Summary: 2nd of 4 messages from Jonah focusing on our individual responsibility to God as his servants. This message is from chapter 2 and the prayer of Jonah.

Four questions God asks Every Believer

Where Are You Going?

Where Do You Come From?

What Are You Doing?

What Do You Care About?

In this first message from the first chapter of Jonah we talked about the calling of God and what happens when you reject that calling. How you become disobedient, callously complacent, and hardened toward the needs of others and the will of God. We also saw that the story of Jonah is a story of repentance, redemption, and resurrection – not condemnation. And that the story of Jonah is your story and my story.

In this second message we’ll be looking at one of the most incredible prayers ever to come from the voice of a human being.

In fact the whole of the second chapter is a prayer with one verse at the end giving God’s response.

Let’s read it all…

Where Do You Come From?

While Jonah was inside the fish, he prayed to the LORD his God and said,2 “When I was in danger, I called to the LORD, and he answered me. I was about to die, so I cried to you, and you heard my voice.

3 You threw me into the sea, down, down into the deep sea. The water was all around me, and your powerful waves flowed over me.

4 I said, ‘I was driven out of your presence, but I hope to see your Holy Temple again.’ 5 The waters of the sea closed around my throat. The deep sea was all around me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 When I went down to where the mountains of the sea start to rise, I thought I was locked in this prison forever, but you saved me from the pit of death, LORD my God.

7 “When my life had almost gone, I remembered the LORD. I prayed to you, and you heard my prayers in your Holy Temple. 8 “People who worship useless idols give up their loyalty to you.

9 But I will praise and thank you while I give sacrifices to you, and I will keep my promises to you. Salvation comes from the LORD!”

10 Then the LORD spoke to the fish, and the fish threw up Jonah onto the dry land.

Jonah 2

Where Do You Come From?

Jonah came from the belly of a fish

Whale or fish – Real or figurative. Some say it’s figurative. Some say that it is allegory. Some say it’s a parable – like the stories Jesus told to teach a moral truth. Others say that it is first hand narrative of a historical event.

I believe that Jonah is a real guy and he really experienced all that is written in these four chapters. It’s way too long to be a parable. It’s not written like an allegory such as Pilgrims Progress. No this story is shared as a historical and factual event.

There are certainly modern day proofs of men being swallowed alive and surviving for hours if not days inside the stomach of whales but this does not prove that Jonah really lived and really was swallowed by a great fish.

Let us agree to simply accept the scripture at face value this morning and learn what Jonah learned about his life and God’s work.

We began last week with Jonah running from the call of God. We see his repentance and submission to the will of God as he allows – and urges – the pagan sailors to throw him into the sea where God has prepared a great fish to swallow him – whole!

What a terrible thing to endure! I can only imagine what Jonah must have been thinking when they took him by his arms and feet to swing him overboard.

He didn’t thrash about in the waves and try to stay afloat even after the waters calmed. Jonah considered himself lost. He had done a terrible thing in rejecting the call of God and now he was going to receive his just reward – he would sink into the waters, holding his breath instinctively, until his lungs were aching and he breathed the dark, cold ocean water. His lungs would then be filled with suffocating liquid and he would die with seaweed wrapped around his head as he sank into the deep.

Have you ever had seaweed wrap itself around your legs while swimming? I can’t really think of anything more scary than this – not a hurricane, not a shark attack, not a car accident, not a plane crash. Being swallowed whole and alive has got be the most terrifying thing that can happen to a person.

Jonah would sinking into the deep dark pit of death, seaweed wrapped around his neck, the weight of his own sin sucking him under, deep, deep, into the abyss called death.

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