My Treasures is a 4 week Bible Study that does not examine money management, but it allows us to examine our hearts toward money.
“Óne thing I have learned when it comes to money is this, it’s really not about HOW much money you have that will determine whether you are broke or rich, it’s WHERE your hear is toward God and towards money.” – Heather Bixler
The question is what defines us; what is the treasure in our heart? Am I allowing money, or acceptance, or image, or… to define me? If God is not the treasure in our heart, then it is an idol.
Jonah 2 relates the prayer Jonah prayed to God while he was in the belly of the big fish. The prayer begins with Jonah calling out to God:
He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me! (Jonah 2:2 NLT)
I realized that there is no place, no trouble, no situation or no circumstances that is too great that we cannot call out to God from that dire place we are at. The reason that got us into that situation could not prevent us from calling out to God. Jonah called out to God after he was swallowed by a great fish. We can also call out to God when we have been swallowed by circumstances.
Why? Because God will hear us from wherever we call from, and He will answer us.
Jonah was the cause of his dire situation. His action affected the lives of others. We forget sometimes we are not on an island. The lives of everybody on the ship were in danger, because of Jonah’s bad decision.
God took Jonah from a bad situation, into what seems another bad situation…the belly of a fish. It must have smelled awful. Can you imagine being inside the stomach of such an enormous fish? I have never seen the inside of a fish’s belly. I don’t think there was enough light inside for Jonah to see anything, but I am sure he must have smelled some awful smells, and his hands must have touched some very smelly, slimy objects.
What stood out for me is that God rescued Jonah from a bad situation, and what seemed like another bad situation was actually a rescue mission. If God did not send the fish to swallow Jonah, Jonah would have drowned. Sometimes we forget to watch the Hand of God; we see the circumstances and we don’t lift our eyes high enough to see our Rescuer.
“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me.
I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me!
You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea.
The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.
Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence.
Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’
“I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me.
Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.
I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.
I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever.
But you, O Lord my God, snatched me from the jaws of death!
As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord.
And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple.
Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies.
But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows.
For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”(Jonah 2:2-9 NLT)
Jonah was thanking and praising God while in the belly of the big fish!