Languishing in the belly of the fish that had swallowed him, Jonah prayed. As Alistair Begg demonstrates, we can learn from Jonah’s example about this often misunderstood pillar of the Christian faith. Scripture explains that God is present everywhere and that communing with Him shapes and changes us. In Jonah’s case, prayer helped him realize that his watery ordeal was ultimately meant for his redemption
1Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, 2saying,
“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.
3For 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.
4Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
5The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
6at 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.
7When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
8Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
9But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
10And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
Whenever we feel we have a better plan than God, we set ourselves up for disaster. Sadly, many Christians fall into this trap, assuming that God will act on behalf of the “right people” and against the “wrong” ones.
In this series, Alistair Begg dives into the story of Jonah, the Old Testament prophet who did not want to preach. Jonah was convinced that the Ninevites did not deserve his preaching or the chance to repent. He thought he had a better grasp of who deserved grace and who did not than God Himself. What he did not understand, though, was that running from God is impossible, since He is completely sovereign in all things. In fact, God exercises His sovereignty not to exclude, but to draw all people into His grace. It is not about who “deserves” it and who doesn’t. If it was, it wouldn’t be grace!
The Man Who Said No
Salvation Comes From the Lord
The Obedient Prophet
The Sulking Servant
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