Thursday, April 2, 2015

Jonah 2: Salvation Belongs to the Lord

1.       God chastens those He loves (Chapter 2)
When spanking my son, I find that he is very quick and wise in words imploring me not to spank him further. He knows how to plead and beg so that he is not spanked. He makes promises and even sometimes kneels down for the fear of pain. There are times I listen to him, and relent and there are times I have to be faithful to God by not withholding the rod of correction and so destroy him. I know what God has said, "Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death." Prov. 19:18 and again, For the Lord discipline the one He loves and chastises every son whom He receives. Heb. 12:6. I know that For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Heb. 12:11.
This reality is applied in this second chapter that God chastens those He loves. This is what He did with Jonah, His servant and prophet. When Jonah defied His Word, He lifted His chastening rod by the appointing the great storm and the great fish, and later the great scorching heat.
How Did Jonah respond to this? He responded in prayer. He pleaded with God for mercy. The most part of chapter 2 is the prayer of Jonah (vv. 2-9) and God’s answer to Jonah’s prayer (v. 10).



1)      Jonah prayed to the Lord His God from the belly of the fish.
His prayer was so important that it is recorded as inspired Scripture. Being a man in distress, he called out to the Lord. As was pressing upon the damp flesh of the fish, the darkness surrounded him, but he recollected his minds to remember to call upon the Lord. Many Christians of our day do not highly value prayer – it is regarded as worthy nothing. Yet, we must never forget that prayer is God’s own idea. It is provided for us graciously. When Jonah prayed, He also immediately tells us that when he called out,
…he (God) answered … you (Lord) heard my voice ((2:2)
He described the situation inside the belly and I can assure you I wouldn’t want to be there for a minute! …floods surrounded me. He was driven away from your sight… waters closed over me… the deep surrounded… weeds were wrapped about my head… my life was fainting away!
2)      Jonah acknowledged that God answers prayers even of those who have gone astray.
Even from the belly of the great fish! Even from a fainting heart (2.7). It is very reassuring to know that God will not tell the worst prayer sinner to shut up. He will listen. He listened to Jonah. He listened to Samson and in one day killed more Philistines than ever before! Has the Lord not promised that whoever comes to Him He will by no means cast out? Why do you then abandon yourself to prayerlessness? May our dire situations be the fuel to drive us to fervent prayer. May the prayer meetings overflow with praying saints. And if not, may the saints wherever they may be, even though in the valley of the shadow of death, may they sincerely and powerfully, even in their groaning call out to God in prayer.
3)      Salvation belongs to the Lord

One of the most astounding statement in the book of Jonah is the bear knuckled fact that salvation from disaster and even the eternal danger and peril cannot come from men. Men are all helpless – we all look to the Lord for help. More specifically, our salvation from sins, from the eternal punishment, from the wrath to come, from the final destruction to be meted on all who live according to the folly is of the Lord. Our gracious God has sent forth His son who has willingly died in our place and paid the penalty due to you. Trust Him! Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ today and you will find real life.

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