Jonah 2 (The Message)
1-9 Then Jonah prayed to his God from the belly of the fish. He prayed:
"In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God.
He answered me.
From the belly of the grave I cried, 'Help!'
You heard my cry.
You threw me into ocean's depths,
into a watery grave,
With ocean waves, ocean breakers
crashing over me.
I said, 'I've been thrown away,
thrown out, out of your sight.
I'll never again lay eyes
on your Holy Temple.'
Ocean gripped me by the throat.
The ancient Abyss grabbed me and held tight.
My head was all tangled in seaweed
at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root.
I was as far down as a body can go,
and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever—
Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive,
O God, my God!
When my life was slipping away,
I remembered God,
And my prayer got through to you,
made it all the way to your Holy Temple.
Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds,
walk away from their only true love.
But I'm worshiping you, God,
calling out in thanksgiving!
And I'll do what I promised I'd do!
Salvation belongs to God!"
It looks like the grave he refers to is the ocean deep, whence he had been cast after he the storm. If so, he must have prayed while about to drown. The interesting thing about this is that the fish that swallowed him was God's answer. Very much a from the frying pan to the fire situation. Once would think God would have more sense!
And this is where it starts to get interesting, because it's right here that Jonah composes his prayer of praise. It's right in the middle of the problem he's wandered into that he acknowledges God's holiness, his saving grace in the prior problem, and worships him. He even acknowledges God as Master, and the God who saves.
It's fascinating to see the next chapter, how Jonah is completely ed at God because the Ninevites repent (now these where the Assyrians, who would flay captives before a city to show they meant business. [Thanks, Mr. Spain.]) Jonah's aggravation was based on God showing mercy to whom he wished to show mercy. Almost as if Jonah thought he could do a better job of being God, than God.
The reason I blog this is that I have definitely been disobedient--run from God, as it were; and God has definitely let meet the consequences of life without him. I pray I may quit myself at least as wee as Jonah and praise God for his healing me and saving me once again, before I address the next problem. And the next, and the next, and the next.