From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and You listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, 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, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.
When we are in distress we are to cry out to God. Too many times we call a spouse or a friend asking for help before approaching the throne of God. He should be the first person we cry out to for help.
Jonah was rebelling against the Lord’s request to go to Nineveh and preach against it. He turned in the opposite direction and tried to sail as far away as possible from the place God wanted to send him. God was gracious and did not give up on using Jonah.
When Jonah was thrown overboard, God sent a whale to swallow him up. This is where Jonah spoke the above prayer. Even though he was sure he was “banished from Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.” Job knew the goodness of God. The Lord wanted to send Jonah to Nineveh to warn them and give them a chance to repent. Jonah cried out to God knowing that His goodness would probably be extended his way as well.
There are several points I want to make. First, when the Lord asks you to do something….. do it, without hesitation!! However, isn’t it nice to know that SOMETIMES He will give you a second chance to do the thing He has requested of you? He could send someone else to do it for you, as none of us are irreplaceable. In Jonah’s case, God followed him and sent a whale to get his attention, holding him captive until he got a proper perspective on humility and obedience.
The next thing to remember is that we serve a loving God who listens to ALL OF OUR PRAYERS, even when we are in the midst of sin and rebelling.
Finally, the Lord can and will use any and all circumstances to accomplish His will. If that means performing a miracle, then He will do it. If it means bringing a prodigal son home by unexplainable means, He will do it. His mercies are everlasting.
If God is requesting something of you, I pray that you find it in your heart to be obedient. Trust Him with the reason. You don’t have to understand the whys. You just have to be the action behind His purpose. Remember, His ways and thoughts are much higher than our ways and thoughts. We should not presume to understand the Mind of God…… just trust in His love and mercy. They are indeed new every morning, and will follow you down the path ….. and to the task He has for you to accomplish, in His name.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.