Word for the day by Christian Christian Education Forum
STORY OF SALVATION
Jonah 2: 1-10
V9 “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.”
This chapter, Jonah's Psalm, is a poetic description of his deliverance from drowning. In chapter 1, we see Jonah’s rebellion. God gave a clear command and Jonah disobeyed; this is the rebellion stage. In chapter 2, we hear Jonah confess his sins and he turns toward God in obedience. This is called the repentance stage. In verse 10 of chapter 2, we find Jonah delivered from death via exit of the fish, this is deliverance. This is the redemption stage. Rebellion, repentance and redemption: these three together give a story of salvation.
Chapter 2 begins by reminding us that Jonah was in the belly of a giant fish when he prayed. He didn’t pray, however, when God gave him a command he didn’t want to obey. He didn’t pray when God sent a storm. He didn’t even pray when he was thrown off the boat. But now in the belly of the fish, Jonah finally prays. We should not wait until our life gets as miserable before to submit ourselves to God.
The first thing Jonah does is cry out for help. In verses 1-2, he cries out in distress; in his own words, he cried out from the ‘’depths of the grave”. He reached a stage which is equal to death and only then he looked up for help. In this miserable situation, no one can help except our own living God. As God dropped Jonah into the depths, He was reminding him why He had commanded Jonah to go to the people of Nineveh. In their sinful condition, they were helpless and hopeless and God’s desire was to rescue them just as He was about to rescue Jonah.
Next we see Jonah’s acceptance of God’s discipline. In verse 3, Jonah recognizes that it wasn’t the sailors that threw him into the sea. It was God. Jonah recognizes that he has sinned by disobeying God, that God was disciplining him and that he deserved it. He felt compunction and he reached a stage to correct his mistake.
The third thing Jonah does is place his trust and hope in God’s promises. In verse 4 Jonah recognizes that because of his disobedience he has put distance between himself and God. But he looks to the face of God with faith and asks God to deliver him. In verse 4, in the middle of recognizing, he trusts the promise of scripture that if we will humble ourselves and turn and seek God’s face, then He will hear from heaven and forgive our sins. Satan doesn’t agree with this. Our sin is not a surprise to God. He knows it. He has already paid for it on the cross. Now He is waiting for us to humbly turn to Him and ask for forgiveness which He will gladly give.
Lastly we see Jonah submitting to God’s will. In verse 8, after Jonah realizes that God has answered his prayers and has saved him, he submits to God in thanksgiving. "I will sacrifice to you, what I have vowed, I will make good". Jonah’s story declares Salvation from the Lord.
God looks deeply into our hearts, evaluating the depth of our prayers and repentance. He responds to us in impossible circumstances, at the perfect time. We can confess our sins to our almighty God with tears and a broken heart; he will console us and will give us salvation.
Dear God, our Savior, please forgive our sins and give us eternal peace and salvation. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
God answers us in distress in order to win your loyalty and fill us with thanksgiving for your mercy.
Dr. Manju Thomas. MALAYALAM CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION, TANZANIA, EAST AFRICA.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church