God’s purpose in sending Jonah to Nineveh was an act of His love, mercy and His restorative grace. The Bible says, “Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” Read Jonah 1:17 (TLB). Even whilst we sometimes try to run away from the Lord; which really is folly according to the Bible, He still has a way of reaching us to fulfil His plan, hence there is no where to escape. He had prepared a fish to swallow Jonah. And from the fish, Jonah cried out to God for help and to save him. “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.” Read Jonah 2:1 (NIV).
Here, you see Jonah realises the implication of His action, and begins to cry out to God because, he was now in the belly of the fish and almost dying. The Bible says, “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered You, Lord, and my prayer rose to You, to Your Holy temple.” Read Jonah 2:7 (NIV). The fact is Jonah was drowning and was going to die if he did not call out for God’s help. In like manner people perish for a lack of knowledge, those who refuse to call on God in their time of trouble.
The Psalmist writes, and says, “The Lord will hold your hand, and if you stumble, you still won’t fall.” Read Psalm 37:24 (NIV). The Psalmist was clearly expressing God’s restraining and restoring grace. I am sure, as Jonah looked back across his life, he would have said, ‘O Love, that wilt not let me go.’ Read George Matheson’s hymn. Likewise, we might sometimes look back at our lives and have a light bulb moment, and realise God’s unfailing love. Therefore, it is critically important we always come to a point of remembrance, hence the Bible says, “Put Me in remembrance…” Pause for a moment and say with me, ‘I am rich in Gods grace and favor, rich in the living word of God, experiencing exceeding abundant grace, therefore, I receive all that God has in store for me, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
So here is a fundamental question I want us to be able to answer; fundamental because our response in the time of passivity would go a long way to saving us from drowning. Now, let us get right into the question. What was it that brought Jonah right back to the point where he cried out to God from the belly of the fish? But before we use the scripture to answer this question, let us look at a scenario in Psalm 73:16 (NKJV), “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.” This man was restored because he made a decision to go into the “sanctuary of God.” But most importantly, I want to submit it was God’s ‘restorative grace,’ that brought him to the point of realisation to ask God for help.
Then the Bible says of Jonah, “When I was in trouble, Lord, I prayed to You, and You listened to me. From deep in the world of the dead, I begged for Your help, and You answered my prayer. … I was almost drowned by the swirling waters that surrounded me. Seaweed had wrapped around my head. I had sunk down below the underwater mountains; I knew that forever, I would be a prisoner there. But, You, Lord God, rescued me from that pit. When my life was slipping away, I remembered You— and in Your Holy temple You heard my prayer.” Read Jonah 2:1-7 (CEV). God’s restoring grace was the factor in Jonah’s decision. Remember, the Bible says, “…By strength shall no man prevail,” Read 1 Samuel 2:9 (KJV). In other words, it was not in Jonah to take the decision, except God put it in his heart to cry out. Dearly beloved, sometimes we experience times in our walk with God where we don’t feel like it; but our feelings have nothing to do with it. We are a people who “walk by faith, and not by sight.” Read 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV). Therefore, we trust in the wisdom and insight which comes from God to help us navigate whatever issues might exist.
The Bible says, “And Jonah remembered the Lord… So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomitted Jonah onto dry land.” Read Jonah 2:7b; 10 (NKJV). Beloved, no matter how deep or far gone you think you have sunk; the first and only thing you must do is to remember the Lord your God and direct your prayer up into His Holy temple, and He would hear and deliver by His mighty powerful hand. Hallelujah glory to God.
By the Spirit of God, I sense strongly to say “there is yet going to be a shaking in the nations; and the Church (the called out ones- You and I) must be ready, and anything that is not of me would be shaken to its very core. So I say to you examine yourself through my word, and arise from your slumber. Many would come into the Kingdom, and I need my people to be cleansed and ready for the harvest.”
We write You read Be encouraged.