Malta is the largest of 3 main islands in the Mediterranean Sea, about 60 miles south of Sicily, and just above the deadly wound of Africa. The other two islands are Comino (or Kemmuna), and Gozo. Malta has an area of about 95 square miles. Here's a closer look:
"Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May of 2004" (from the CIA World Factbook 2006).
Now let's take a look at what this island is shaped like:
Malta is shaped like a whale!
The apostle Paul shipwrecked on Malta when it was known as Melita, in Acts 27:
21 But after long abstinence
Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, "Sirs, ye should have hearkened
unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any
man's life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the
angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
24 Saying, 'Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.' 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island."
28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
So Paul landed on the tail of the whale, as it were, and through him our heavenly Father performed great miracles (and no doubt told many tales on the tail :-). Wouldn't it be something if he taught from Jonah:
1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a
great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three
days and three nights.
2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, 2 And said, "I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest My voice. ...
9 But I will sacrifice unto Thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD." 10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Jonah was a type of Messiah Who entered the belly of hell, and destroyed death; Matthew 12:
38 Then certain of the scribes
and of the Pharisees answered, saying, "Master, we would see a sign from Thee."
39 But He answered and said unto them, "An evil and adulterous generation
seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of
the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.