Jonah’s Time-Out is Over

Jonah Gets a Time-Out
Jonah 2:7-10 (New Living Translation)
As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.” Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.

“As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you.” Put aside everything we’ve learned about Jonah so far, and imagine that these words are the only thing you know about him.

In the last moments before what he was sure was going to be his death by drowning, Jonah says that he reached out to God, thinking of the Temple in Jerusalem and praising God with his last breath.

“Wow!” you might think, “This is a man of deep faith and conviction!”

“For my salvation comes from the Lord alone,” now declares Jonah. It is immediately following these words of faith that Jonah is forcibly ejected from the fish’s belly onto the shore. “For my salvation comes from the Lord alone,” Jonah prays and is released from his stinky, fishy time-out. It’s as if God is telling Jonah that he is going to take him at his word here. If Jonah has finally realized that his salvation is found only in God, then maybe — just maybe — he will rejoice in God’s mercy and decide to follow God’s plan.

Question:
How well do your words match up with your actions?

Extra:
In Matthew 1:21, an angel will appear to Joseph in a dream, reassuring him that his wife Mary is about to give birth to the Son of God. Joseph is told “you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” The name Jesus in Hebrew is Yeshua, which comes from the word for salvation that Jonah uses in 2:9 when he declares that his “salvation comes from the Lord alone.”

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