Ever felt really low because of your sin? I’m not talking about just feeling stupid for something you said, or that feeling of having a lousy day. I’m talking about pit of your stomach low, frustrated over falling into the same sin over and over again. It seemed like we had dealt with this, and now it comes back around and you sit with your hands over your face, and think, “How could I have let that happen again?” We have a friend who felt that low, maybe lower, and really like the pit of your stomach low. Read over again Jonah’s redemption prayer below, and thank God today that HE is still on the throne, He still hears the cries of sinners – no matter where they are and no matter what they have done. Then call out to Him and confess your sin (1 John 1:9) and thank Him that even if you should go to the far side of the sea (Psalm 139:9), He hears, He forgives, and He can and will restore those who put their trust in Him. Then go tell someone else today!
1:17 Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
2:1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the depths,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, LORD my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
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.
God offers redemption first to Jonah, and through Jonah God offers redemption to Nineveh. Jonah learned from his mistakes, and had a second chance to make things right. Nineveh saw clearly its sin, and through humility had a second chance to live righteously. Jonah accepted God’s will and His discipline, then Jonah yielded his pride before God’s righteousness; and God gave Jonah a righteous challenge to follow. Nineveh accepted God’s will and His discipline, then Nineveh yielded their community pride before God’s righteousness; and God gave Nineveh a righteous destiny to model. How long the prophet stayed true to the opportunity for second life is known – he bitterly opposed God’s offering forgiveness and redemption to the city. How long the city stayed true to the opportunity for second life is not known. God can use anyone or anything (even a donkey) to proclaim His righteousness and by His Spirit men can repent and turn towards salvation. Whether we adopt an awe of redemption or a posture of self-righteousness is the morale of this story. For me, it’s all about redemption. As previously quoted, Oswald Chambers said it best – redemption IS reality!