Jonah’s Prayer and Deliverance

Billy Graham comments on the subject: “If life were all easy, wouldn’t we become flabby? When a ship’s carpenter needed timber to make a mast for a sailing vessel, he did not cut it in the valley, but up on the mountainside where the trees had been buffeted by the winds. The … More

Chastening

“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction: for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:11, 12)

In this chapter, Jonah prays unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly (vv. 1-7). God has finally put His prophet in the place where he will submit himself to Him. Those who worship worthless idols forfeit God’s grace (v. 8). The prayer was not a plea for deliverance, but one of thanksgiving (v. 9) to God for using the sea creature to save him from drowning. Many have tried to dismiss this miraculous event as fiction, but the Bible does not describe it that way. In fact, Jonah’s experience was used of Christ as an illustration of his death and resurrection (Matt. 12:39,40). To doubt this miracle will only cause us to question other parts of the Bible and lose trust in his word.

It is not unusual that Jonah describes his condition as being in the depth of Hell; for unless He performs a miracle, it will be even tougher the mariners were the ones who actually tossed him into the sea, ultimately it was God who placed him there. (v. 3). By faith, Jonah expresses the confidence that he will stand once again in the presence of the Lord looking toward His holy temple (v. 4), thanking God for saving his life. Jonah’s story began with a tragedy, but a greater tragedy would have happened if God had allowed him to keep running. When the Lord got Jonah where He wanted him He commanded the fish to vomit up Jonah on the shore. And it did (v. 10).

Application

When I know that God wants me to do something, I should never run.  God may have to chasten me as he did Jonah.

Jonah 2:1-10 (English Standard Version)

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.

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