Friday, August 29, 2008

Jonah - The Prayer

Jonah 2:1-9 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.' The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD."

This was Jonah's prayer when he was inside the fish. First of all, it's not like Jonah had a piece of paper and pen with him to jot it down - so all this was from his memory. The Lord gives us what we need to complete the task at hand. In all that Jonah had gone through - he remembered his talk with God.

He talks about how he cried out for God as the water washed over him - I'm gonna guess he probably didn't even know what was happening at first - it was dark, there was a storm, all that water. Maybe he thought he was dead and without God and cried for him to come and take him - how sad is that! He tells God that he knows he was taken away from Him and yet he will still look for that hope.

He describes the things that must have been already eaten by the fish and how it was on his body now, the fear that must have been haunting Jonah was pushed aside by his faith - so much so that he mentions the unfortunate people who worship idols and do not have the hope that he has. He praises God and thanks Him - even in the midst of the unknown - in his fear - in his darkest hour - he continues to claim God's unfailing salvation.

Who is this man?! We know Jonah as the guy who got swallowed by the whale - his big claim to fame. But what about his faith in the darkest moment, his hold onto God's saving grace - sure he made some bad choices - don't we all - but what strength he has in God's truth. That's what we need to see in Jonah - not that he disobeyed God, but that when the chips were down, he held fast in the truth. Can we say the same?

3 wonderful insights:

ocean mommy said...

Hey Dorothy!

First...that brownie recipe sounds wonderful! I'll be making those this evening. :)

Second...I've been feeling drawn Jonah for my September book. I think maybe God orchestrated your comment on my blog last night to put it in front of my face again!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
steph.

Tiffany Stuart said...

Hi Dorothy,

Loved your ending question here? "Can we say the same?"

Our faith is tested during the dark times. Some times I cling to God and other times I cling to fear. There's a huge difference in my level of peace. I choose God!

Thanks for sharing.

Another point, I'd love to know more about your public speaking training. You can email me directly at stuart.tiffany at gmail.com. I'm trying to increase my speaking ability. Currently I'm reading Andy Stanley's book Communicating for a Change. Love it. Especially because I like his one point teaching style.

Thanks.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend.
God bless,
Tiffany

Kay Martin said...

You're right when he was in the direst circumstances Jonah looked to God and pledged to obey Him. Not only that, but when he was spewed out of the big fish on gagging on the beach, covered in all that yuk, he still was faithful and true to what he promised God.

That's where I love Jonah... he came through with the promise in the crisis. Sometimes I haven't been that obedient; and I have been betrayed by others who made promises in the darkness that they did not fulfill in the safe daylight.