Jonah 2

Jonah 2

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Jonah’s Prayer

Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

  “I called out to the LORD, out of my distress,
    and he answered me;
  out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
    and you heard my voice.
  For you cast me into the deep,
    into the heart of the seas,
    and the flood surrounded me;
  all your waves and your billows
    passed over me.
  Then I said, ‘I am driven away
    from your sight;
  yet I shall again look
    upon your holy temple.’
  The waters closed in over me to take my life;
    the deep surrounded me;
  weeds were wrapped about my head
    at the roots of the mountains.
  I went down to the land
    whose bars closed upon me forever;
  yet you brought up my life from the pit,
    O LORD my God.
  When my life was fainting away,
    I remembered the LORD,
  and my prayer came to you,
    into your holy temple.
  Those who pay regard to vain idols
    forsake their hope of steadfast love.
  But I with the voice of thanksgiving
    will sacrifice to you;
  what I have vowed I will pay.
    Salvation belongs to the LORD!”

And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.


Jonah 2 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Reconciliation begins with God.

I’m struck with the reality God spared Jonah’s life.  His rebellion against the call placed upon him we’d think God would be done.  He could raise up someone else to take his place.  But He didn’t.  God orchestrated circumstances to grab Jonah’s attention and lead him back to Him.

God’s  in that business of reconciliation.  This is His greatest longing.  The love of God for us, people who live in rebellion, selfishly pursue our own agendas, turn our back again and again never ceases.  It’s something we can barely comprehend.  No matter how far we run, what foolish choices we make, nothing can thwart His love.

It’s truly baffling of how much He loves us.  Just consider your own struggles, your own rebellion, your own heart issues that bring dividers between you and Him.  His love continues to reach us right there in the middle of each of these actions.  His love goes to no end as to what He will do to direct our hearts back.

As the storm brought about circumstances of which he found himself first thrown to the sea then swallowed by a fish, God was using all these things, was behind these things, to reach him.  The prayer of Jonah is absolutely remarkable.

With no one to blame but himself, he realizes it wasn’t the sailors who threw him to the sea, but God Himself.  Although he’d run as far as possible he was never out of God’s hands.  Feeling cast from God in this moment, in the depth of the water and deep of the fish, his heart turned towards God.  He took stock of his choices that led to this.  Instead of blaming God for the circumstance, he recognized his placement by his own doing and turned to praise. God had spared his life.  God had and would answer his prayers.  He returns to God vowing to do as He asked.

Where are you these days?  What of this story resonates with your spirit?  Where has the love of God continued to be extended despite your own actions?  God is in the business of reconciliation.  This is why His Son Jesus came.  Very possibly whatever circumstance you may find yourself has been orchestrated by Him to bring the reality of His love and preservation of your life.  His calling upon you, no matter what you’ve done, hasn’t changed.  As He’s extended His grace to you through this situation, now your response is what’s critical.

Jonah 2 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Jonah was in hell… or so he thought. It wouldn’t take one or two days to convince Jonah to turn back to God. It would be three days and three nights before he uttered his first prayer. Imagine the horror of this scene! This is what it took to bring Jonah to his knees in humble submission to God.

The water came over me and choked me; the sea covered me completely, and seaweed wrapped around my head. 6 I went down to the very roots of the mountains, into the land whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, brought me back from the depths alive.

Jonah 2:5-6 GNB

The first question is, what does it take for us to be driven to such a place of humble submission? How bad does it have to get before we will turn to God and accept His path?

“God may be calling you to something, and you are trying to run. And you think, “Oh, that’s the last thing I want to do. I never want to do that.” And you are trying to run, because you have this fear that to do what God is calling you to do will mean such deprivation and mean all of this, and you think “Oh, I can’t do that. I don’t want to do that.” And you are trying to run from the call of God.”

Chuck Smith

Running from the calling of God never turns out well. Ever.

I know I am far from perfect and still struggle in many ways. However, there are times I look around at those who claim to be believers and wonder what it will take to bring them to a place of submission? What will it take to bring them to a place of spiritual maturity? The human will is stubborn and Jonah is a prime example. It took three days and three nights for him to finally pray to God and thank Him for His mercy!

We are not far off from Jonah. In fact, many of us are just as stubborn. For whatever reason, we think living in the belly of a whale is better than following what God has called us to do and He is more than willing to teach us the hard way. He will slowly tighten His grip on our lives until we come to our senses and recognize that we cannot go wrong with obedience.

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