‘Jonah’ is a new 9-week devotional series. Each week we’ll be studying a section of the book of Jonah and sharing some insights with you. We hope this series encourages you and helps you to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 3:18).
7 “When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”
Many of us can recall an experience that so upset or shocked us that it dramatically changed our behaviour. For some, seeing the effect of cancer on a loved one can provoke them into finally giving up an unhealthy habit like smoking. For others, being on-board a turbulent flight can cause them to never fly again. For Jonah, being plunged into the depths of the sea (and into the belly of a fish) caused him to repent from his disobedience to God (v9). He realised that he had put an idol before God by stubbornly worshipping his own selfish desires. In so doing, he had turned away from God’s love (v8).
His reversal of attitude from rebellion to gratitude and praise results in a complete transformation. He vows to obey God by preaching (v9) and God delivers him from the fish, bringing him to a place of safety (v10).
Are there areas of rebellion in your life that you need to repent from? Perhaps God needs to bring you to a place of humility before He can deliver you to dry land again. Ask Him to reveal the areas in your life where you need to surrender to Him.
Lord, I want to say sorry for the wrong that I have done against you. I know that I stubbornly try to rule my own life, and often I neglect or disobey you because I want to follow my plan instead of surrendering to your will. Help me to submit to you, and to offer up grateful praise for all that you have done for me. Amen.