Jonah 2

* The prayer of Jonah. (1-9) He is delivered from the fish. (10)

1-9 Observe when Jonah prayed. When he was in trouble, under

the tokens of God's displeasure against him for sin: when we are

in affliction we must pray. Being kept alive by miracle, he

prayed. A sense of God's good-will to us, notwithstanding our

offences, opens the lips in prayer, which were closed with the

dread of wrath. Also, where he prayed; in the belly of the fish.

No place is amiss for prayer. Men may shut us from communion

with one another, but not from communion with God. To whom he

prayed; to the Lord his God. This encourages even backsliders to

return. What his prayer was. This seems to relate his experience

and reflections, then and afterwards, rather than to be the form

or substance of his prayer. Jonah reflects on the earnestness of

his prayer, and God's readiness to hear and answer. If we would

get good by our troubles, we must notice the hand of God in

them. He had wickedly fled from the presence of the Lord, who

might justly take his Holy Spirit from him, never to visit him

more. Those only are miserable, whom God will no longer own and

favour. But though he was perplexed, yet not in despair. Jonah

reflects on the favour of God to him, when he sought to God, and

trusted in him in his distress. He warns others, and tells them

to keep close to God. Those who forsake their own duty, forsake

their own mercy; those who run away from the work of their place

and day, run away from the comfort of it. As far as a believer

copies those who observe lying vanities, he forsakes his own

mercy, and lives below his privileges. But Jonah's experience

encourages others, in all ages, to trust in God, as the God of

10 Jonah's deliverance may be considered as an instance of

God's power over all the creatures. As an instance of God's

mercy to a poor penitent, who in distress prays to him: and as a

type and figure of Christ's resurrection. Amidst all our varying

experiences, and the changing scenes of life; we should look by

faith, fixedly, upon our once suffering and dying, but now risen

and ascended Redeemer. Let us confess our sins, consider

Christ's resurrection as an earnest of our own, and thankfully

receive every temporal and spiritual deliverance, as the pledge

of our eternal redemption.

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