Have you ever directly disobeyed the Lord, even when you knew the way you should go? Jonah did this when God called him to go and preach to the great and wicked city of Ninevah. Jonah feared and hated the Ninevites so instead of going to them, he fled in the other direction by ship. Disobedience leads to disaster, and Jonah found himself in the belly of a great fish at the bottom of the ocean. But even at our lowest point, repentance and forgiveness are available. God saved and restored Jonah; and he can do that for you, too!
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.