Jonah 2:7 – When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.
The problem with Jonah running from God was that instead of bringing blessing to those around him, he brought disaster. From the moment he rejected God’s word, his life was literally on a downward spiral – he went down to Joppa, he went down into the inner part of the ship, he went down into the sea and down into the belly of the great fish.
Not following God’s will has consequences and now Jonah was crying out from the depths – “For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas… I am driven away from your sight.” Jonah’s intention was to flee from God’s presence but now the reality of it was so great that he called out to the Lord in distress.
The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever.
This is what it feels like outside the presence of God – stumbling around in the darkness as sin wraps itself around us, pulling us farther down. The good news is, no matter how far we fall, we are never too far away for God to hear us. Jonah was very much aware of his sin and of the hopeless state that he was now in, but he also remembered the mercy of God. So, from the belly of the fish he cried out and his prayer reached the throne room of God. The Lord indeed had mercy – “You brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
The Lord hears our cries for mercy when they come from a sincere heart and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel2). As we can see from Jonah, this applies to the Christian also. For although we have been saved from the penalty of sin, we are being saved continually from the power of sin.
When you feel sin’s grip, do not waste any time in calling out to the Lord. Then praise him for his grace and mercy, for salvation truly does belong to our God.