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Jonah 2 – the big fish

Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish – this seems as good a position for pray as any other. Notice how Jonah describes where he is – the belly of Sheol, the deep, the deep surrounded me, the roots of the mountains, down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever, his life is in the pit – in other words, Jonah is in the grave. It is like he is alive in the world of the dead Sheol.

The good news is that Jonah calls out to the LORD in his distress – and is answered; he cries out to the LORD and his voice is heard. This brings about a complete reversal in his circumstances but before the reversal happens he believes by faith that it will occur. For example, I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple – so present estrangement and alienation from God is replaced with a future being in God’s presence in the temple. He is confident that in the future he will worship with thanksgiving, sacrifice and vows – the same three expressions used of the Gentile sailors earlier! One can see the substance of the gospel here!

The final reversal is that when the LORD speaks to the fish – and unlike Jonah it obeys and vomits Jonah upon dry land. The voice of the creating God is also the voice of the providential God. Whereas Jonah was functionally dead in the watery grave he is now restore to the land of the living – a resurrection as it were! One can see why Jesus refers to the sign of Jonah to refer to his own resurrection. Jonah’s being raised from the dead is a shadow of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – but while Jonah dies for his own transgression, Jesus dies for ours. But the conclusion is the same – Salvation is of Yahweh!