The Book of Jonah: A mini-series
God’s Intervention And Jonah’s Deliverance
Jonah 1:7 — 2:1-10
18 October 2015
Even in their lowest hour, the believer is not separated from God. This third instalment in Jonah looks at Jonah’s prayer in the belly of the fish, and how God delivers even His rebellious children.
Jonah, having fled repeatedly from the will of God to preach to the Ninevites, finds himself in the sea, not wishing to sail to Nineveh. But instead of allowing him to drown, “Yahweh prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (v. 17). Here we see God yet again intervening to do His will in saving the Ninevites - and bringing Jonah back to Himself. In the belly of the fish, Jonah realised at last his foolishness and prayed earnestly to God. His prayer is an example we can follow today.
Jonah was honest in his prayer
He admits that he “called because of [his] affliction” (v. 2), and it was God who “threw him into the depths; in the heart of the seas” (v. 3). He sees God’s providence in the discipline, and at last longs to respond.
Jonah was repentant in his prayer
Seeing the dire consequences of his sin, he longs to turn back to God - and this is the nature of true repentance. He prays, “I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple” (v. 4).
Jonah was thankful in prayer
Yet not having been delivered, he praises the Lord for His providence in discipline, and for hearing his voice. Jonah prays, “I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving” (v. 9).
Jonah was hopeful in his prayer
From the belly of the fish, a picture of the grave, Jonah prays, “The earth barred me in forever: yet have you brought up my life from the pit” (v. 6). What was all Jonah's hope? It was that “Salvation belongs to Yahweh” (v. 9)! As 1 John 5:12 says, “he who has the Son has life”.
Jonah’s prayer from the darkness is a picture of the hope of restoration for those who run away from Him, and reconciliation for lost souls. It is a picture of the Gospel, and a constant reminder of God’s intervention in the lives of His children.