Jonah’s Prayer1Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, 2saying,
"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.
3 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.
4 Then I said, 'I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.'
5 The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
6at 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.
7When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
8 Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the LORD!"
10And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
Desperation...and reliance on God.
After being thrown out of the boat during a great storm (Jonah 1: 12-15) God provided a giant fish to swallow up Jonah. God still wanted to use Jonah despite his determination to flee from God's will. In chapter 2 of Jonah we see Jonah finally realizing that his way is not the best and that following God is the best choice.
Jonah recognizes that his life should have ended. God could have simply left Jonah to drown in the depths of the ocean. Yet, God's plan was not to let Jonah die. He wanted Jonah to fulfill a purpose. Despite his initial unbelief God still wanted Jonah.
In chapter 2 we see Jonah coming to grips with his need for total reliance on God. Read his prayer again. In it you see a man with nothing but his life left to lose. Jonah praises God and looks to God for his deliverance from the great fish.
I don't know about you but I don't like fish. I never did. I would sometimes go fishing with my dad when I was younger and dreaded catching anything for fear of having to touch the fish. When I think about Jonah I cringe at his situation. Being inside a giant fish with nothing but time to think about everything that you have done wrong. Yet, God is powerful enough to spare his life. Despite the damp, dark, grossness of the inside of the fish Jonah cries out to God. Jonah turns back to God and says, “ I will fulfill my vowels”.
Jonah has desperation to flee God into a total reliance of God for his life. Jonah is then thrown up by the fish and is able to continue on his journey with God.