Salvation is of the Lord
- Why should we be encouraged by the story of Jonah and the great fish?
- Because Jonah was down in the mouth, but came out all right.
We’ll finish chapter 2 in our sermon today. When looking back on all that has happened, and what is coming today, we can see a pattern repeated many times since. Jonah was called, he fled, he was punished, and he was restored.
If we take a careful look at our own Christian lives, we can probably find many times where this same pattern has been played out in us, and so let’s not be too hard on either Jonah or ourselves as we read his story. We generally follow a course on whatever motivates us.
I didn’t really pursue an education until I was 36. And the reason I did so was because I was motivated towards a desire. I wanted to become a preacher, and the pastor of the church I was at would not ordain me until I got a degree. That is what motivated me. Since then, I’ve followed that course because I am still motivated by it.
Jonah previously followed one course because he was motivated in a certain direction. He, like a dove, will change his course and follow another direction because he is properly motivated to make that change. And so we should, even before looking at today’s verses, think on what motivates the Lord.
Really, think about it. He set out on a course of action because He was motivated to do so. God was under no obligation to save anyone. However, if He was to save anyone, His perfect attributes necessitated that He follow a certain course of action in order to accomplish this task.
That course of action could only end in one way, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Believe it or not, He chose this path because he was motivated to do so. God willingly chose to create man, and then to pursue a path which led to uniting with his creation and dying on a cross in order to redeem the man He had created. That is true motivation! And that is what is pictured in all the rest of the verses of Jonah today.
If that doesn’t humble you… I mean if you are unmoved by the fact that God did what He did because of His love for you, then I can’t imagine what else could ever stir your soul. Jesus Christ is called the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world because God was motivated to redeem the man who He knew… He knew would rebel from Him.
And the entire process of this redemption is centered on one thing and one thing alone, that.precious.Lamb. Jesus Christ was waiting in the wings from the first utterance of creation to accomplish His mission. Fallen man must be saved, and only a Man who is not fallen could do the saving. Thank God for Jesus Christ.
Text Verse: “The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14
The psalmist said that the Lord is his strength and his song. That is fantabulous. He rejoices in the Lord which is a great thing to do. But he also says that the Lord has become his salvation. It’s a play on words because the word “salvation” is a variant of the name of Jesus, which means “salvation.” We were being given a clue as to what God would do. He would become our Jesus, our salvation.
Jonah will tell us the same thing today as well. He was a goner and the Lord rescued him. When there was no hope at all, the Lord stepped in and saved the day. If you think that somehow you merit God’s favor, or that He is under some type of an obligation to save you, think again.
The Lord did not need to send a fish to save Jonah, but once He did, nothing could prevent Him from safely reaching the shore. The symbolism of the fish is an integral part of the plan of the Lord, and the motivation of the Lord is what made it possible.
Personally, I can’t wait to see what it all means. Just what is being pictured in these final six verses of Jonah chapter 2? Well we won’t find out unless we get started. It is all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. Death and Resurrection (verses 5-8)
5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
aphaphuni mayim ad nephesh – “Compassed about me waters to soul.” Jonah 2:5 and a portion of 2:6 provide us with more vivid descriptions of the danger and distress which he faced. These will then be followed again by a note of deliverance.
The word translated here as “surrounded” is a completely different one than that used in verse 3. There it was savav, a much more common word. Here it is aphaph. This is the last of five times that the word aphaph is used in the Bible. It means to surround or encompass. Whereas the waves of verse 3 surrounded Jonah, swirling about him, the intensity of his situation has now increased greatly. The waters themselves have hold of him and fully surround him, to his very soul.
He is, as the old saying relays, “going down for the third time.” His end is at hand. To draw in a breath would have meant his final end because the waters had fully encompassed him. The precious air which sustains life was no longer to be found, and just one inhale would mean the termination of his life.
Being confined to such a torture is the most terrifying sensation. If an animal is caught, it will chew off its own leg to get free. In 2003, Aron Ralston was climbing the canyons of Utah and got so stuck that he couldn’t free himself. After five days of trying every other possible solution, he carved his epitaph into the sandstone.
But then… in desperation he cut off his own arm in order to free himself. Eventually, he was rescued and taken for medical care. But Jonah didn’t have a knife and there was no helicopter flying overhead. At this point, he was probably considering his own obituary.
Interestingly, the first time the word aphaph was used was in 2 Samuel where David used the word metaphorically, but in a parallel way to Jonah’s words of this chapter. In David’s words, aphaph and savav are reversed to show the plight of his situation, which, though similar to Jonah, was not identical –
“When the waves of death surrounded me, (aphaph)
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; (savav)
The snares of death confronted me.
7 In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.” 2 Samuel 22:5-7
These words of David are then used again in the 18th Psalm. It is with certainty that Jonah used the words of the psalm to describe his own pitiful plight which literally came to pass, and which was similar to that which David had faced.
Along with that plight of David, he records another time where he faced such troubles, and which he metaphorically uses to describe his plight. Jonah certainly referred to these words as well –
“Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.” Psalm 69:1, 2
Because these words were written by David, they can thus be attributed to the work of Christ. The waters which surround are typical of the world of chaos, hemming Him in. That they came even to His soul is reflective of the very termination of His life as it ebbed away on the cross.
5 (con’t) The deep closed around me;
tehom yesoveveni – “Abyss closed around me.” The tehom is the great deep, or abyss. It was first seen in Genesis 1:2 –
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Jonah’s words are an indication that he was no longer going down for the third time, but that he had gone down and was not coming up again. He had succumbed to the inevitable and had given up any chance of rising to the surface for another breath.
The words here are not intended to say that he sank to the bottom of the great deep. Such a depth would have crushed him. Rather, he began the descent and the waters of the abyss simply closed around him. There was no longer any connection to the surface. If we were watching a movie, this would be where the stretched-out hand quietly slipped under the waters… and disappeared.
5 (con’t) Weeds were wrapped around my head.
suf khabush l’roshi – “End is bound to my head.” To be daring, I am going to be at variance with every single translation of Scripture available, and all scholar’s commentaries as well.
According to Charlie’s Literal Translation of the Bible, which is being compiled and which will be on sale at a marked up prices someday, the verse does.not.say that weeds wrapped around Jonah’s head. It says that his “end is bound to his head,” meaning that he has met his end. It is a phrase that any Hebrew speaking person would understand.
First, the word translated as “weeds” is suf. It is the same word used in Exodus when speaking of yam suf, or the Red Sea. The word suf is translated as “reed,” because so many scholars call it the Sea of Reeds, implying that is was a fresh water lake, and not the Red Sea.
However, the word suf also carries the meaning of “end.” And so, this verse is not speaking of “reed,” but “end.” The Red Sea is the ending of the land of Israel, and so it is the Sea of the Ending, or the Red Sea, not the Sea of Reeds. The New Testament bears out the name, Red Sea.
Therefore, the term “reed” being retranslated here as “weeds,” meaning “sea weeds,” is an unnecessary stretch of the Hebrew, especially because there are no reeds in the Mediterranean Sea.
Secondly, khabash, or “wrapped,” comes from a primitive root which means “to wrap firmly, especially as a turban, a compress, or a saddle.” Thus, a Hebrew phrase is being given to us. The end, meaning death, has wrapped tightly to the head. Jonah had expired. This clause then further defines the previous clause. Taken together, they confirm that Jonah claims he had died.
As I said, this is at variance with all translations and scholarly comments, but when I proposed it to my Hebrew-speaking friend Sergio, without a hesitation he said that any native speaker would immediately understand the symbolism and the phrase. Death had bound itself to the man. Score one point in a growing bottle of points for Charlie’s Literal Translation.
Even the Greek translation of this verse clearly shows that it is not speaking of sea weeds. It says, “went down my head.” If taken symbolically of the cross, as it is intended to be, this would be the moment where Christ uttered his final words and then exhaled, thus confirming my translation –
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” Luke 23:46
6 I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
l’qitsve harim yarad-ti – “To the cuttings [of the] mountains I descended.” The word translated as “moorings” is qetsev. This is the third and last time that it will be seen in Scripture. It indicates something cut or shaped and so Jonah is saying that he descended to the place where the mountains are shaped.
His words here indicate that his lifeless body slipped down into the depths. However, this has to be taken metaphorically. He has already acknowledged that he was dead. A dead person doesn’t know where his body has descended to. And so, he has made the poetic note that he had descended as far as a body could descend, even to where the mountains were cut out. His words then translate directly to the tomb of Christ which was cut from the rock and into which His body was laid.
6 (con’t) The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
ha’arets b’rikheyha vaadi l’olam – “The earth her bars behind me to the vanishing point.” Here Jonah speaks of himself as a prisoner in a dungeon. He is closed in with no chance of releasing himself from his predicament. His death could now not be undone and only the prospect of corruption lay ahead. This then translates into the burial of Jesus as is reflected in the words of Matthew 27:59, 60 –
“When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.”
For Jonah, it seemed that all hope was lost. For the world who did not understand who Jesus truly was, the same is true. But the passage of time reveals the glory of the Lord’s handiwork…
6 (con’t) Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
Va’taal mishakhat khayay – “And yet brought up from corruption my life.” Jonah’s cry of deliverance now resounds through the cavernous belly of the great fish. As we saw in the last sermon, most, if not all, scholars attribute the words we have been looking at as occurring during the time in the belly of the fish. This is wholly inaccurate.
The words are those prayed from the belly of the fish afterwards, and are referring to his time in the sea before the fish swallowed him. The fish is not his place of death, but rather his mode of delivery from death. Jonah died in the midst of the sea of chaos.
In the midst of the sea of chaotic humanity is where Christ died. We are being asked to look for and find Christ, not a fish tale. Now that the sea has claimed his life; now that the chaos of humanity has taken Christ’s life… only now are the words to be attributed to those from within the fish’s belly.
Jonah, upon being swallowed by the fish, realized that he had been brought up from the inevitable corruption which would follow his death in the sea. The fish was ordained by God to save him, and likewise, the power of God was used to restore Christ Jesus to life. These words of Jonah are reflective of the words of David –
“I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
3 O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” Psalm 30:1-3
The words of this psalm were cited by Peter in Acts 2 to prove that the resurrected Christ was who David was referring to. Word by word, and in complete and exacting detail, Jonah is being used as a type of Christ.
6 (con’t) O Lord, my God.
Yehovah elohai – “Yehovah my God.” In the introduction to Jonah’s prayer in verse 1, it says that he prayed to Yehovah. His words reflect what occurred, and the triumph which resulted. His words now reflect the confidence he possessed in Yehovah, the self-existent and all-powerful Creator.
He is the One Jonah had called out to, and He is the One who responded and saved Him. Therefore, Jonah acknowledges that He is “my God.” Likewise, the messianic psalms say the same thing as they relate to Christ. He called out to His God, the eternal God from whom He issued, and His God responded. As the Man Jesus, the Lord is His God.
7 “When my soul fainted within me,
b’hitateph alay napshi – “Had covered itself within, my soul.” Jonah’s prayer now returns to the period outside of the fish once again. Though he is praying from within the fish, he is yet again recalling his ordeal before being rescued.
This is the 16th and last time that the word ataph is found in Scripture. It comes from a primitive root meaning “to shroud,” as in “to clothe.” From this comes the idea of darkness, and thus to faint or be overwhelmed.” In the case of Jonah, he is remembering the very moment his soul was dying away in him. He was covered in darkness and there he had met his end.
His words are again a look into the future work of Christ. From the 16th Psalm, and speaking of Jesus, we read the parallel thought of what occurred in His burial –
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:9-11
Christ’s soul was shrouded in death, but like Jonah, there was relief from that place of darkness. At that very moment of His death…
7 (con’t) I remembered the Lord;
eth Yehovah zakarti – “Yehovah I remembered.” It is a marvelous inversion in the Hebrew. “Had covered itself within, my soul; Yehovah I remembered.” As his life ebbed away, his dying thoughts were those of the Lord.
It is, in essence, the triumph of the spirit over the flesh, and the place where faith reaches beyond reason. Though the words cannot be condensed into a shorter thought without destroying the integrity of the passage, Jonah’s words here are reflective Psalm 22:1-21. The words point to Jesus’ time on the cross.
From the first words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, to His words of victory in verse 21, “You have answered Me,” Jonah’s words briefly sum up that torturous time Jesus faced, and yet which ended with His remembering His God, even while His life ebbed away.
7 (con’t) And my prayer went up to You,
va’tavo elekha tephil-ati – “And came in unto You my prayer.” Again, though these words are being prayed from the fish’s belly, they are words which reflect Jonah’s state while still in the open waters. There in his dying gasps, he remembered the Lord and his final breaths issued forth a prayer which rose to the Lord, even to the place where He dwells. It is almost as if the prayer itself is personified. It leaves his mind, takes flight on a path to its intended destination, and there it stands before its Recipient…
7 (con’t) Into Your holy temple.
el hekal qadshekha – “into temple Your holy.” As a prophet of the Lord, and one who had come to realize that there was no place that he could flee from the presence of the Lord, Jonah is certainly not speaking of the temple in Jerusalem. Rather, he is referring to the heavenly place where the Lord dwells in all His splendor.
Jonah’s prayers rose though the waters, and through the realms of matter, even into the spiritual dwelling place of the Lord. In the foxhole of battle, when our finances are lost, when a loved-one is in a hospital bed clinging to life…then – it is then that we remember the Lord.
As Jonah’s descent continued and his life ebbed away, he remembered the Lord and said his prayer and it was then that the Lord received his words, even in His holy temple.
Why? Why do we wait so long to call on Him? How much more pleased will the Lord be with us when we send prayers and praises when things are going well? In both testaments of the Bible, we see that God actually treats this as a sacrifice and accepts those prayers as a sweet savor. As it says in Hebrews –
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15
8 “Those who regard worthless idols
meshamerim havle shav – “Those who observe vanities lying.” The translation of the word hevel as “idols” is a bit unfortunate. It is true that all idols are vanities, but not all vanities are idols. The word hevel signifies vapor, or breath. Thus, it is that without value, or which is meaningless.
To pursue breath is futile, and to chase the wind is a foolish venture. Jonah is reflecting on himself and on his own previous condition. He was not bowing down to idols. Rather, he was running from the true God.
He is thinking of his own actions, but after contemplating them, his words then indicate anything which is vain. It could be predictions, absurd fears, rejecting the fear of the Lord, or refusing to adhere to the word of the Lord. This is what Moses had in mind when He spoke to Israel the words of the Song of Moses at Horeb –
“They have moved me to jealousy with that which is no God;
They have exasperated me with their vanities;
And I will move them to jealousy with that which is not a people;
With a foolish nation will I provoke them to anger.” Deuteronomy 32:32 (Darby)
Jonah now realizes that his actions were vain, but he had come to his senses. He now warns those who follow him that there are consequences for vain pursuits. Such people who regard vanities…
8 (con’t) Forsake their own Mercy.
khasdam yaasovu – “Benefactor they forsake.” The word khesed means “lovingkindness,” “favor,” “mercy,” and the like. In Psalm 144:2, David calls the Lord, “my lovingkindness.” In other words, the Lord is the Source and Fountain of mercy. Therefore, the NKJV did a good job in this verse of capitalizing the word “Mercy.” They have directed the words not to what is bestowed, but to the One who bestows.
Jonah’s words look to what happens when a person follows after vanities. In such pursuit, they forsake He who provides from the fountain. This is exactly what Jonah had done, and now his words call out for others to follow the wisdom he has attained.
Pursuing that which is vain sets up a wall between us and God because we forsake the One who created the thing we are pursuing. Whether gold, silver, sex, drugs, fame, or fortune, our attention is caught up in vanity and the Lord leaves our hearts and minds. The Westminster Shorter Catechism begins with this precept –
What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
We cannot glorify God if we chase after, or grant glory to, something less than God. And we cannot enjoy Him, if we spend our time pursuing idols. The Apostle John closes his first epistle with these words –
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” 1 John 5:21
Let us follow this advice and not forsake our Source of mercy.
My heart is glad, and my glory rejoices, O my soul!
My flesh also will rest in hope with no interruption
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption
You will show me the path of life, of this I am sure
In Your presence is fullness of joy, a wondrous path I will trod
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore
And so I put my trust in You, O my God
You have brought me up from the pit and set me in a broad place
You have set me on high and my soul has found rest
Here in Your presence and in the light of Your face
Here in the land where your saints are eternally blessed
II. A Simple Truth (verses 9 & 10)
9 But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
va’ani b’qol todah ezbekhah lakh – “And I, with the voice thanksgiving will sacrifice to You.” This is the last time that todah, or “thanksgiving,” is seen in the Old Testament. It essentially means “an extension of the hand.” Thus, it is as if an offering is being sent out. However, it is said to be “with the voice of thanksgiving.” Therefore, the voice of thanksgiving is considered as an acceptable offering to God, and so it is further explained as “a sacrifice.”
As I said earlier, in the Bible, praise is called a sacrifice and that is what Jonah was referring to here. It is something we can all do and it costs us nothing. But God accepts it as a sacrifice because it is something most people will never do. Even believers fail to take time to simply glorify Him.
We have all kinds of time for cell phones, TV, movies, family, and friends, but we just don’t take a few moments a day to stop, contemplate the goodness of the Lord, and then give Him praise. In the future, let’s make a commitment to praise Him in all we do. Let our every breath and action be of praise and worship to Him.
9 (con’t) I will pay what I have vowed.
asher nadarti ashalemah – “that I have vowed will pay.” These words come as a promise to what he just said, and they include any vows not recorded here as well. He has offered to make a sacrifice with the voice of thanksgiving, and now he confirms that he will follow through with that promise. In Deuteronomy, the people were told quite directly –
“When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you.” Deuteronomy 23:21
This sentiment is repeated quite a few other times in various ways. But Jonah’s words are not just for us to see a man who has come to his senses. They reflect the sentiment of the 22nd Psalm as well –
“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.” Psalm 22:22
The author of Hebrews then uses that same verse and ties it directly into the oath of the Lord to God the Father. The Lord had promised that after His ordeal on the cross, He would follow through with the vow He had made.
Like Jonah who is a type of Christ, and like the Lord who we are to emulate, if we are going to commit to something, we need to remember to follow through with it – “I will pay what I have vowed.” This is what the Bible expects. When we promise, we are to live by our promises. In the 15th Psalm, the Bible says that a person who swears to his own hurt will never be moved. Surely God will reward such faithfulness.
9 (con’t) Salvation is of the Lord.”
yeshuatah l’Yehovah – “Salvation to Yehovah.” Jonah’s words are a realization, a confession, and a praise all tied up into one. He was dead, but now alive. He thought there was no hope, and yet he was saved. And where his lips were seemingly silenced forever, they were now able to sing out to Yehovah with a resounding voice.
But more than just words of acknowledgment from Jonah, they sum up the entire theme of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation – Salvation is of the Lord. Man is condemned; the Lord has fixed the problem. The process is wholly His, and we are merely the recipients of what He offers.
In considering the words, they tell us that He is the Source of salvation; he is the Bestower of it; and He provides the means by which it will occur. The noun yeshuah is used 77 times in the Old Testament. It specifically means, “salvation,” and the form used by Jonah is intensive – yeshuatah. In essence, “mighty salvation.”
When converted into a proper noun, it is Yeshua, the Hebrew name of Jesus. Thus, we are given an insight into the work of the Lord here in Jonah 2:9. Yehovah the Father is the Source of salvation – the plan and the form to come. Yehovah the Son is the one who came to execute the plan. Yehovah the Holy Spirit is the one who applies that salvation to those who are to be saved.
The Lord, Yehovah is the Source, Means, and Bestower of man’s salvation. Yeshua, or Jesus is the key to it coming about. Acts 4:12 sums up the thought quite well –
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
What is veiled in the Old is now revealed in the New. What was concealed is now open for us to see. It is Jesus from whom comes all salvation.
*(fin)10 So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
va’yomer Yehovah la’dag va’yaqe eth yonah el ha’yabashah – “And spoke Yehovah to fish and vomited Jonah onto the dry.” The account is to be taken literally. The Lord gave the command and the fish followed through with the orders as given. He was spewed out of the belly and onto the dry land. It is the last use of the word qo, or vomit, in the Old Testament, but it is not the last time that vomit will be referred to. It is also probably the least offensive, and even most glorious use of the word vomit in recorded history.
The symbolism though is what is important. First, there was a command from the Lord. This was followed by an action. The fish symbolizes the means of delivery, not the state of death. Jonah had died in the waters and was caught up into the belly of the fish where he then made his prayer.
Christ was cast among the great sea of sinful people, symbolized by the chaos of the ocean. There he died for the sins of the world. However, His delivery was already prepared based on His sinless life, pictured by the fish. His sinless state is what delivered Him from the ordeal. It is what rescued Him from inevitable corruption. Peter mentioned this in Acts 2 –
“I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.” Acts 2:25-28
As the fish is the means of Jonah’s delivery, and as Christ is the means of salvation, a picture is formed in the words “it vomited Jonah on to the dry.” Christ was, can we say, spewed out of the grave. It simply could not stomach Him. The grave is the devourer of that which is unclean from sin. He was spewed out of the fish, but the fish lives in the sea. Therefore, he was spewed out of the sea – the place of sin, chaos, and death – and onto dry land. The fish for Jonah, Christ for the sinless Man Jesus, both merely provided safety from the sea.
This passage was anticipating the symbol of Christianity, ICTHUS, or “The Sign of the Fish.” It is an acrostic – ISEOUS CHRISTOS THEO YIOS SOTER – JESUS CHRIST SON OF GOD, SAVIOR. His sinless perfection is what is seen in the fish. The vomiting of Jonah onto the dry land pictures His triumph over the sea of chaos. Again, it is explained by Peter in Acts 2 –
“…whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” Acts 2:24
And so, from the place of chaos and death, He was restored to a place of stability, harmony, and assurance – the dry land. Right on the first page of the Bible, a distinction was made between the waters and the dry land. When God made the yabbashah, or dry land by separating it from the waters, it was proclaimed good.
In the New Testament, the disciples were told that they would be fishers of men. Christ was the first to be delivered from the chaos of the seas to the dry land, meaning the place of safety. Now, those who follow Him are fished out of the sea and brought to that same place of safety.
The entire episode was orchestrated by God, based on Jonah’s rebellion, to show us a picture of the world of fallen man being rescued by the perfect Man, Christ Jesus. The difference between Jonah and Christ is that Jonah died on account of his own sin, something common to himself and his people. He was delivered from that death by the Lord.
On the other hand, Christ died for the sin of His people, which He willingly took upon Himself. But He died as a member of His people, the nation of Israel, and under the law which was given to them. In His death, He died for sin, and was delivered by God in order to save people from all nations. This is more than a simple fish tale, but a grand, epic story of the workings of God in Christ.
Closing Verse: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:10
Next Week: Jonah 3:1-4 He is heading to Nineveh, not to Arizona… (The Sign of Jonah) (7th Jonah Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean rages against you and is ready to swallow you up, He can send delivery to you in the most remarkable of ways. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
Salvation is of the Lord
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul
The deep around me closed
Weeds were wrapped around my head; I had no control
My end was near, I supposed
I went down to the moorings of the mountains
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit
O Lord, my God – I shall praise you, ceasing never
“When my soul fainted within me; away it flew
I remembered the Lord
And my prayer went up to You
Into Your holy temple; there you received my word
“Those who regard worthless idols, much is at stake
Surely their own Mercy they forsake
But I will sacrifice to You, this I convey
With the voice of thanksgiving: with my spoken word
What I have vowed, I will pay
Salvation is of the Lord
So the Lord spoke to the fish; He did command
And it vomited Jonah onto dry land
God has shown us in His precious word
That being obstinate toward Him can only harm us
Instead, we need to bow to our glorious Lord
Giving honor and respect to Christ Jesus
Help us in this Lord, this we implore
Our hearts are so easily turned away
Give us of Your Spirit to overflowing and even more
So that we will bring honor to you each and every day
And to You we give all of our highest praise
And to You we shall look for eternal days
Hallelujah and Amen…