-This chapter gives us a glimpse into Jonah’s prayer while in the sea and in the belly of the great fish. He prays from the stomach of the fish in his distress, and the LORD heard and answered him as he cried for help from the depth of Sheol (the underworld, a place of death, the abode of the dead, Jonah 2:1-2). Scholars speculate if Jonah was near death or if he actually died and then became resuscitated. The point is mute, because he is given a second chance by the gracious King of kings. He had been cast into the deep, the very heart of the seas, and the current of death had engulfed him. The currents and breakers passed over him (Jonah 2:3). He was expelled from the sight of God and His goodness, but he looked toward the holy Temple, the place of God’s presence which he had formerly run from (Jonah 1:3,10). His heart was changing in the right direction. Water encompassed him to the point of death as the great deep engulfed him, and sea weeds were wrapped around his head (Jonah 2:4-5). He descended to the roots of the mountains that were under the sea, and in poetic language he relates this place to the earth’s prison with bars around him forever. There was no escape. But, the LORD brought up his life from the pit with His power and authority alone (Jonah 2:6). While he was fainting away, he remembered the LORD and prayed to Him. God’s presence came and it was so real that Jonah knew all who regarded vain idols, like those he would minister to in Nineveh, forsake their faithfulness in worshipping false, temporary, and powerless things (Jonah 2:7-8). Jonah now makes his declaration. He would sacrifice to the LORD God of heaven and earth with a voice of thanksgiving. That which he vowed, he would pay for “salvation is from the LORD (Jonah 2:9).” The conversion was complete. “Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land (Jonah 2:10).”
-*Application* When we get down in the pit of despair with distress all around, look up to Jesus who hears and answers us in our deepest times of need. He is waiting for you to come into His presence and thank Him for the deliverance only He can provide. His Temple is the Holy Spirit within us who have believed, and He is always readily available for all who call upon Him (Romans 8:11; 10:13). His faithfulness endures forever and is real. He is not vain like idols are. Remember Him for redemption and salvation. Prayer is powerful when we cry out to the Living God.
Verses to Memorize: Jonah 2:2, 6, 9