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Man Survives Jonah Encounter with Whale

When fisherman Michael Packard dove into the ocean to check on his lobster traps, he found something bigger than one of the live crustaceans he was hunting. Much bigger.

Without much warning, Packard was suddenly swallowed by a giant humpback whale. Inside the maw of the great mammal, Packard was preparing himself for the end. “I thought to myself, ‘Hey, this is it. I’m going to die.'” But he didn’t die. “He was in a whale’s mouth for 30 to 40 seconds, and then he was spit out,” said his mother, local painter Anne Packard.

As it turns out, humpbacks don’t usually like to eat people, according to marine mammal expert Peter Corkeron. He said, “Humpback whales are ‘gulp feeders’ who eat by unhinging their mouths and taking big lunges through the water. And when you’re 50 feet long and weigh 30 tons, sometimes you don’t really have too much fine control over where you’re headed.” He added that, since the whale swam toward the surface before spitting Packard out, it’s possible that the whale was trying to help him out.

As astonishing as this latest adventure was, Anne says that’s not even the first time Packard’s life was miraculously spared, noting that he’d survived a plane crash in Costa Rica. She’s encouraged her son to write a book about all of his adventures, but he demurred, saying he’s not much for all the attention. His mother said, “He doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but it’s becoming a big deal. I mean, how many people have been in the mouth of a whale?”

Possible Preaching Angle:

God is able to provide deliverance for us. As evangelist George Whitefield said, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.” This is not only to show us divine favor but also to empower us to walk in our calling and accomplish the good works for which we were created.

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