waiting room twenty-five years. God appoints the times. Jacob had to wait fourteen years to marry Rachel. God appoints the times. Joseph languished in prison for three years for a crime he didn’t commit. Why? Because God appoints the times in which you languish and wait in His waiting room. Moses spent forty years on the backside of the desert, outside of Egypt because God appoints the times.
Yet, there was the miracle in it all. The miracle is not that the fish swallowed Jonah. A big fish can do that. The miracle is that while he was in the fish he didn’t see corruption. The miracle is that while he was in the fish for those three days and three nights he was not allowed to see decay. The grave did not overcome him. Acts 13:35 and 37 say that Jesus, whom God ordained, went down into death and the grave for three days and three nights, and did not see “decay”; the same was true here of Jonah.
This is an important reminder and encouragement to us. If you are a Christian, you may go down, but however long He sends you down, He will not let you go out.
Remember, it is God’s appointed time. It is His appointed waiting room. God will not allow you to be swallowed up by death. Like Jesus and Jonah, He will not allow you to be consumed by the grave. If you are saved, this is a wonderful revelation. The Bible tells us that each of us has an appointment with God. Every human being upon the face of the earth has an appointment with God. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment.” An appointment is coming for every human being.
You are not going to get out of it, even if you think you are can outrun it. Sooner or later God will catch up to you and put you in His waiting room. For every person, there is an appointed time. You have an appointment with God to die and then the judgment. The only question at that time is: Will He
The Christian knows that there is a coming appointment with God, and the Christian doesn’t run from it. Christians welcome the appointment with God because they know God will not allow death to win. Our lives are in His hands. Our times are in His hands. They are His appointed times according to His appointed means, to bring about His appointed ends.
The story of Jonah the prophet is familiar to us. It's full of unforgettable images, ironic twists and turns, and dramatic encounters between humanity, nature, and God. Most importantly, it is a microcosm of the human story. Your story. My story. The story of Jonah.
In Running from Mercy by Anthony J. Carer, you will meet a prophet not so different from yourself. The prophet's rebellious spirit is