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The Book of Jonah
Chapter 2

Inside The Fish, Jonah 2:1-10

Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly, (KJV)

Was Jonah alive? or dead? Some very learned people say he was dead. I do not hold any college or seminary degrees, but I think he was alive. Although Jonah may have thought he died, the Bible states: Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly.

Physical death is separation of the spirit from the body. IF Jonah had died, only his body would have been inside the whale. His dead body could not pray! IF he had died, his spirit would have prayed to God from sheol, NOT from the whale’s belly. Since Jonah was praying from inside the whale, how could be dead? Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [KJV] . . . Jesus does not tell us here if Jonah was alive or dead inside the fish. Three days after His death Jesus came back to life. Three days after Jonah was swallowed by the fish (whale), he was given a new chance at life. God brought him out of darkness and death into light and life. I think that Jonah’s experience illustrates the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jonah 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. (KJV)

Do you see when Jonah prayed? When he was in trouble, like SO many of us. God was angry with him for his sin, and Jonah knew it. When we are afflicted, yes, we must pray, but NOT only then, but always (1 Thes. 5:17). God’s good-will to us should open our heart and lips in prayer, always. Do you see where he prayed? In the belly of the fish. There is NO wrong place for prayer. Even from inside the fish, Jonah’s prayer was heard by God. We can pray anywhere and any time, and God will hear us. Your sin is never too great, your predicament never too difficult, for God.

Jonah 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. (KJV)

Is this talking about Jonah being cast into the sea or does it mean when he was in the belly of the fish? You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. Jonah knew the source of his sufferings. It was not mere chance, but the Hand of God which sent them. Many times our sufferings are permitted by God.

Jonah 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. (KJV)

When life is going well, we usually take God for granted; but when things get really bad and we lose hope, it is then that we cry out to Him. This is an inconsistent, up-and-down spiritual life. We must have a consistent, daily relationship with God. We must look to God during both the good and bad times to have a strong spiritual life. Don’t pray and read the Bible only when things are bad; do it every day!

Jonah 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. (KJV)

Jonah sank beneath the waves; death seemed very near. The waters closed in around him, seaweed was wrapped around his head. His situation seemed hopeless. Have you ever been in a hopeless situation?

Jonah 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. [KJV]

I sank to the bottom, where the Earth with her bars was about me forever. This is speaking of death. Corruption is death. As in the previous verses, Jonah expresses the hopelessness of his condition. Against hope Jonah believes in hope, and speaks as if his deliverance were actually being accomplished. Hezekiah seems to mimic this in his prayer. Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. (KJV)

Jonah 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. [KJV]

When my soul fainted within me . . . covered with grief; overwhelmed with sorrow; ready to faint and sink at the sight of his sins; and knowing that he was under the wrath and displeasure of God, and being forsaken by Him.

I remembered the Lord . . . Jonah remembered God's covenant and Promises, His former mercies and lovingkindness, and the gracious blessings he had shown in times past. Jonah remembered He was a God gracious and merciful, and ready to forgive, Who forgave the sins of His people, because He loved them and tenderly received and embraced them, when they returned to Him.

And my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple . . . into Heaven itself, the throne of God's holiness, the temple where He dwells, where He is worshipped by the holy angels and glorified saints (Rev.5). The prayer the prophet cried out to God, in the fish's belly, ascended from there, and reached the ears of the Lord of hosts in the highest heavens, and was met with a kind reception, and had a gracious answer (Ps.3:4; 22:5).

My soul fainted” most likely means he lost consciousness. When Jonah was swallowed by this great fish, he was afraid. I certainly would have been afraid. He had lost all hope, and then turned his thoughts once again to the Lord. He prayed earnestly, and God heard him.

Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. [KJV]

Idols are nothing but mere vanity and lies, and these greatly deceive those souls that serve them. These people forsake the only TRUE God and the mercies which only God can give. They serve divers lusts and pleasures, and pursue the vanities of this life.

I really think that here Jonah reflects upon himself, as well as leaving this Book as a general instruction to others . . . that IF they should do as he had done, giving in to an evil heart of disobedience, thus disregarding God and His will; they will find, as did Jonah, that they are forsaking the only God that has been gracious and merciful to them, and Who IS all goodness and mercy (Ps.144:3).

Jonah had forsaken His own mercy (meaning God), and fled to heathen lands where lying vanities (idols) were worshipped. His running from God caused the withdrawal of any happiness from within him.

Vanity is emptiness. When a person forsakes God, they really forsake the only mercy they can ever receive. Jonah says; I am no longer that pouting prophet, rushing off to Tarshish in the opposite direction because I hated the Ninevites and didn't want them saved. Now I finally see the truth. I appealed to God and to His mercy, and I found out just how merciful He was to me. A person without God is EMPTY! We all have an empty, God-shaped hole in us before believe God and accept Christ (1 John 5:11-12).

Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. [KJV]

As a prophet, Jonah was obligated to obey God’s Word, but he had tried to escape his responsibilities. Now, he pledged to keep his vow. I think his vow was that he would go to Ninevah. When you know God wants you to do something, do NOT run from Him. God may not stop you as he did Jonah. He may just let you keep on going in the heathen world.

Jonah 2:10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. [KJV]

I love this! God spoke, and it was so! Just like the Creation! (Gen.1:3,6,9,11,14,20). What awesome power our Almighty God has! God rescued Jonah. Can you comprehend the joy and thanksgiving that was in Jonah’s heart and soul when this great fish vomited him out onto dry land? It took 3 days in the belly of a fish, and a miracle to get Jonah to do as God had commanded. God had a job for Jonah to do, and it was God’s will that that job would be done, and that it would be done by Jonah. Obedience could have saved Jonah much anguish. Let us learn a lesson from Jonah. Obey God, don’t run away from Him in disobedience!

Book of Jonah

Ch1 . Ch2 . Ch3 . Ch4 . Whales?

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