Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, saying,
“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.
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.
Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
at 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.
When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the LORD!” – Jonah 2:1-9 (ESV)
Joyce Baldwin writes:
Jonah’s transformation is such that he now wants others, especially those who “pay regard to false gods,” to know how misguided they are. To convey the concept of false gods the writer combines [breath] which quickly evaporates and [emptiness]. However attractive the idols may or may not have looked, they could only deceive their worshipers because they were empty shells, devoid of life. Jonah had proved that the LORD, by contrast, was “covenant love.” The word [which is translated “steadfast love,” “mercy,” “lovingkindness”] depicts the characteristic attribute of God as He is revealed in His covenant relationship with Israel. Jonah is convicted of his folly in forsaking such a God, and his advice is directed to his fellow Israelites who are guilty of the same thing and who have gone astray morally as a result. Jonah can say with conviction that those who forsake their covenant LORD for any other object of devotion need to appreciate what fools they are.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 90
Q. 90. How is the word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
A. That the word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.