Greg Laurie Harvest Daily Devotional

A Prayer for Turkey and Syria After the Devastating Earthquake
<< Greg Laurie Daily Devotions

It’s Not about the Whale - Greg Laurie Devotion - October 23/24, 2021

  • 2021 Oct 23

Weekend, October 23, 2021

It’s Not about the Whale

“Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time” (Jonah 3:1 NLT).

Of all the stories in the Bible, I think people probably ridicule Jonah’s story more than any other.

The name Jonah calls to mind the story of him being swallowed by a so-called whale. However, the Bible actually never says that a “whale” swallowed Jonah. Maybe one did.

Yet the term the Bible uses for the creature that swallowed Jonah is “a great fish” (Jonah 1:17 NKJV). Another translation is “sea monster.” This may have been a creature that exists today, like a whale, or it may have been a one-off creation that God made just to accommodate Jonah. Perhaps it was a sea creature that’s now extinct.

Whatever it was, I really don’t think it's a big deal, quite honestly, because there are only three verses in the Bible about this massive fish. That is not the focus of this story, but it plays a part in the story.

The focus of the book of Jonah is not about the whale or the great fish; it’s about God. We spend too much time talking about the great fish and not enough time talking about the great God of the story.

Here’s the real message of Jonah: God gives second chances.

Sin is a downer, and whenever you’re running from God, you’re going down. First Jonah went down to Joppa, then he went down into the ship, and then he went down into the sea. And then he went down into the fish’s belly, which went down to the depths of the sea.

Sin will take you farther than you want to go, it will keep you longer than you want to stay, and it will cost you more than you want to pay.

Still, God gave Jonah a second chance. And because Jonah finally got around to obeying Him, probably the greatest spiritual awakening in human history took place.

Copyright © 2021 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to
Listen to Greg Laurie's daily broadcast on

Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on

jesus revolution movie promo filmIn thanks for your gift, you can receive Jesus Revolution.

Our book of the month is more than Pastor Greg’s story—it’s the story of God’s transforming power in the lives of millions.

Secure your copy of Jesus Revolution when you make a gift to Harvest Ministries today!

Click here to find out more!

More Greg Laurie Daily Devotions Articles