Today I read Jonah 2 where Jonah repents and the fish spits him out on dry land. Now some might look at this chapter as how wonderful it is that Jonah is repenting, well who wouldn't at this point? I mean he is in the belly of a great fish, most likely a whale, with absolutely no hope of rescue and very long, painful death ahead of him. Who wouldn't repent at this point? There is nothing really significant about that. What strikes me about the story rather is what the fish does.
The last verse of the chapter states that God spoke with the fish and then the fish vomited Jonah out of its stomach. It doesn't say the Lord caused the fish to get sick or that the Lord compelled it, but rather the Lord spoke to the fish. The phrasing of this verse suggests to me that the Lord had a conversation with the fish and then the fish made a conscious choice to obey what the Lord was asking it to do. How intriguing that an animal would be more obedient than a man! Jonah was given a command and ran away. A fish was given a command and obeyed without question. We could certainly learn a lot from the example of our non-human roommates on this planet! Until tomorrow.