Jonah must have been very uncomfortable in the belly of the fish. Yet there are many people in this dark and suffocating world who seem to think that the place they find themselves is a pretty good place to be. They believe that the world needs only a few social and political improvements. And they also hold that people themselves possess the ability to make all the needed changes.
As the story goes, a little piece of wood once bitterly complained because its owner kept whittling away at it, gouging it and making holes in it. But the one who was cutting it paid no attention to the stick's protests. He was making a flute out of that piece of ebony, and he was too wise to stop when the wood complained so bitterly.
Psalm 34 breathes with the spirit of exuberant confidence and faith in God. The Lord, said David, delivers us from all our fears (v.4). Not only that, but those who look up to Him with a heaven-born confidence reflect the light of His countenance so that they become radiant (v.5). The inner joy bubbles over and reveals itself in their eyes and face.
A mouthful of gravel! What an unpleasant feeling! Proverbs 20:17 pictures a man who began eating a piece of sweet bread which he had obtained by dishonest methods, but then found that his mouth was filled with stones.
Many a Christian has almost lost his spiritual footing by getting his eyes focused on other people instead of fixing them on the Lord Jesus. All human idols have feet of clay, and sooner or later they may fall and seriously disappoint us.
During World War II this slogan was often heard: "Give until it hurts." Now, that may be all right for the world, but certainly it is not a proper slogan for the Christian who wants to be all that he should be for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The nearest thing to heaven on this earth is the home where husband and wife, parents and children live in love and peace together for the Lord and for each other. The nearest thing to hell on earth is an ungodly home, damaged by sin and iniquity, where parents quarrel and bicker, and children are abandoned to the devil and all the forces of wickedness.
I remember a story about a woman who was very discouraged because of the many problems in her life. As she was walking down the street, she met a fellow believer who asked, "How are you doing today?"