Summary: In Jonah, chapter two, we read about how Jonah repented of his rebellion and was restored to a place right fellowship with God.
Last time, we looked to chapter one, where we learned about the true nature of rebellion - rebellion involves our choosing to no longer walk with God but to run away from God. We also learned that the terrible consequences of rebellion are that we experience a loss of fellowship as well as a loss of testimony. Finally, we noticed that the tragic end of rebellion is that it causes the Christian’s life to enter a downward spiral which leads to utter despair and hopelessness. That’s where we left
Jonah, in the depths of despair in the belly of a great fish.
But today, we are going to read about how Jonah got out of the fish’s belly to stand once again on dry land. (READ TEXT)
Chapter two tells a story of repentance. Jonah went from running from God, to once again walking with God. Let’s look at the prayer Jonah prayed while in the fish’s belly to see what we can learn about
repentance and the restoration of a rebellious believer.
1. Jonah was chastened by God - verses 1-3
Jonah realized God was chastening him. God allowed things in Jonah’s life to bring him where he had no alternative but to look to the Lord.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate
children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” - Hebrews 12:7-11 (NIV)
Sometimes the school of hard knocks is the only way sense can be knocked into us. When we rebel against God, He lets us go through the “school of hard knocks” to get our attention and get us to look to Him.
After a called strike, a rookie batter threw his bat high into the air in anger and protest. The umpire turned to the rookie quickly and said, “Son, if that bat comes down, you’re out of the game.” Just as surely as that rookie’s bat came back down, you and I can count on the fact that if we rebel against God, he will chasten us!
A judge and a banker lived next to each other. Both had kids who played together and sometimes got into trouble. The banker let his kids get away with doing wrong and they went further and further astray. The judge, however, spanked his kids to correct them each time they did wrong. But the judge didn’t spank the banker’s kids. Eventually one of the banker’s kids grew up and committed a serious crime. He was brought into a court of law and faced the judge. The judge ruled over the banker’s child and sentenced him.
So it seems that Satan’s children “get away with it,” at least, for a time. At present, the judge of all the earth ignores them. But this same judge will not ignore the disobedience of his children. He will chasten and correct them because as a Father, He cares for his own. Just as God chastened Jonah in an effort to bring him back to a life of obedience, He will chasten you and me if we go astray.
2. Jonah confessed his sin to God - verses 4-7
Jonah decided to “look again toward (God’s) holy temple.” He chose to “remember the Lord” and in so doing, he confessed his sin to God. I say this because the Bible teaches that while committing sin breaks our fellowship with God, confessing our sin restores our fellowship with God. Jonah’s fellowship with God was restored (v.2), therefore we know that in his prayer to God, he confessed his sin.
“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of
Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:6-7; 9 (NIV)
If the rebellious Christian is to be restored to full fellowship with God, he must confess his sin and claim forgiveness. Forgiveness is his, not because of any penance he might do or promises he might make, but because of the sacrifice of the blood of Jesus on Calvary.