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You Can't Keep a Good Man Down
Jonah 1:17-2:10

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"Above anything else," Jackie Robinson said, "I hate to lose." 

On April 15, 1947, Robinson made it to the "show." He became the first black man to wear a Major League uniform, destroying the color barrier in professional sports.

In his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he hit .297, sent 12 over the fence, and lead the league with 29 steals. He was also the National League Rookie of the year. Two years later they named him the National League's Most Valuable Player and he won the batting title with a .342 average. 1949 was his first of six appearances in the All-Star game.

During his ten years with the Dodgers, he helped them reach the World Series six times. Robinson had a career batting average of .311 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility.

Did you also know that Jackie Robinson was court-martialed from the Army and that he dropped out of college?(From Fresh Illustrations) Failure doesn't have to be fatal, a lesson Jonah learned while he was surrounded by a fish's digestive juices.

Last week as we left Jonah, he was a dismal failure. He tried to out run God and conspired with his shipmates to try to out-row Him too. Neither worked. Finally, those on board the ship tossed Him overboard into the storm-tossed sea. It appears that it is over for Jonah, but its not. Let's continue the story by rejoining our text, Jonah 1:17-2:10.

And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. [2:1] Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, [2] and he said, "I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; Thou didst hear my voice. [3] "For Thou hadst cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Thy breakers and billows passed over me. [4] "So I said, 'I have been expelled from Thy sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Thy holy temple.' [5] "Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. [6] "I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But Thou hast brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. [7] "While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer came to Thee, Into Thy holy temple. [8] "Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, [9] But I will sacrifice to Thee With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord." [10] Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land. 

Even in his darkest moment, God was still there.

  • "And the Lord appointed. . ."
Jonah 1:17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah probably didn't view the fish as God's grace, but it was. The fish was not punishment, it was a biological submarine prepared by God to sustain Jonah's life.

In the beginning, I'm sure Jonah was resentful, like the poet who had the dream where he noticed only one footprint in the sand during difficult times and later discovered "'The times when only ONE set of 

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