Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,
“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.
For 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.
Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
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;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.
When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. (Jonah 2:1-10 ESV)
Jesus references Jonah’s experience as a type of his own. As you read Jonah’s description of what it was like think of Jesus and what he endured on the cross. “I am driven away from your sight” was the essence of Jesus’ suffering on the cross which we note by his words, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?” When you think of rest of Jonah’s story you can’t help but note that his death (i.e. being thrown over board) brought salvation to those in the boat, and his resurrection (when the fish spat him out) brought repentance and salvation to the nations (Ninevah). The Old Testsment is full of these “types” that help us understand the person and work of Jesus.
Can you imagine the suffering of Jesus as he was driven from God’s sight?
Thank God for the life that is yours through the death and resurrection of Jesus!
McCheyne’s reading plan: 1 Ch 18, Ja 5, Jonah 2, Ps 95-96